S. African court bans publishing Muhammad cartoons

February 4, 2006 15:06

A court has banned South Africa's Sunday newspapers from publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have caused outrage among Muslims around the world. The Jamiat-ul Ulama of Transvaal, which sought an interdict against Johncom Media and Independent Newspapers among others, said the cartoon was "deeply offensive." The editors' forum condemned the court ruling as prepublication censorship. The forum's chairman, Joe Tholoe, said the court interdict "limits freedom of expression in that the decision on whether to publish or not to publish has been taken away from the editors and placed on the shoulders of the court." "The editors of the publications that were gagged are aware of the law and the limitations the Constitution has placed on freedom of expression and would respect those. It is not for the courts to assume that the law is going to be broken and make the decision for editors," he said in a statement.

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