Friday, April 06, 2012

Tunisians to serve 7 years for posting prophet cartoons

TUNIS (Reuters) - Two young Tunisians have been sentenced to seven years in prison for posting cartoons of the prophet Mohammad on Facebook, in a case that has fueled allegations the country's new Islamist leaders are gagging free speech.

The two men had posted depictions of the prophet naked on the social networking site, the justice ministry said, inflaming sensitivities in a country where Muslim values have taken on a bigger role since a revolution last year.

"They were sentenced ... to seven years in prison for violation of morality, and disturbing public order," said Chokri Nefti, a justice ministry spokesman.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mohammed Image Archive

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
Don't seem to be lightening up much in Tunisia, do they?
Wonder it there'll be protests on the streets in Tunis sufficient to get these sentences reduced to something a little less nuts?  I'll not be holding my breath on that one.

Anonymous said...

@ Zeyad.

From the horse's mouth:

"Ismail Zayer, an Iraqi newspaper editor and pro-government commentator, said he didn't agree with everything the prime minister was doing, but justified such tough measures as serving a national rather than sectarian agenda: to prevent Iraq from fragmenting in the aftermath of a devastating U.S.-led military occupation.
"If there's anyone who divided Iraq into Sunnis and Shiites, it was the Americans," Zayer argued. "What did they do in Korea? Two Koreas. Vietnam? Two Vietnams."

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/04/05/144332/iraq-unstable-sectarian-with-signs.html#storylink=cpy

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

   
It would appear that Iraqi newspaper editors and pro-government commentators need some history lessons.

Korea was conquered by the Japanese in the early 1900s and then invaded by the Soviet Union, which declared war on Japan on 8 August 1945 (two days after the United States had nuked Hiroshima) and invaded Manchuria.  We nuked Nasasaki the next day, the 9th, and the Japanese announced their unconditional surrender on 14 August 1945.
Four days later, 18 August 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Korea with the intention of taking the entire peninsula, but but they'd outrun their supply lines across Manchuria, and the only troops they could get in there were what they could move over from the Kuril Islands (which they'd likewise seized from Japan in the meantime).  All the land they could grab later became North Korea.  That is how Korea became divided.
Blame goes to the Soviets, not to us.

The division of Vietnam was made in 1954 at the behest of the Chinese (who wanted a weak Vietnam on account of long simmering disputes between the two peoples).  The Vietnamese had been fighting the Colonial French pretty much straight on since the end of WWII.  The French wanted their Vietnamese colony back but the Vietnamese didn't want the French back.  The Chinese managed to convince everybody to accept a division of Vietnam, which was good for the Chinese, to their way of thinking, because it keep the Vietnamese weakened as a local power.
Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Mihn) had not gave up his goal of ruling all of Vietnam.  But, he was needing a breather, and getting the north gave him a bit of a breather and a secure base from which to continue attacks against the new South Vietnamese government, more or less at his leisure.
Blame goes the the French, the Chinese and Uncle Ho for that one.

MoXVIII said...

Come at me bro

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Anonymous,

Perhaps the legend of the black stone is something that people should revisit. It seems to be a good lesson to me.

For some reason I rather liked the picture of the angel with the red, white and blue wings. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Happy Easter everyone!

Petes said...

Apropos Bruno's comical RT article about oil companies getting paid for Iraqi infrastructure they didn't create, I see quite the opposite in West Qurna ... Exxon still hasn't been paid for $910m it DID spend on infrastruture last year under a services contract. The Baghdad government has just agreed to repay half of it in oil because cash payments are so held up by bureaucratic red tape.

Marcus said...

7 years prison for posting cartoons on facebook. Shameful.

Seems to me the kids started the revolution but the beards hijacked it in the democratic process.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "…but the beards hijacked it in the democratic
      process.


I think ‘the beards’ just got more votes.  Not to put too fine a point on it but, that is the democratic process.

Marcus said...

