Irish media warned over Hebdo cartoons

Irish media warned over Hebdo cartoons

The warning of possible legal action against members of the media who retweet or republish any of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in the wake of this week’s terror attack on the satirical journal was sounded by Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland,  pictured above with the CH cover saying ‘Love is better than hate’.

In a 4FM radio interview, Selim was asked by interviewer Niall Boylan whether his life would be in danger if he retweeted a cartoon.

Dr Selim – who condemned the shootings – replied:

Not your life would be in danger but definitely we will check the Irish law and if there is any legal channel against you, we will take it.

According to this report, he added that he would advise Irish journalists not to reprint the cartoon “beecause it doesn’t help for peaceful coexistence” and would be “an act of mockery”.

You can say love is stronger than hate but you can’t portray the Prophet Mohammed. If the law gives you the right to do it, do it, if the law does not give you the right to do it, then don’t do it.

Asked if he would seek legal advice if any journalist in Ireland tweets or reprints the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, Dr Selim said “Yes”.

Definitely if there is a legal action, I will take it. If you want to blame, blame the law.

He went on to say that he was “a great advocate of freedom of expression” – but of the sort that does not give room for confrontation, that does not turn one person against another.

He said that if anyone is offended, they have the right to express their disapproval within the boundaries of the law within the State that they live in.

Selim’s comments coincided with a submission Atheist Ireland made to the Irish Constitutional Convention, seeking the removal of the offence of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution. In its summary, AI said:

1. We campaign internationally against the use of blasphemy laws to infringe the human rights of religious minorities and atheists … We have opposed the Irish blasphemy law since it was first announced, including by lobbying Irish politicians and international regulatory bodies.

2. We argue that blasphemy laws generally are harmful for three reasons:
(a) They endanger freedom of speech and deny equality.

(b) They are used to infringe on human rights around the world.

(c) They have been condemned by reputable international bodies.

3. We argue that the Irish blasphemy law in particular is harmful for three reasons:

(a) It reinforces the religious ethos of the 1937 Constitution.

(b) It brings our parliament and our laws into disrepute.

(c) Islamic states use it at the UN to promote universal blasphemy laws.

That submission, in turn, coincided with a call by the heads of two Canadian organisations  to have the law of “blasphemous libel” scrapped.

Section 296 of the Criminal Code makes “blasphemous libel” punishable by up to two years in jail in Canada.

No one been prosecuted under the law since 1935, although as late as 1980 an unsuccessful attempt was made to use the law against the Canadian distributor of Monty Python’s Life of Brian (hilarious closing scene above).

The heads of Humanist Canada and the Centre for Inquiry renewed their demand for the law to be scrapped after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. Last month they met with Ambassador Andrew Bennett, head of the federal government’s Office of Religious Freedom, to note the law’s inconsistency with Canada’s policy of supporting religious freedom abroad.


Update: DaveBrown, cartoonist for the Independent explains why he created the image above, saying:

I hesitate to call satire a weapon, but it is definitely a thing these people detest. They don’t have a rational argument, and responding to something as immediate as visual satire is beyond them. It has a power which they can’t match, so their only answer is to close it down by whatever means.

And that’s always been the case with fascists and extremists across the ages. Being mocked is too much for them to take. So we need to find a way carry on doing it and carry on laughing at them.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake (Selim report)

34 responses to “Irish media warned over Hebdo cartoons”

  1. barriejohn says:

    So that’s Mohammed in the cartoon, is it? I always wondered what he looked like!

  2. L.Long says:

    Religious bigots again prove their psychotic gawd aint worth spit and his followers have to use BS laws to enforce public respect.
    Nice to know the religion of Pieces is living up to its name.

  3. AgentCormac says:

    In the BBC article I linked to on the previous thread, one of the ‘ordinary, moderate’ British muslims interviewed claimed ‘Democracy doesn’t mean that you can go and insult anybody’, while another said of the Charlie Hebdo shooting ‘They had no right to say Islam is bad’. Like Ali Selim, they just don’t get it. They simply do not understand what democracy is, what it stands for and what rights it accords its citizens. For Selim to pronounce that Irish journalists should not to reprint the cartoon ‘because it doesn’t help for peaceful coexistence’ and would be ‘an act of mockery’ is just another way of saying ‘you have no right to criticise my religion’. Wrong, you moron. Like it or not, this is a democracy, you live in it, you will not destroy it.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    Somewhat OT, but an interesting enough article about atheists who marry religiots. I particularly like the bit about the child of such a couple who refused to go to church saying religion was ‘a load of rubbish’.

