“Unfortunately, Muslims in the West must live with the local laws on freedom of expression.” But for how long?
A Bangladeshi cartoonist has been detained for drawing a caricature offensive to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Bangladesh witnessed mass protests after the publication of an anti-Islamic caricature by cartoonist Arifur Rahman.
The offensive cartoon, published in the 431st issue of Alpin, a weekly supplement of Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo, led to a one-month jail sentence to Rahman after the Bangladeshi Home Affairs Minister ruled that his drawings hurt Muslims” feelings.
Islam was introduced to Bangladesh in the twelfth century by Sufi missionaries, and subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread the noble faith. Even though religion is practiced in a moderate manner in Bangladesh, the government bans any insult to Islam.
According to the BBC, the cartoon featured a conversation between a cleric and a child and ended with a joke about Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) name.
The head of clerics of Dhaka’s main mosques filed complaints against the cartoonist who was arrested from his residence last Tuesday and handed over to the Tejgaon police station.
Rahman violated Section 54 code of criminal procedure and under such emergency laws; the government has the authority to detain people without charge if they are deemed to threaten national security.
Meanwhile, Prothom Alo published an apology on its front page for the “unfortunate publication”, withdrew the copies of that issue from the market and fired the cartoonist.
However, many in Bangladesh did not view such measures as enough and demanded that the newspaper be shut down….
Muslims might be a little relieved that those who offend their religion get punished in some countries as this is not the first time that involves the publication of anti-Islamic cartoons….
Western media often claims that such offensive cartoons shouldn’t anger Muslims and that their publication do not violate the laws of “freedom of expression”.
Unfortunately, Muslims in the West must live with the local laws on freedom of expression, Ibrahim el-Zayat, of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, told the BBC….
“Magazine banned for ‘Mohammad cat’ cartoon,” from Reuters (thanks to JE):
BANGLADESH has suspended publication of a magazine after a cartoon it published this week triggered protests by Muslims who said it was offensive to the devout.
The suspension of publication of the Alpin, the weekly satire magazine of leading Bengali daily Prothom Alo, was ordered as some Muslim groups called for a street protest after Friday noon prayers, and a march towards the Prophom Alo office.
The daily has apologised for the cartoon in which a small boy referred to his cat as “Mohammad cat”.
The protesters said it was a deliberate attempt by the cartoonist to ridicule Islam’s Prophet Mohammad….
Police said that to avert any violence over the cartoon they would strictly enforce emergency laws banning protests and rallies.
“We shall impose a tight watch around Dhaka’s Baitul Mokarram mosque from where the protesters would likely start their march,” said a police officer.
Police have also deployed outside the daily’s office.
Prothom Alo published a third apology toay and appealed to all to take the printing of the cartoon as a mistake.
On Wednesday police broke up a street march by hundreds of Islamists in Dhaka, demanding “death to the Prothom Alo editor” and “hang the cartoonist”.
A government statement on Thursday said: “The magazine in its 431st issue has hurt the sentiment of devoted Muslims” and risked upsetting law and order….