Yeah yeah, I know. It sucks when people use their democratic vote in such a way though. Voting in Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood "moderates". When did they become "moderate" all of a sudden by the way?

Petes said...

More on Iraqi oil -- Statoil has completed the sale of its 18.75% stake in West Qurna Phase II to the other main contractor, Lukoil, leaving the Russians with a 75% stake ( - the Iraqi government owns the other 25%). Seems like Statoil didn't like the security situation.

Exxon and Shell continue to develop West Qurna Phase I, which will require a $25b investment and another $25b in operating costs over the next six years. (To put the scale of this in perspective, the $50b total represents about six months of the planned output just from West Qurna at current oil prices -- Iraq will be rolling in money if this comes to pass). Exxon has pissed Baghdad off, though, by bidding for six contracts with the KRG.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "When did they become "moderate" all of a sudden
      by the way?
"

As best I can tell, not shouting ‘Death to America’ in public at regular intervals is pretty much all that's required to be deemed a ‘moderate’ in Middle East Muslim societies.

Marcus said...

I've seen some video of some egyptian Muslim Brotherhoodd bigshot, it went sort of like this:

"...and the muslims will kill the jews and the jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, and then the stones and the trees will call out "oh muslim, there is a jew hiding behind me, come and kill it"..." Etc.

He didn't seem moderate at all to me.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "He didn't seem moderate at all to me."

Well, it's a relative thing; grading is done on the curve.

Petes said...

"...and then the stones and the trees will call out "oh muslim, there is a jew hiding behind me, come and kill it"?

Appears in several hadiths, a.f.a.i.k

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
More re:  American politics

Rick Santorum has dropped out of the running for the Republican nomination, officially ‘suspending’ his campaign as of this afternoon..

Bridget said...

"It sucks when people use their democratic vote in such a way though"

Unfortunately, using their democratic vote in such a way seems to be endemic in the region. Israel and, to a lesser extent, Lebanon and Iraq, excepted.

Bridget said...

"Rick Santorum has dropped out of the running for the Republican nomination, officially ‘suspending’ his campaign as of this afternoon.."

If Gingrich will just get it over with and get out too, we can get back to my plan of voting for Ron Paul in order to deliver a message to Romney. Don't want Santorum and Gingrich in the water muddying up my message.

Marcus said...

@Pete

"Appears in several hadiths, a.f.a.i.k"

In your opinion should those verses then be considered part of Islams teachings? And if so, aren't muslims actually supposed to believe in them if they wish to be true muslims?

I mean, a.f.a.i.k the hadiths are supposed to be based on the words and actions of Muhammed - who in Islam cannot be questioned (apparently he cannot even be portrayed so imagine what a crime questioning his teachings must be). So how could a true muslim question that killing jews is a holy task for muslims, if Muhammed himself says so? Ore are the hadiths wrong?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "…we can get back to my plan of voting for Ron
      Paul in order to deliver a message to Romney.
"

I suspect that your message may to Romney be a little less than clear.  I recall you were going to ‘hold your nose’ and vote for Romney in the general election.  But that seemed to pretty much rest on the notion that Romney was not Obama. 
Not much chance Romney needs a message to continue not being Obama.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "…we can get back to my plan of voting for Ron
      Paul in order to deliver a message to Romney.
"

I suspect that your message may to Romney be a little less than clear.  I recall you were going to ‘hold your nose’ and vote for Romney in the general election.  But that seemed to pretty much rest on the notion that Romney was not Obama. 
Not much chance Romney needs a message to continue not being Obama.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
Oddly, as if Romney hasn't already tied himself tightly enough to his right-wing, he's now anticipating asking Santorum to campaign with him.  (He'll probably pass on asking Ron Paul though.)

Um Ayad said...

Princess Basma Bint Saud Bin Abdulaziz tells the BBC there are many changes she would like to see in Saudi Arabia.....

