January 08, 2007
Media on Trial for Islamic Jokes
(Casablanca, Morocco) Consistent with the diversity and tolerance demonstrated by followers of the religion of peace during the Danish cartoon episode, two journalists go on trial today in Morocco for publishing an article on popular jokes.
The trial of the editor in chief of Moroccan weekly Nichane and a journalist working for the publication is scheduled to begin in Casablanca on Monday. Driss Ksikes and Sanaa al-Aji face charges of 'denigrating Islam and morality' in connection with the publication of an article last month on 'How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics.' They risk up to five years in jail and heavy fines if they are convicted in a trial which rights groups say is a serious blow to media freedom.The journalists apologized and stated they were simply reporting on Moroccan society by analyzing its jokes. Tuffo-wuffo said the tolerant, diverse and peaceful Islamic prosecutors. In fact, the Moroccan government considers an attack on Islam to be one of the most serious crimes a journalist can commit.
The authorities in Morocco closed the magazine after the publication of its 6 December issue and withdrew all copies of it from newsstands.
The article for which the two defendants face trial examined popular jokes on religion, sex and politics.
My take? Islam and media freedom are incompatible, therefore, the usual suspects were rounded up. The trial is a logical consequence. Like cartoons, jokes also insult Islam. Frankly, it's hard to figure out what doesn't insult Islam.