AEL puts Holocaust cartoon back on its website
The Arab European League (AEL) has republished a controversial cartoon on the Dutch version of its website, despite an agreement with the public prosecutor for the removal of the image. The cartoon portrays two Jews inventing figures about the Holocaust.
On Tuesday the public prosecutor’s office ruled that AEL was liable to prosecution for publishing the cartoon, but no charges would be brought if the campaign group permanently removed the image from its website. Initially AEL appeared to have complied with this demand.
However, at the same time the public prosecutor’s office also ruled that there
was nothing illegal about the publication of the controversial Danish
cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad on the website of anti-Islam
politician Geert Wilders in 2006. Likewise, it decided that the TV programme
Nova, which also showed the cartoons, had not broken the law.
The public prosecutor’s office concluded that the Danish drawings were not offensive to Muslims as a group and were not an incitement to discrimination or violence against them. However, it said the cartoon on the AEL website was indeed offensive to Jews as a group.
In response to this ruling, AEL decided to republish the cartoon. On its website, AEL chairman Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda accuses the public prosecutor’s office of applying double standards, adding that “Given the decision not to interpret the Muhammad cartoon as offensive to Muslims, the decision that the publication of the AEL cartoon is liable to prosecution is incomprehensible.” AEL claims the cartoon does not express its views and is not intended to offend a specific group.
The public prosecutors office says charges will be brought if AEL fails to remove the cartoon from its website within two weeks.