Aside from that, the focus in most of our educational system is on religious subjects such as hadith (sayings attributed to the prophet), Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), tafssir (interpretation of the Koran) and of course the Koran. The attitude is that "learning itself, anything other than religion won't get you into heaven so don't waste your time". I would like to see religious teaching limited to the Koran and the Sunna (the way the prophet lived), where the true ethics of Islam lie. The rest is blind rote learning of the most dangerous kind. It has left our youth vulnerable to fundamentalist ideologies that have led to terrorism and abuse of the true meaning of the Koran.

Instead of wasting our youths' intellect on memorising quotations whose origins is uncertain (such as those found in hadith, Fiqh and tafssir) we need to encourage them to think freely, innovate and use their initiative for the betterment of our society. Early Islam was a time of great creativity. Scholars excelled in sciences and literature. Our religion should not be a shield behind which we hide from the world but a driving force that inspires us to innovate and contribute to our surroundings. This is the true spirit of Islam.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17446831

Petes said...

[Marcus]: "In your opinion should those verses then be considered part of Islams teachings? And if so, aren't muslims actually supposed to believe in them if they wish to be true muslims? ... So how could a true muslim question that killing jews is a holy task for muslims, if Muhammed himself says so? Or are are the hadiths wrong?"

I don't think all the ahadith have the same status. When they came to be systematised in the early centuries of Islam there was a big collection of them, some of them mutually contradictory. Only a subset of them are "Hadith Qudsi" (Sacred Hadiths). In general, the ahadith come with commentaries on their provenance, and the various schools of jurisprudence take it on themselves to judge their proper interpretation. The Hadith Qudsi are the word of God (although expressed in Muhammed's words, whereas the Quran is God's word expressed in his own words). Other hadiths may have a lesser claim to fame. And of course, there isn't a single agrees upon set of hadiths by all the jurisprudential schools. Sunnis and Shia differ on them, for instance.

In short, no, I don't believe all Muslims are required to believe that killing Jews is a holy task. But obviously, more than a few of them do.

Petes said...

agrees = agreed
(The preview basically doesn't work with IE9 on Windows 7).

Bruno said...

Iraqis are geniuses:

"Wissam Mohammed Kazem took off in south Iraq in a homemade plane, but his love of aviation ultimately landed him in jail for making the aircraft without approval.

Another Iraqi ended up in trouble 30 years ago over a homemade helicopter, indicating that then, as now, it is not in one's interest to make and pilot flying machines at home here.

Kazem said his plane cost him about 1.2 million Iraqi dinars (about $1,000) to build, and, as it turned out, another one million dinars (about $850) in bail money.

The generator repairman from Rumaitha, near Samawa south of Baghdad, said he constructed the small engine-powered aircraft out of metal pipes, aluminum sheets, wood and fabric over seven months.

It does not have any instruments.

"Police detained me for four hours the first time my aircraft flew," the 25-year-old said by telephone, adding the flight lasted for about two minutes.

"They confiscated my airplane according to an order from the judiciary" for "making it without official approval," he said."

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51683

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

"They confiscated my airplane according to an order from the judiciary" for "making it without official approval," he said."

And why, pray tell, would he need judicial approval...now? I can see where Saddam might have enacted such a law, but what is the point now?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

And interesting article in Newsweek:

Forget the Church Follow Jesus by Andrew Sullivan.

A small excerpt:

Politicized Faith

Whether or not you believe, as I do, in Jesus’ divinity and resurrection—and in the importance of celebrating both on Easter Sunday—Jefferson’s point is crucially important. Because it was Jesus’ point. What does it matter how strictly you proclaim your belief in various doctrines if you do not live as these doctrines demand? What is politics if not a dangerous temptation toward controlling others rather than reforming oneself? If we return to what Jesus actually asked us to do and to be—rather than the unknowable intricacies of what we believe he was—he actually emerges more powerfully and more purely.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

And = An

*sigh*

Bruno said...

I suspect that things haven't changed much in Iraq, Lynnette. Yet more reason why the invasion was such a misguided venture.

Petes said...

