Jordanian weekly ‘Sheehan’ publishes Prophet caricatures

The Jordanian weekly Sheehan has published three of the controversial caricatures (in Arabic) that depict the Prophet Mohammad. Accompanying the cartoons is an editorial from the paper’s editor-in-chief, Jihad al Moumani. You can read the whole story here (in Arabic) but here are some translated portions:

You Muslims of the world, act rational. Who insults Islam more: a foreigner who draws the prophet or a Muslim with an explosive belt killing himself at a wedding in Amman or a anywhere else? … Which act prompts the world to insult Islam and Muslims: cartoons or a real scene of the butchering of a hostage with a sword in front of a camera while accompanied by the chanting of Allah Akbar.

What’s going to happen now? Will people start boycotting Mansaf? Will Jihad Al-Moumani start receiving death threats? Will the government shut this paper down? This is a very bold move that may have grave consequences.

Meanwhile, intense discussions are currently raging over this issue on Mental Mayhem’s newswire. Frankly, I can’t keep track of all the comments at this point. As the discussion has grown it is becoming more heated between those for and against the cartoons. Some are really getting out of line. I’ll need to hire someone full-time just to monitor the debate and comments from both sides of the conflict! There are links to other related stories within these posts, but these are the hot topics receiving the most discussion right now:

UPDATE: As I’d expected, a few hours after the publication of the cartoons in the Jordanian weekly Sheehan, the owners said they had fired their editor and taken the issue off the stands. And, no surprise either, the government is threatening legal action.

UPDATE 2: The publisher of the newspaper Sheehan has made a statement: "The company was shocked that Sheehan republished the insulting caricatures and it strongly condemns such an irresponsible behavior." It vowed "severe measures against people whose implication is proven." The government also came out strongly against newspaper’s decision. "The government believes that the paper committed a grave mistake and demands an apology, while at the same time is considering legal action," said Government Spokesperson Nasser Judeh according to Jordan’s News Agency, Petra. In the mean time, Jihad Moumani apologized, expressing "deep regret" and saying he meant to show people how the cartoons were insulting. More details are available at The Jordan Times.

28 thoughts on “Jordanian weekly ‘Sheehan’ publishes Prophet caricatures”

  1. Very bold indeed … but is it an act of courage that reflects a sincere point of view? Or is it a publicity stunt? But if the majority are against, how can this be for publicity? hmmmm … I wonder what went on in his mind!!

  2. As I commented recently to someone else on a similar subject (well similar in the sense of offense, since it involved someone asking for examples of someone else’s art work, then getting pissed when the only samples he had where erotic drawings). My argument was that while the artist might have been exceptionally stupid, its not certain, short of telling them before hand, that they would a) mind, or b) not be looking for that type in the first place. I also said that when you start arguing that some obscure right exists that says, “I have the right not to be offended by X”, you are on a slippery slope, where the question becomes, “Who decides what is offensive.” If the answer is “everyone”, then everyone would end up offending someone and by law have to be arrested. If its, “That group over there gets to decide”, then does anyone honestly think its going to be liberal people with no bias that makes the judgment based on what “everyone” finds reasonable, and not a fanatic making arbitrary assumptions? Don’t bet on it.
    In the end, we can claim to be able to define right and wrong with respect to vague “offenses”, but the only “right” we truely have is the right to choose to be offended or choose to ignore it. The moment you cross the line into demanding that someone else subscribe to your version you are offending other people by doing so, and maybe they will decide your the one that needs to shut up or go to jail.

  3. Protesters still can not comprehend a free media that is a different entity than the government. The fact that the protesters’ governments have to approve or disapprove an article before publishing and would stick its long nose in every thing the media has to release make them believe it is this way all over the world. Even if the head of state in Denmark sends an apology; that apology would have no meaning. If an apology is due ( ethically, but not legally), then it has to flow down from the publisher/writer to the regular readers who usually read this newspaper and only for those who felt offended, and not for any other who read the article because of the publicity made afterwards by those idiots

  4. I am an advocate of social responsibility theory – one of the theories of communications.
    The media must hold itself socially responsible.

  5. Commenting on Shehan editor’s standpoint, I don’t know why he is mixing things or is it just an excuse to publish the pictures again? What does the incident of the publication of cartoons has to do with the butchering of a hostage with a sword in front of a camera? What is your point?
    Natasha, I think Muslims will be more rational than your expectations. Boycott is still targeting Danish products only!
    I don’t know why you find it hurtful not to see a Christian prime minister in Jordan, and you can’t understand how hurtful was the publication of insulting pictures of the Prophet Mohammad in a country where Muslims constitutes a minority of its nation!
    Do you want also for these pictures to be published in an Islamic country like Jordan under the freedom-of-experssion execuse?

