Judge to decide if Holocaust cartoon is discriminatory
Dutch public prosecutors have charged the Arab European League (AEL) for publishing a cartoon that suggests the Jews invented the Holocaust.
The prosecutor in Utrecht said Tuesday that the cartoon on AEL's website insults Jewish people as a group and is therefore an illegal form of discrimination.
The cartoon shows two men wearing yarmulkes near a pile of skeletons and a sign 'Auswitch' [sic]. One, looking at the remains, says: "I don't think they are Jews." The other, looking at a piece of paper, says: "We have to get to the 6.000.000 somehow."
The Arab-European advocacy group said the cartoon was posted to show the "double standard" when it comes to freedom of speech and discrimination.
Dutch AEL chairman Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda initially agreed to remove the
image, but republished it after a decision last month not to charge
anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders for putting the famous Danish cartoon of
the prophet Mohammad - with a bomb in his turban - on his website. The
prosecutor's office decided that cartoon was about the prophet only and
therefore not an insult to all Muslims.
The AEL said neither of the cartoons should lead to prosecution and it therefore rejected the offer to have the case dismissed if the picture was removed. "It would go against the feeling of injustice that rules in our community," Bouzerda said in a statement. He would like the case to come before the court.
The Utrecht prosecutor's office said the cartoon case is complicated. "There is no doubt that the Danish cartoons can be offensive," a spokesperson said. "But according to us, the Holocaust cartoon crosses the line." Because that line between offensive and discriminatory is so thin, the prosecutor thinks it is up to a judge to decide.