Catch a grip! You would certainly be detained anywhere in Europe for flying an unlicensed, let alone home built, aircraft.

Marcus said...

Backtracking

@Lee

Me: "When did they [Muslim Brotherhood] become "moderate" all of a sudden by the way?"

Lee: "As best I can tell, not shouting ‘Death to America’ in public at regular intervals is pretty much all that's required to be deemed a ‘moderate’ in Middle East Muslim societies."

I can see that that may be the case, in many of those societies. But I was wondering why the Brotherhood is called a "moderate Islamic party" in western mainstream press. That has been the usual description, the Salafists are called Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood a "moderate Islamic party". It seems to me that the cheering on of the arab spring has made many journalists willfully blind to some possible negative outcomes of these developments.

Petes said...

One of the hazards of inexperienced pilots -- even if licensed and flying a certified aircraft:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/mystery-explosion-heard-across-midlands-182338273.html

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "But I was wondering why the Brotherhood is
      called a ‘moderate Islamic party’ in western main-
      stream press.
"

Perhaps that's more common in Europe than over here.
There were some, of course, and then I saw some more speculating that perhaps, if we were lucky, The Brotherhood might prove to be more moderate in governance than was their reputation.  (Theory being that moderates and semi-moderates might be drawn into The Brotherhood as the only real game in town aside from ‘The Establishment’.)
You should remember that the reason Europe had to draw us in to Libya was largely because we didn't know who was doin’ the uprising.  And The Brotherhood kept an extremely low profile during the Egyptian uprising, came late to the protests and fully coming out only after the regime had collapsed; if they'd been out front, the Obama administration would likely have been slower to come in on the side of the protesters.  As it was, many Republicans took Obama to task for ‘abandoning’ Mubarak.  And we're not real eager to jump into Syria either, although the Assad regime is considered an open enemy.  (Or, at the very least, an hostile.)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[PeteS] Catch a grip! You would certainly be detained anywhere in Europe for flying an unlicensed, let alone home built, aircraft.

It seemed that he was detained for not getting approval to make the plane. If all that was required was getting some kind of building permit, why detain him? A fine would suffice. I can see why there might be safety issues with a homemade plane, but then there should be some kind of preflight safety check, I would assume.

A small aside, my Uncle built his own plane in his garage. He and some friends flew it down to Oklahoma and it used to be in an aeronautical museum down there. Don't know if it still is. He had kids from the local high school over who watched the building process. That was quite a few years ago though. Kind of before I was around. :)

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
Post Script:

I think, in the end, it all just boils down to the fact that a slogan package prominently including 'Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, is just less likely to be considered ‘moderate’ here in America.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hmmm...I suppose, though, any unidetified flying object would be suspicious when taken in conjunction with terrorist issues. So I can see where the Iraqis would be concerned and may detain someone. In that situation we probably would too. So, I have just argued myself out of my original position.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

{Marcus} But I was wondering why the Brotherhood is called a "moderate Islamic party" in western mainstream press.

Desperately grasping at straws.

Marcus said...

@Lee

Lee "Perhaps that's [Muslim Brotherhood depicted as moderates] more common in Europe than over here."

Correct, it has been. But I've read the same in for instance the NYT so it's not entirely a European thing. But you're still right, in Sweden for instance they've been written about as on par with the Turkish government party AKP, which could actually be said to be just that - an islamic moderate political party. I have no such illusions about the Muslim Brotherhood myself. And I do think it's the giddyness of the evil [US sponsored, as they are often referred as] dictators being taken down by revolution that makes journalists blind to what these new powers actually stand for.