  6. I wonder if the beginning of all this is known in the Middle East. A Danish writer of children’s books was writing a book for children on religion. Maybe it was about Islam or about Muhammad. Maybe Islam was just a chapter in a book about religions, I don’t remember.
    Anyway, since children’s books rarely come without illustrations he tried to find an illustrator. Turned out they were too afraid to make any drawings of Muhammad. This is what prompted the 12 cartoons. One of those is not even a cartoon: it’s just an illustration for a children’s book depicting a man with a turban leading a donkey in a desert. I fail to see what’s so insulting about that.
    If only all this outrage could be directed towards a worthier cause…

  7. The editor should have just made his point without adding the caricatures. Where was his sense of judgment

  8. The paper and cartoonist have received death threats.” Why do followers of the “religion of peace” react in a violent way to every slight,real or imagined?

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 2, 2006 1:46:27 AM

    Good question.

    The question here, who is violent? The Muslims who are under occupation…

    Posted by: MD | Jan 12, 2006 2:23:25 PM

    About now, Muslims are showing themselves to be VERY violent, as for occupation, trust me, everyone in the US wants out troops out of the mideast.

    If you use your brain you will know that Prophet Mohamed is the greatest man.He is the man who tought you human rights. The concept of human rights is much older than Islam, too bad that concept is lacking in application. You are the killer who come to Iraq,Afganstan an palastine to kill the childeren an destroy the houses. You are just thives com to steel oil and our wealth. You’ve been brainwashed. If some muslmes do some bade thinges,that because your crimes to the muslem counteries.

    What ever happened to turning the other cheek? Not in the Quaran? Koran? But Islam is the pease religion.

    Posted by: Mahasen | Jan 22, 2006 1:51:59 AM

    Peace religion!? C’mon!, strapping bombs on women and children and walking them into shopping malls is hardly peaceful behavior. Allah is invoked by the perpetrators of these horrors.

    …it’s kind of silly thing hurting millions of people feelings this way, but the glow of the money might have been much more worthy, despite of all consequences.

    Sissy. Learn to take a joke.

    …give him a big hand jews.

    Posted by: proudly mohammed nouman

    Now I get it, only Muslims have the right to hate.

    What can one say?
    FACTS, HOWEVER HARD, ARE FACTS-HARD, UNREMMITING..
    EVERY PERJORATIVE EXPRESSION OF POST ENLIGHTENMENT LIBERAL THOUGHT SEEMS A TOTAL ANATHEMA TO SO LARGE A % OF THE MUSLIMS THRU’OUT THE WORLD. ANY SLIGHT. REAL OR IMAGINED SEEEMS A PRETEXT TO SLIGHT, AT BEST, OR KILL AND MAIM.

    THE BIGGEST CRIMES AGAINST MUSLIMS IN THE LAST DECADES HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT BY OTHER MUSLIMS. SADDAM HUSSEIN IS BELIEVED TO HAVE KILLED NEARLY A MILLION OF HIS FELLOW MUSLIMS. IN DHARFUR OVER 150,000HAVE BEEN KILLED AND HUNDRED OF THOUSANDS DRIVEN INTO REFUGEE STATUS WITH DIRE POVERTY ,-WELL STRARVATION.

    THE SILENCE FROM THE REST OF THE MUSLIM WORLD IS THUNDERING. WHY?????

    Posted by: andy | Jan 24, 2006 6:15:37 AM

    You may be a psuedo intellectual, but I really can’t argue with you here.

    The silence of Danish government…
    … depicts clearly the start of collapse of the western civilisation which has no room for moral scruples.

    Posted by: Abdelhamid Bouziane

    Wrong. See, the beauty of free speech is to be able to say whatever you want, even if it is unpopular or offensive to some, or all.

    …Regarding why muslims live in the Western countries , this is simply because instead of sufferring low life in their home land they work hard to earn their living amoung forgein communities which will never accept them . So they never blend in western cultures.

    Just about anyone who wears their religion on their sleeve is regarded with suspicion, learn to blend in. I have a Pakistani friend who gets along fine here. He doesn’t wear a turban, his wife wears western clothes, he sells cars for a living and he is well accepted. He is Muslim, in case you were wondering, but he doesn’t stand out like the proverbial “sore thumb”.

