MK Sarsour seeks to outlaw Muhammad cartoons

UAL-Ta’al MK submits bill to outlaw cursing, defaming and publishing pictures or caricatures of holy books and prophets.

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May 29, 2013 01:30
1 minute read.
Ibrahim Sarsour

ibrahim sarsour 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Drawing caricatures ridiculing Muhammad – as well as Moses and Jesus – should be illegal, MK Ibrahim Sarsour said Tuesday.

The UAL-Ta’al MK submitted legislation on Monday that would outlaw cursing, defaming and publishing pictures or caricatures of holy books and prophets, including Muhammad, Moses and Jesus.

It includes, according to Sarsour, “any offense in any form – speaking, drawing – that harms people’s religious sentiments, whether directly or indirectly.”

Sarsour explained that, although there have not been any offensive caricatures of Muhammad disseminated in Israel recently, he would like to prevent it from occurring in the future. He also pointed out that soccer fans often chant things about Muhammad that are offensive to Muslims.

“There is no difference between religion and a prophet, and a law like this is necessary regardless of whether the phenomenon exists, because it can exist,” he said.


The current law, which outlaws “grossly offending” religions is not strong enough, Sarsour added, and the time has come for the punishment to be greater, in the form of high fines and jail sentences, so it deters people from insulting religion.

Sarsour saw no issue of free speech with the legislation, saying he makes “a clear difference between the right to express opinions and harming religious sentiment. That is a red line, and there is no justification to cross it.”

The bill is unlikely to pass, as it does not have support from any MKs outside of UAL-Ta’al or in the coalition.

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