Lee: "Theory being that moderates and semi-moderates might be drawn into The Brotherhood as the only real game in town aside from ‘The Establishment’"

Another, or a related, theory is that they may now that they are forced to govern and not just oppose the "establishment" become more pragmatic. That they will realise that if they wish to keep the popular vote they will also have to better peoples lives. That means trying to improve the economy. Which cannot easily be done by restricting women to their homes or to walking the streets in black drab, or to scare off any remaining or future tourists by eliminating all of the "haram" stuff that comes with a tourist industry. The theory is that they may have to force themselves to become more moderate in time even though that's not who they really are, or where they came from. We'll see. I am sceptical. They mmay just as well do away with any real democracy once the real power sits with them, and Egypt will have a theocratic dictatorship instead of just a plain old dictatorship.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "I do think it's the giddyness of the evil [US
      sponsored, as they are often referred as] dictators
      being taken down by revolution that makes journalists
      blind to what these new powers actually stand for.
"

For several decades we were presented with something of a Hobson's choice.  Either we could ‘sponsor’ the dictators, (some of them anyway) or we could stand back and watch as the region was entirely taken over by Soviet sponsored dictators.  Sponsoring an evolving 'democratic’ society wasn't a real option.  The locals simply weren't used to the idea of consensual, representative government.  Wasn't gonna happen.
Soviet sponsorship evaporated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and what remained was a group of dictators either who were either ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ American, depending on whether or not we'd gotten them on our side or not during the Cold War.
It's taking a little while to rearrange our relationship to the governments and the people in the region.  I think we're well on our way though.
In the meantime, our erstwhile European allies immediately forgot that they were fully onboard with our sponsorship of ‘friendly’ Arab dictators whilst the Soviets still constituted a threat to Europe.  Suddenly ya'll were all idealistic and moral and above that sort of thing and always had been.
That may change again, and rapidly, if an aggressive Islamist government arises in Egypt, just short boat ride from southern Europe.  Then we'll be hearing crap ‘bout how stupid and shortsighted we were to ‘abandon’ Mubarak and how we let our European allies down.

Petes said...

I'd worry more about an Islamist government in Turkey which is actually (partly) in Europe and a potential member of the European Union.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
      "Turkey…a potential member of the European
      Union.
"

Be that as it may, much less likely Europe will figure out a way to blame us for an aggressively Islamist Turkey.

synik said...

Seems everyone has forgotten this guy

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
Obviously, The Brotherhood hasn't forgotten him.  Not content to vote against him, they've taken to the streets with demands that he not be allowed to run.  (That's what's gotten Egypt back on the national nightly news in America here lately.)

synik said...

And of course the American administration had an orgasm when they heard he was going to run

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
Not so's you'd notice over here. 
I suspect this is a figment a too fertile Egyptian imagination.  (Personally, I see no advantage to my country from you guys getting an ex-spy chief from the Mubarak administration as your next president--might as well have kept Mubarak, and we didn't try to help him hang on.)
I further suspect you'll not be dissuaded from your opinion on the subject.
On the brighter side, you now have the chance to make your opinion count, or, at least, get counted.  Be sure to vote.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

     
Typo correction

      "…a figment of figment a too fertile
      Egyptian imagination.
"

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

 
Correction of the correction:

      "…a figment of a too fertile Egyptian
      imagination.
"

Surely I got it right that time.

Petes said...

"Be that as it may, much less likely Europe will figure out a way to blame us for an aggressively Islamist Turkey."

Contrary to xenophobic opinion, Europe occasionally worries about stuff other than how to blame America for shit.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

   
      "Europe occasionally worries about stuff other
      than how to blame America for shit.
"

And, I'm sure that the ‘other stuff’ is all very interesting, and no doubt these ‘other stuff’ subjects will come up in due course.  But, for the time being, Marcus had mentioned that:

      "… it's the giddyness of the evil [US sponsored,
      as they are often referred as] dictators being taken
      down…
"

And I was kinda followin’ up on that.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

   
      "Europe occasionally worries about stuff other
      than how to blame America for shit.
"

And, I'm sure that the ‘other stuff’ is all very interesting, and no doubt these ‘other stuff’ subjects will come up in due course.  But, for the time being, Marcus had mentioned that:

      "… it's the giddyness of the evil [US sponsored,
      as they are often referred as] dictators being taken
      down…
"

And I was kinda followin’ up on that.

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