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9th May

  An insult to free speech...

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A Dutchman protests about racial insult by insulting the royal family. Dutch people then take it as an insult to free speech when the protester is prosecuted
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black pete Abulkasim al-Jaberi was arrested in November when television cameras showed him spouting a stream of profanity aimed at the king, Queen Maxima and the royal house. Bizarrely he had been protesting about what he perceived was an insult. In particularly he felt that the Dutch Black Pete historical children's figure, was a racist insult.

Al-Jaberi, a long time critic of the black-faced sidekick that appears at the traditional gift-giving festival of Saint Nicholas, was handed a 500-euro fine which he refused to pay.

Prosecutors then said that he would face trial based on a lese-majeste or injured monarch law harking back to 1881, which makes deliberately insulting the king or royal house punishable with a prison sentence of up to five years or a 20,000-euro fine.

This decision to prosecute him for insulting King Willem-Alexander has sparked 'outrage' in liberal-minded Netherlands and prompted prosecutors to re-evaluate the case based on a century-old law.

An unknown person spray-painted Al-Jaberi's words on the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, while Twitter saw a stream of similar expletives being tweeted. Online, in newspapers and even in parliament many denounced the lese-majeste law as archaic and hardly in tune with modern-day rights.

Prosecutors announced this week that they were withdrawing the summons for Al-Jaberi's appearance in an Amsterdam court on May 27 for further investigation , but the charge itself has not been dropped. Prosecutors pulled the summons after Al-Jaberi's lawyer filed an objection amid an public avalanche of outrage.

Amsterdam Prosecutor's Office representative Willem Nijkerk explained: I was surprised by the emotional reaction. We didn't see this coming.

 

18th April

 Update: Religious Music Censors...

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Malaysia establishes impossibly moralistic censorship rules for concerts and stage shows by visiting foreign performers
Link Here  full story: Pop Stars in Malaysia...Malaysia not much into the world of pop stars
jakim logo Islamic authorities have set new censorship rules for stage shows and music concerts by foreign personalities.

The new rules set out what kind of personality is required, what kind of artistes may perform, the kind of jokes to be allowed, and forbids extreme laughter or being facetious about serious and mournful matters.

An artiste should have a noble personality and be of good morals, and be dressed decently, covering their aurat.  Men and women are now not allowed to interact on stage.

Performances, songs, events and music videos must not insult religious sensitivities, the country and any racial group. Symbolism that went against Islamic teachings and faith was forbidden. Jokes should be sparing, and "toe the line".

Only virtues such as "goodness and pure values , and repentance should be promoted in song lyrics, with music that was positive, bringing peace, and not evoking negative emotions that contradict Islamic teachings.

The rules were relased by Jakim, the federal Islamic affairs department, which has religious authority in the Federal Territories. The new rules were approved by a national fatwa convention in February.

They are not binding in law but federal Islamic affairs minister Jamil Khir Baharom had previously said that approving authorities were advised to ask event organisers to abide by Jakim's rules.

 

10th April

  An insult to free speech...

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Turkish journalists prosecuted for publishing images of Charlie hebdo
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cumhuriyet newspaper logo Two Turkish journalists have been charged with inciting public hatred and insulting people's religious values , after publishing the cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that depicted the religious character Mohammed.

The two columnists, Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, work for the pro-secular Cumhuriyet newspaper which published a selection of Hebdo's images shortly after the magazine was attacked by muslim terrorists.

Although Cumhuriyet did not publish the image of Mohammed, Karan and Cetinkaya included pictures of the magazineit in their columns, prompting prosecutors to launch an investigation after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his government would not allow insults to our Prophet .

Karan told Reuters:

We are being threatened with prison for defending free speech. To threaten a journalist because he or she printed a drawing that does not include an insult can only come from a religious, authoritarian government. Neither of us will abandon our defence of free speech.