Censorship in Spain, Romania, France etc. ‘Free speech’ Muslim bashers are silent


El Jueves magazine with the banned cartoonFrom the BBC:

A court in Spain has convicted Manel Fontdevila, cartoons editor of the popular satirical weekly magazine El Jueves, and cartoonist “Guillermo” of “damaging the prestige of the crown“.

Both men received a hefty 3,000-euro (£2,100) fine.

Their offence was to have published a cartoon last July making ribald fun of the heir to the Spanish throne, and of the government’s scheme to encourage women to have more babies by giving mothers a special payment for each new birth.

It was a caricature of Prince Filipe having sex with his wife, Princess Letizia, and telling her: “Do you realise that if you get pregnant, it will be the closest thing to work I’ve done in my life?”

‘More censorship’

The cartoon is funny, but the issue raised by its banning is serious. The episode has worrying echoes of last year’s frenzied and violent protests against the cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad printed in European newspapers.

Indeed, but mainly by the differences between the two cases. The Danish anti Islamic cartoons were done at the orders of the most powerful big media business in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten, with a history of sympathy for Mussolini and Hitler and of recent support for banning cartoons making fun of Christians. They attacked a minority, trying to push them even more into a second class people status. While the Spanish cartoon made fun of, officially, the most powerful family in the country.

The BBC article continues:

In the Spanish case, censorship of the magazine has already taken place and will not be reversed. Within hours of the cartoon’s appearance Spanish judges ordered the seizure of all copies of that edition of the magazine.

This is only one of a growing number of recent cases of media censorship or self-censorship in Europe that have arisen thanks to restrictive laws or monopolistic patterns of media ownership.

Some, like the Spanish case, involve attempts to prosecute journalists for violating laws that give special protection to the most powerful and privileged figures in public life.

In Romania, a law has just been passed which exposes journalists to the risk of seven years in jail if they publish video footage taken secretly of politicians taking bribes. It follows a case in which film of a government minister accepting a secret cash payment was shown on TV, leading to his resignation.

In France, a newspaper expose written during this year’s presidential election campaign, revealing that Cecilia Sarkozy – the then wife of winning candidate Nicolas Sarkozy – failed to cast her vote, was removed on orders from the newspaper’s owner, a close associate of the new President.

In Turkey, the infamous Article 301 of the criminal code makes it an offence punishable by jail terms to insult the armed forces or those in positions of high office.

The silence about these cases of censorship by oh so vocal Islam bashers posing as friends of free speech in the Muhammad cartoons case, exposes their hypocrisy. One of those bashers, Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali (not her real name by the way; see also here), is actually on record as defending the anti democratic privileges of the armed forces in Turkey.

Also on the Spanish case: here.

In Britain, ‘91% of all news stories about Muslims are negative. Quite high, but still somewhat short of government targets‘.

The BBC, Mary Whitehouse, Moral Rearmament, and Hitler: here.

15 thoughts on “Censorship in Spain, Romania, France etc. ‘Free speech’ Muslim bashers are silent

  1. King’s son-in-law back in the dock

    SPAIN: King Juan Carlos’s son-in-law appeared in court for a second day today to answer questions about suspected fraudulent deals.

    Inaki Urdangarin — the Duke of Palma — has not been charged with a crime but is being probed by a judge about whether he used his privileged position to secure lucrative deals for a non-profit foundation he ran, then fraudulently diverted some of the money for personal benefit.

    Mr Urdangarin’s lawyer Mario Vives said he was not worried that Judge Jose Castro had asked about money that had been allegedly diverted to an offshore account.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/115881

    Like

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