Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cartoon Rage - publish and be fired!

The list of journalists getting fired and/or arrested for offending the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is growing.

Latest to go is Acton Gray, the editor who chose to publish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in the University of Illinois' student newspaper last month.

He joins an illustrious list including -

Jacques Lefranc was dismissed by the (Egyptian) owner of France Soir for publishing the cartoons.

Jihad Momani, editor of Jordanian weekly newspaper, Shiham, was fired and arrested for publishing the cartoons, which violates Jordan’s press law forbidding insults against religion.

Jussi Vilkuna, editor of Kaltio, a small Finnish culture magazine, was fired for publishing the cartoons following the decision of Tapiola, Sampo and Pohjola to withdraw their advertisements from the Kaltio website.

Alok Tomar, editor of Indian magazine Shabdarth, had to pay 50,000 rupees (943 euros) and provide a personal surety following arrest on 23 February after publishing one of the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

David Da Silva, editor of the Christian magazine Gloria, in Java, has been dismissed for reprinting the cartoons. Da Silva was interviewed by local police.

Abdel Halim Akram Sabra, editor of the independent Yemen weekly Al-Hurriya, journalist Yahya Al Aabed and editor of the Yemen Observer Mohammed Al Asaadi were arrested on Feb 10th for publishing the cartoons.

Anna Smirnova, editor of the small local newspaper in Volodga, north-east of Moscow was arrested by police after producing a special issue on the cartoons. Smirnova faces criminal charges for “incitement to hatred or religious hostility” and could go to prison for up to six years for inciting hatred.

Alexei Korol, editor of the opposition weekly, Zhoda, may face up to five years in prison for "incitement to religious hatred" after being arrested following publication of the cartoons. KGB secret police searched the paper’s premises on 22 February and seized four computers. Korol and his deputy, Alexander Sdvizhkov, were interrogated at KGB offices for several hours.

Flemming Rose, commissioning editor at the Jyllands-Posten (the one that kicked it all off) has been sent on "indefinite leave" due to his "errors of judgement". He had indicated that he might publish smoe of the Iranian Holocause cartoons.

Suzette Sands, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, was recently sacked after a mysterious anti-Islamic article was posted and then withdrawn from the Telegraph's online site. The two may not necessarily be connected but follows closely on the heels of the Telegraph's decision to drop Mark Steyn - a known anti-Islamist.