The controversial Dutch cartoonist who publishes under the pseudonym Gregorious Nekschot was arrested in a raid on his home by Dutch police last Tuesday. Nekschot is renowned for publishing satirical cartoons about Islam, some of which make the Danish cartoons look like Peanuts (blowjobs and pigs!). The arrest came about because of a complaint against the cartoonist by a convert to Islam Abdul Jabbar Van de Ven, made back in 2005 (why have they only acted on it now?). The Dutch justice ministry has issued a statement saying they found seven cartoons' that are 'illegal'. The cartoonist has been forced to remove these images from his website though they can be seen here. The case continues.
Since I can't read Dutch I can't judge these images on the only basis on which cartoons should be judged in my view- that is whether they are funny- but the whole thing, including a reportedly 30-hour interrogation, seems ridiculously heavy-handed and counter-productive. I thought the Danish cartoons were mostly rubbish (except the 'agent provocateur' one) and the reason given for publishing them disingenuous (is that how you start a debate?); and Geert Wilders Fitna film is just the worst kind of racist propaganda. I also value the freedom to say so. But if it comes down to a battle with the authorities about it we have to stand with Gregorious Nekschot, Jyllands-Posten and Wilders. These debates are nothing to do with the law which should preserve all of our rights to say, write and draw what we think.
Cartooning is not a crime!