    The only way out , is revolting against our dectators , re building our home land , be wealthy & powerfull , thus respected by East & West.

    Posted by: Mohammed Hussein

    Better learn to produce something besides oil and heroin.

    …which will be the main reason for battle between Muslims and others who insulted our prophet that’s because Allah has said “make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.”

    Posted by: moustafa

    Only indoctrinated fanatics would want to resort to violence over something so trifling. Maniac.

    No ONE IS HAVING ANY RIGHT TO INSULT OUR RELIGION BY ANY KIND ESPECIALLY OUR BELOVED PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH)WE WILL SACRIFICE OUR BLOODS LET IT SOUND A WARNING TO ANY EUROPEAN NATIONS. WHO EVER DID THIS WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH IT THE WAY YOU LIKE TO LEAVE WE LIKE DEING JUST REMEBER APOLOGISING WILL NOT SOLVE THIS

    WE HAVE NO HATRED TO ANY KIND OF RELIGION U STUPID U HAVE YOUR RELIGION AND WE HAVE OUR YOU STARTED IT AND WE KNOW HOW TO FINISH

    Posted by: Twalib Haytham BADBESS

    Idiot. Ask yourself this question:

    Where have the concepts of… …tolerance and acceptance gone?

    Posted by: DSH

    Alright, it was getting tedious to pick this thread apart piece by piece.
    But from what I see, there are some very wise men out there, and some real religious fanatic maniacs, plenty of idiots, and more than a few shit-stirrers. Can’t we all just play nice? I really think that all who want to resort to violence over this silly crap, just need to sit down with some of that Afgani Kush and relax.

  9. When is this senseless bickering going to end?Lets have respect for our own ideas and others and instead of retaliating with bitter words and inflamed actions use a more positive means of communication. Let the Muslim world draw their own carictures of Western icons and let us not take ourselves too seriously. We are only here for a short time together, Let’s try to get along!

  10. What makes me believe those are peacful people when a cartoon made them set fire in embassy’s and get so furious ? When people refused to believe in him 1400 years ago , do u think moslems took it lightly? The sword was the answer.

  11. Just to show you how the rest of the non-muslim world is reacting, check this link to a Danish online petition.
    I think that AJ picked this thread apart about as well as it can be.
    When an organized group of ‘religious’ zealots, as part of “righteousness”, beheads those who have been kidnapped, they have ruled by example that words like “normal” and “reasonable” do not apply. “Discussion” is wasted time and “understanding” is unavailable.

  12. “These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims. We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable.”….Kurtis Cooper, US State Dept.
    What a freakin’ suckass, this is none of the their(The US gov’t) goddamn business.
    The great majority of Americans are unaware of this whole business, and could care less. However, if they did have an opinion, it would come down squarely on the side of free speech, so, in their infinite wisdom, the State Dept. issues a statement that alienates our European allies, but goes totally against what this country is about-FREEDOM.
    I swear, this country is being run by absolute morons.
    Rant complete, have a nice day.
    I really need to learn how to blog.

  13. Havent seen them issue a statement against the ‘Davinci Code’ or other offensive stuff. They kiss butts to those who never showed any respect to others.

  14. Ya Allah, show them the path of truth and the path of Your Light. May the unbelievers become believers and may Allah grant us all Jannatul Firdaus Inshaallah.

  15. if the muslim god (allah) and mohammed was truly a prohet, then let them punish the cartoon makers themselves. let your god throw lightning and thunder and fire to these people. but for you followers to do this for your god, i guess your god is dead. let’s see now if your religion is a true religion. if your god is alive, then let him do the punishing. have you ever asked your god if he is still there for you?

  16. Muslims need to get a life,they are not the be and all of this world,we dont have to live by their rules whilst bnthey are silent about what their fellow men are doing killing innocent people on a daily basis,it turns off people who were maybe interested in knowing more about this religion.It is beginning to look really ridiculous to any one with all senses functioning well.

  17. How many of us really know anything about our own religion(any)and is it necessary?. It shoudln’t be more than a few hundred years before we kill each other. Common people its time you put some head in to what you are doing. Try to bring hope into atleast one desperate soul around you rather than going for stupid ideoligies just because its fashionable.
    Live and let live.

  18. I started a joke which started the whole world crying
    But I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no
    I started to cry which started the whole world laughing
    Oh If I’d only seen that the joke was on me.
    …..The Bee Gees

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