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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jordanian lawsuit against Danish newspapers over Motoons

I had missed this story:
Amman - Amman's public prosecutor on Tuesday [4/22] began hearings in a lawsuit filed by a coalition of 30 Jordanian media establishments against a dozen Danish papers which reprinted controversial cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed, judicial sources said.

The coalition, which is waging a campaign entitled The Prophet Unites Us, is seeking 'moral and material compensation' for the damages caused by the reprinting of the pictures, the group's lawyer Tareq Hawamdeh said.

'The lawsuit is based on the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Penal Code and the Press and Printing Law,' he added.

Public prosecutor Hassan Abdullat on Tuesday heard testimonies by the anti-Denmark campaign's leader Zakariya al-Sheikh, Member of the Jordanian lower house of parliament Ali Dalaeen and head of the Foodstuffs Traders Association Khalil Haj Tawfiq.

The chairman of the Jordan Bar Association Saleh Armouti, head of the Jordan Pharmacists Association Taher Shakhshir and chairman of the Amman-based Arab Human Rights Organization Hani Dahleh are to testify Wednesday.

Firas Press' elaboration today includes these tantalizing tidbits in autotranslation:
The Commission's task is confined to the interpretation and classification of articles on the case, then to analyse their implications for the mentality of the Arab and Muslim reader, which will help the court in making its final decision.
... The Jordanian 'Petra' news agency quoted the campaign for attorney Tarek Hawamdeh as saying that the prosecution case provides the right personal claim for material and moral damages caused by abusive cartoon drawings of the Noble Prophet in Danish newspapers.

The lawyer said the lawsuit 'demand for reparations newspapers resulting from their actions' alluding at the same time, the lack of appreciation of the value of compensation due to the enormity of damage, and added:' legal bases available allows the prosecution of the media and others who participated in a campaign of abuse '.

The Jordanian weekly newspaper, Shehan, in 2006 published the insulting cartoons which raised the anger of the Jordanian street at the time.

However, the newspaper defended itself, and wrote an article entitled 'Islamic uprising against the abuse of Danish', where it invited Muslims to use reason and said: 'Which is more detrimental to Islam than a Muslim carrying a suicide bomb belt in a wedding ceremony in Oman or anywhere else? Which provides fuel for the world trying to defame Islam and Muslims: caricature drawings or realistic scene of the beheading of a hostage with a sword in front of the cameras while chanting Allahu Akbar? '

Sheikh Zakaria, chairman of the Campaign for the Support of Jordan, expressed his delight at the Prophet's acceptance issue in a Jordanian court, and pledged to lift another case for the prosecution of Dutch MP 'Gert Vilders' which was broadcast in late March the anti-Islam "Fitna" on the Internet. The Sheikh said that the coming period would witness also similar lawsuits in a number of Arab and Islamic states.