Comment at end
9th March 2010
In case you needed more persuasion that there are a few little differences in the way secular democracy and Islamist fundamentalism deals with those who take “liberties”, read on. And see the cartoon at the end of this post.
Only three terrorism reports here today –
1. Muslims Arrested Over Cartoonist Murder Plot
3:32pm UK, Tuesday March 09, 2010
Steve Davies, Sky News Online
Seven Muslims have been arrested in Ireland over an alleged plot to kill a cartoonist who depicted the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.
Four men and three women were detained following a cross-agency investigation, involving European security organisations, the CIA and FBI.
Some of those arrested are believed to be Irish citizens, with the rest originating from the Middle East.
The suspects are aged between mid-20s and late 40s.
The arrests were made at around 10am by Garda Officers, supported by the National Support Services and the anti-terror Special Detective Unit.
Al Qaeda put a $100,000 price on Lars Vilks’ head after his cartoon was published in a newspaper in 2007.
When the bounty was offered on the cartoonist’s head, an extra 50% was offered if he was “slaughtered like a lamb”.
The people arrested over the plot are not believed to be part of the terror organisation.
Despite living in an isolated part of Sweden, Vilks was given police protection when the threats were made on his life.
$50,000 was also put up for the murder of the editor of Nerikes Allehanda, the local paper which printed the cartoon.
At the time the pictures were published protests were sparked all over the world, including in the Swedish town of Orebro, where the paper is based.
The Swedish Prime Minister was even forced to hold talks with ambassadors from 22 Muslim countries to ease tensions over the drawings.
Isn’t this “slaughter like a lamb” business insulting to vegetarians? Well? Isn’t it!?! Come on veggies, up in arms.
See Wikipedia entry on this with – wait for it – the actual cartoon –
And in Turkey today – the sort of , more-or-less, almost but not quite secularish EU member state?
Michael Dickinson walked smiling from the Kadikoy district court, a free man, but not completely off the hook.
The judge ruled that the British artist had crossed the line with his cartoon, superimposing the head of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on the body of a dog, and found him guilty of insulting Mr Erdogan’s “dignity and honour”.
The judge sentenced him to 425 days in prison, the first time anyone has been jailed for criticising the prime minister.
But the sentence was immediately commuted to a fine of about £3,000. Mr Dickinson, who is going to remain in Turkey says – “But at least in Britain I could make satirical pictures of Gordon Brown and not go to jail.”
WHAT? You’d only get to stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure if you promise to draw such pictures. You’ve been away too long Mr D.
2. Meanwhile, yesterday in Belgium –
‘Four of the men, who had all arrived from Pakistan on student visas, are now appealing against a government decision to deport them on national security grounds.’
British court? Worry not, dear civil righters. Like as not these four will be wandering freely among us in the next few weeks.
4. At least ONE country knows how to round ’em up and slap ’em in jail (some from HuT, still legal in Britain)
Tajikistan’s top court on Wednesday sentenced 56 followers of Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), a radical Muslim group, for extremist activities in the Central Asian state.
“Twenty-three defendants were given jail terms of between 3 and 6 years, while the remaining 33 individuals were fined between [$8,000 and $16,000],” a court spokesman said.
The members of the group were arrested in a mosque in Dushanbe in December 2009. The trial began several weeks later. It was held behind closed doors at a Dushanbe pretrial center.
Tajik authorities often jail and sentence members from TJ, as well as from Hizb-ut-Tahrir, both of which are banned in the country.
TJ is a transnational movement whose official aim is a spiritual revival of Muslims. Members of the group say they inspire people to refrain from sin and follow the true path of Islam.
TJ was founded in 1926 as an independent movement in India. The group began its expansion in 1946, and within two decades has spread its activities to Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Concerns about TJ role have risen after 9/11 attacks on the United States. TJ was outlawed as an extremist group in Tajikistan in 2006.
TJ gained international media attention when it announced plans of building the largest mosque in Europe in Dewsbury, Britain.