Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah

Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah
Avadhnama
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered an investigation into the newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, after it published a drawing of Mohammed. The cartoon, by Mohammed Saba'aneh, was printed on Sunday.

Mohammed is depicted sowing seeds, a metaphor for peace, from a heart-shaped pouch. Last month, The Spectator and Le Point published historical images of Mohammed, though Sunday's cartoon is perhaps the first modern drawing of Mohammed by a Muslim artist.

In a similar case, the Iranian newspaper Mardom-e Emrooz was closed down last month, after it used the slogan "Je suis Charlie" as a headline. Also, the editor of the Indian newspaper Avadhnama, Shirin Dalvi, was arrested on 28th January, after her newspaper printed Charlie Hebdo's 2006 Mohammed cover on its front page on 17th January. She wrote a front-page apology the following day, though the newspaper was closed down on 19th January.

The contemporary debate surrounding representations of Mohammed began with the publication of a dozen caricatures by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005. Other newspapers subsequently printed their own Mohammed cartoons: Weekendavisen, France Soir, The Guardian, Philadelphia Daily News, Liberation, Het Nieuwsblad, The Daily Tar Heel, Akron Beacon Journal, The Strand, Nana, Gorodskiye Vesti, Misselijke Grappen, HP/De Tijd, Sex No Go, Dagbladet, Adresseavisen, Uke-Adressa, Harper's, and The International Herald Tribune (2006 and 2012).

French newspaper Charlie Hebdo's depictions of Mohammed made global headlines recently, after many of its staff were killed by Islamic terrorists. In 2006, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Mohammed complaining that he is "loved by idiots". Its offices were firebombed in 2011, after it published a Charia Hebdo issue guest-edited by Mohammed. In 2012, it printed a caricature of Mohammed naked. In 2013, it produced a comic-strip biography of Mohammed (part 1, part 2), with an expanded edition in 2014. Last year, it depicted Mohammed being beheaded by an Islamic State terrorist.

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