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11 Journalists in 5 countries arrested for publishing cartoons.--.

According to the New York Times, 11 journalists in 5 countries are facing prosecution for publishing Mohammed cartoons:

In a direct challenge to the international uproar over cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad, the Jordanian journalist Jihad Momani wrote: "What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras, or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony?"

In Yemen, an editorial by Muhammad al-Assadi condemned the cartoons but also lamented the way many Muslims reacted. "Muslims had an opportunity to educate the world about the merits of the Prophet Muhammad and the peacefulness of the religion he had come with," Mr. Assadi wrote. He added, "Muslims know how to lose, better than how to use, opportunities."

To illustrate their points, both editors published selections of the drawings — and for that they were arrested and threatened with prison.

Mr. Momani and Mr. Assadi are among 11 journalists in five countries facing prosecution for printing some of the cartoons. Their cases illustrate another side of this conflict, the intra-Muslim side, in what has typically been defined as a struggle between Islam and the West. . . .

"I keep hearing, 'Why are liberals silent?' " said Said al-Ashmawy, an Egyptian judge and author of books on political Islam. "How can we write? Who is going to protect me? Who is going to publish for me in the first place? With the Islamization of the society, the list of taboos has been increasing daily. You should not write about religion. You should not write about politics or women. Then what is left?"

Josh_Jasper (mail):
I expect a Fatwa demanding Jihad Momani's death any day now.
2.22.2006 9:01am
Defending the Indefensible:
I still think this whole issue is rather provocateurish.
2.22.2006 9:04am
Matt L. (mail):
Since the VC has become the all-cartoons-all-the-time channel, I'd be interested to see the conspirators' take on the David Irving situation.
2.22.2006 10:16am
BruceM (mail) (www):
It would truly be ironic if islam starts to be spread through political correctness rather than by the sword.
2.22.2006 10:22am
Lawrence F. Gambino (mail):
I have been struck by the lack of outrage from the west regarding these prosecutions and by the failure in the west to observe that those cartoons which had any substance were directed at the use of Islam to justify violence against civilians.
2.22.2006 10:48am
anon) (mail):
Prof., You should not quote the NYT, because they are liberal, and people will think that you are liberal, too.
2.22.2006 11:04am
James Lindgren (mail):
Matt,



1. The cartoon story and the Olympics are the biggest stories in the world right now, and the VC doesn't do much sports. So it would be natural for us to continue to post on the cartoons--and I expect we will. The recent trends in readership suggest that our current mix of topics is working OK. When there is a big story that falls within our collective interests, you might get substantial VC coverage, which of course some readers will tire of quickly. But our readership pattern has been that we get a jump in regular readers when we cover a big story with multiple posts. After the increase, we usually settle down to a new, but higher plateau.



2. I can't speak for other VCers on David Irving, but I can give you my off-the-cuff opinion. I haven't kept up on the David Irving case in the last two years. But until about 2 years ago, I did follow the case in the press and some of the public discussions of some of the book-length accounts of it. As I understood it, Irving sued Deborah Lipstadt for defamation because he was called a holocaust denier, and the British court found for Lipstadt. From what I read, the judgment seemed to make sense since he was at least a serious holocaust minimizer. Have there been more recent developments that I should know about? [UPDATE: Oh, I see what you are talking about. I'll post on it.--JL]



If you are asking the larger question whether holocaust denial should be a crime, I don't think it--or flag burning--should be crminal. I have thought this for at least two decades, but the cartoon riots have confirmed and strengthened this opinion. I think the furor over the cartoons shows why: the Imams are right to point to the inconsistency in European treatment between holocaust denial and blasphemy against Mohammed.



Actually, I've been thinking about writing a post on what we should learn from this furor over the cartoons. The disutility of flag-burning and holocaust denial statutes is just one of those things. Others include: no one has a right not to be offended.
2.22.2006 11:11am
Joshua:
Lawrence F. Gambino wrote:
I have been struck by the lack of outrage from the west regarding these prosecutions and by the failure in the west to observe that those cartoons which had any substance were directed at the use of Islam to justify violence against civilians.
At least as far as the mainstream media is concerned, the explanation for that is simple: None of this can be blamed on the Bush administration.

On the other hand, one of the commentors to this thread on Captain's Quarters suspects even more sinister motives on the MSM's part:
What these news people fear more than anything now - is playing any part in events that don't support their world view. They fear that publishing those cartoons would hasten the day when everyone is forced to take a stand, the day when forces are aligned and the true nature of the conflict becomes clear to everyone. It is this crystalization of the struggle that will consign their icons of multiculturalism and political correctness to the ash heap. Forgotten in a clash of civilizations that requires sterner stuff to survive. When the majority of the American people come to see this war as a clash of civilizations, them versus us - then all the underpinings of the left's world view will be tossed aside in a heartbeat, with no prospect of rebuilding those structures anytime soon. That is what those who run our MSM fear more than anything.
2.22.2006 11:17am
James Lindgren (mail):
Matt,

I see the new Irving conviction and will post on it ASAP.

Thanks,

Jim L.
2.22.2006 11:42am
Matt L. (mail):
I don't object to the cartoon coverage, but I would have thought that the David Irving situation might be of at least of some interest given the VC's strongly pro-free-speech position on the cartoon controversy. David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison by an Austrian court this week for denying the Holocaust; it got some coverage in the press but obviously not at the level of the cartoons.
2.22.2006 11:45am
Matt L. (mail):
Ah, our posts crossed. Just to be clear, I wasn't really posting to be critical; I'm just interested in hearing your reactions.
2.22.2006 11:46am
James Lindgren (mail):
Matt,

Thanks.

Jim L.
2.22.2006 12:05pm