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2006-03-19

The Danish prosecutor has rejected the cartoon suit. He has published his reasoning in Danish and English, and he has attached a separate document in Danish where he dissects the false claim that Islam forbids depicting the prophet.

The latter part is odd. It's true that the blasphemy claims are weakened, when it turns out that the picture-ban is only enforced by some interpretations of Islam, and - as the Mohammed Image Archive shows, Ottoman and Shiite Muslims have no problems with portraying Mohammed. But is the opposite true? Is Danish law in any way dependent on religious dogma? Should the punishment be proportional to the percentage of Muslims - worldwide and historically - who has already broken the picture-ban? Anyway, you can't accuse the prosecutor of not being thorough enough - or can you?

Predictably, the imams from The Danish Islamic Society are not amused. Spokesman Kasem Said Ahmad says (Danish text, my translation).

»The jurists who have assessed the case have not had enough knowledge of Islam and the religious symbols within Islam. This is sloppy work«, says Kasem Said Ahmad.


This is confusing - who's the spokesman du jour? Kasem Said Ahmad or Ahmad Akkari? Well, neither actually. The spokesman for the organisations, who reported Jyllands-Posten to the police, is the 23-year old Asmaa Abdol-Hamid.
Asmaa Abdol-Hamid
She has been all but forgotten for a few months - apparently the bearded imams found it more rewarding to spread their fake Mohammed cartoons in the Middle East, but let's take a look at what Asmaa Abdol-Hamid said to Danish Television 2, October 29 2005 (Danish text, my translation):

11 Muslim organisations are reporting Jyllands-Posten to the police for blasphemy and race discrimination.

The background is that the newspaper September 30 published 12 drawings of the prophet Mohammed, who according to Islam must not be depicted. 23-year old Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, spokesperson for the organisations in the case, says that the police report focuses on the context in which the drawings were published.

We believe it has been the intent of the newspaper to insult and mock, says Asmaa Abdol-Hamid.

She points out that the newspaper's culture editor in the article, which accompanied the drawings, wrote that Muslims in Denmark must be prepared for Insult, Mock and Ridicule.

We probably wouldn't have been so offended if the drawings had been published in another context, explains Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, who expects the court to agree with her.

However legal experts don't believe that the paper is at odds with the law in the case.


The official spokesperson for 11 organisations states, that the problem is not the drawings per se, but the context. According to Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, the organisations wouldn't have been offended over the cartoons - if it hadn't been because Muslims were told to expect insult, mock and ridicule. And then she repeats the age-old misquote of Flemming Rose. But as I have pointed out, this is not what Flemming Rose said - he said the opposite.

So the 11 organisations have originally reported Jyllands-Posten because of a misquote. The prosecutor has then evaluated each and every cartoon to see if it was insulting, mocking and ridiculing. And when the prosecutor acquits Jyllands-Posten, another spokesman instantly calls it "sloppy work", because the prosecutor has "not had enough knowledge of Islam and the religious symbols within Islam".

Speaking of "sloppy work":

Yup, that's sloppy work.

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