Grab your riot gear
Arifur Rahman was imprisoned for the cartoon above, in which the dialogue goes like this:
* Boy, what is your name?
– My name is Babu.
* It is customary to mention Muhammed before the name.
* What is your father’s name?
– Muhammed Abu
* What’s this in your lap?
– Muhammed cat
In any case, absurdly enough he was sentenced to one month in jail for this last September. And now, one month later plus five more, he has been freed.
“Mohammed cat’ cartoonist freed,” from Agence France-Presse (thanks to JE):
A BANGLADESH cartoonist jailed for allegedly insulting Muslims with a reference to the Prophet Mohammed has been released, court and prison officials said today.
Arifur Rahman, 23, was detained last September after the cartoon appeared in a weekly satirical magazine published by the mass-circulated Bengali daily Prothom Alo.
The sketch showed a small boy referring to his cat as “Mohammed cat”, a reference a common practice where people put the name of the prophet before their own name.
Prosecutor Shahidul Haque Bhuiyan said a magistrates’ court in the capital Dhaka ordered that proceedings be dropped after the complainant in the case repeatedly failed to turn up for hearings.
Press freedom body Reporters Without Borders had earlier called for Rahman’s release saying the drawing was a joke about cultural customs.
“The play on words had no intention of attacking the prophet,” the group said.
Oh, that makes it all right.
Come on, Reporters Without Borders. Why not grow some spine? Why not say that imprisoning anyone for drawing a cartoon is ridiculous, if not downright barbaric? Why not point out that Christians and Jews somehow manage to suffer insults to their faith, real or imagined (as this one certainly is imagined), without imprisoning anyone, or rioting, or killing innocent people. And that this doesn’t make them any less pious or devout, it just makes them aware that not everyone in the world shares their convictions, and that no one deserves punishment for not sharing them.
How about saying something like that?