Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Back three years ago, in Denmark, some cartoonists got together and drew some cartoons that infuriated a bunch of Arabs. Yes, they kinda took Muhammad and gave hi some character....which really went in a negative way.
So the years have passed....and now...Dutch prosecutors announced today that they will charge an Arab cultural group with a hate crime.
The crime? They made up a cartoon that suggested that the deaths of six million Jews in WW II was fake. This apparently fits under the Dutch hate speech laws.
This is all happening in Utrecht.
The punishment if convicted? Max is a year in jail and the fine could be up to $6,700. If you were going to ask the situation here...it's probably a suspended sentence and mostly a fine. But the case has yet to be heard, and some folks are talking already about a double-standard.
The guys who did the cartoon....admit it was mostly a test of the system. They consider it to be "act of civil disobedience".
Almost all of the European countries have a law or two on denying the holocaust. If you were stupid enough to say anything in public, or especially to get it printed in a book....you just bought yourself a fine of some sort. They simply won't allow you to get away with this.
The curious thing is that you can deny God....you can deny evolution....you can deny we landed on the moon....you can deny bigfoot, aliens, and Loch Nessie....heck, you can even deny Obama was ever born in Hawaii and not even get into trouble. But you ever stand up and suggest that the Nazis only killed half a million Jews...then you start to get into serious legal jeopardy.
In this case, I think the Arabs outplayed the western concept of law. This whole case is based on a cartoon. The minute that people take a cartoon serious....the whole game starts to fall apart.
I went out looking for the cartoon....with almost no European news site putting it. I posted it up above. Obviously, none want any trouble. After you look at the cartoon....it is a political commentary type cartoon. Could I give it any stars? No. Does it compare to the Mohammad cartoons? Well....here I have a long pause. Once you put Jesus or Moses or Mohammad in some cartoon....you tend to cross some special boundary.
So what next? That's my question.
The judge could make an impression here....declare them guilty and then fine the guy 1 Euro ($1.30). That might upset alot of folks....but truth is that we are messing around with laws of the Republic......and taking people to the extreme....over cartoons. Something's not right here.