Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Abbas orders probe into Palestinian cartoon of Mohammad
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered an investigation into a cartoon apparently depicting the Prophet Mohammad in an official Palestinian newspaper.
The move came less than a month after Abbas joined world leaders in a march for free speech in Paris following a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which had caricatured Mohammad.
A drawing in the West Bank-based newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadidah showed a robed man standing astride Earth and reaching into a heart-shaped pouch to sow seeds of love around the world. The caption reads: "Our Prophet Mohammad".
Artist Mohammed Sabanneh, a Muslim, said he meant no harm.
[T]he official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Abbas had ordered "an immediate investigation."
It quoted him citing "the need to take deterrent action against those responsible for this terrible mistake, out of respect for sacred religious symbols and foremost among them the prophets".
Mahmoud Abbas Gets a Free Pass - David Keyes
"Moderate" Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas publicly hugged the genocidal leader of Sudan, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir; ordered an investigation into a cartoonist for publishing a drawing of Mohammed; and entered his 10th year of a four-year term of office.
Under Abbas' rule, the PA has arrested activists for Facebook posts and jailed atheists. Two weeks ago, a student was imprisoned for insulting the head of the Palestinian Football Federation. Torture is rampant.
Decades of propping up Palestinian dictators from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas have not solved the problem of radicalism - they've actually strengthened it.
A modest solution is to begin using the West's immense political and economic leverage to encourage real democratic reform in the Palestinian Authority. Tyrants that stifle dissent are not moderates. The free world should stop pretending that they are.
The writer is the executive director of Advancing Human Rights.