Crikey reporter Sophie Black writes:
Courier-Mail editor David Fagan
might have copped a bit of flak for his decision to publish one of the Muhammad
cartoons, but at least he’s not being charged with blasphemy.
The weekly Indonesian tabloid Peta ran a cartoon on Monday to accompany their report on the impact of the controversy under the headline Menghina Umat
Islam (Insulting Muslims) but by Tuesday was ordered to withdraw all
3,000 copies from circulation.
The chief of Bekasi Police’s general crime unit said the police
were investigating the paper’s decision to reprint the cartoons. “We
haven’t detained anyone from the tabloid yet, but we’re preparing to
lay charges under Article 157 of the Criminal Code on blasphemy,” he
told The Jakarta Post. Police confiscated the master copy of the front
page and 47 copies left in the newsroom as evidence.
According to the blog Indonesia Matters,
the charge of blasphemy carries a maximum punishment of five years in
jail. The blasphemy law isn’t restricted to defaming Islam but any
recognised religion which in Indonesia covers: Buddhism, Hinduism,
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
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Meanwhile, the Danish paperresponsible for the original caricatures of the
prophet Muhammad has taken up the Holocaust challenge set by Iranian newspaper Hamshari.
Mel Brooks couldn’t have written the script better himself, as The Guardian reports that Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Danish daily Jyllands-Posten,
said he was trying to get in touch with the paper, which plans to run an international competition seeking
cartoons satirising the Holocaust.
“My newspaper is trying to
establish a contact with the Iranian newspaper, and we would run the
cartoons the same day as they publish them,” Mr Rose told CNN.
And unlike his Indonesian counterpart, Rose is defiantly unapologetic
about publishing the 12 cartoons, “I think it is like asking a rape
victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt at a discotheque [on]
Friday night,” he said.