  5. andym says:

    Barry,there’s never a bad moment to see “Bright side of Life” again. I had some Christian friends in the years after it came out and they loved it. I don’t think they were typical. One a C of E curate I knew loved it apart from the ending which he regarded as blasphemous. I think he was right , but for the wrong reasons. The ending is blasphemous not for reducing the historical sufferings of their Christ to a cheerful ditty, but because that ditty shows the ultimate uselessness of religion. As shown by the mix of bewilderment and exasperation on Brian’s face.

  6. Barry Duke says:

    These guys, AgentCormac, have a special talent to shooting themselves in the foot. Henceforth, whenever anyone does a Google images search for Dr Selim, they will find him linked to one of the covers he so deplores.

    Incidentally, when I posted two covers on Facebook, and urged people to share them, the post reached over 72,600 people, and had more than 1,000 shares! This is an all-time record for the Freethinker page.

    Check out the comments by a certain Robert Smith.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    Yes, of course we should all be able to enjoy freedom of speech without the threat of terror, however ‘Should’ is an ideal.
    The reality is that we’ve got a fucking mental case in the playground with an eight-inch sheath knife in his school bag and he’ll stab you to death if you rubbish his football team …

    Spot on.

  8. Simone says:

    Same problem with Tariq Ramadan: see
    In this discussion between him and Art Spiegelman he claims that Charlie Hebdo was mainly targeting muslims (which is not true) and goes on and on about muslims always being victims.

  9. barriejohn says:

    I knew I’d heard of him before – I expect the NSS highlighted this story last year:

    To be fair, he does have some valid points, but how about this?

    In some schools, “under the guise of health and safety, Muslim girls are obliged to take off their headscarves for PE classes, which is not acceptable to them*”.

    Where schools were “persistent”, they should “employ a female PE teacher and provide students with a sports hall not accessible to men during times when girls are at play. They should also not be visible to men while at play.”

    Also, Muslim girls would resist changing clothes in a communal area.

    When it came to music some Muslims would see it as prohibited but “if music is performed using non-tuneable percussion instruments such as drums, most Muslims will have no problem”.

    (*Their parents, more like!)

    You’ve got to pity kids brought up under a regime like this; I saw it all the time amongst the Brethren.

  10. Angela_K says:

    “Kill the unbelievers, kill apostates, kill British soldiers, kill gays, kill those whose say islam isn’t the religion of peace….”

    This moron cannot or will not understand that the same law that allows him and his islamic mates the freedom to say the above, is the same law that allows us to ridicule religious followers absurd beliefs. This is another example of the freedom of speech one way street demanded by the religious.

  11. Stuart H. says:

    As one respondent to the Journal report puts it ‘Tá muid Charlie’.
    By the way, see for more on Selim’s chums and their sponsors

  12. Broga says:

    If I had married a Christian I am confident she would have left that faith. I say that because I hold most of the cards. I’m assuming she would be intelligent enough to engage in discussion, analysis and interest in how the bible came into existence.

    My late brother was prevented by a priest from marrying an RC girl. The priest insisted my brother must become an RC and any children must be RCs. The priest, and the girl’s father, had forced her to promise that. My brother would not make that promise. She was an attractive girl and I liked her enormously. Decades later they both admitted they regretted with great bitterness not marrying.

  13. AgentCormac says:


    I see the pest that is Hutton has followed your link to Geoff’s Shorts blog:

    Islam is a false religion. Only those who, having repented of their sins, and accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, will go to Heaven. Everybody else will end up in Hell.

    Even when islam and those who propagate it are being exposed as the scourge of society, he can’t resist the temptation to make his own brand of insanity seem just as intolerant and meaningless.

  14. Barry Duke says:

    Agent Cormac: Bob Hutton. Not this Bob Hutton, by any chance?

    BTW I have updated this post to include a cartoon and a quote from Dave Brown of the Independent:

  15. AgentCormac says:

    That’ll be the chap, Barry. BTW, love the following paragraph from the Dave Brown article you linked to:

    I hesitate to call satire a weapon, but it is definitely a thing these people detest. They don’t have a rational argument, and responding to something as immediate as visual satire is beyond them. It has a power which they can’t match, so their only answer is to close it down by whatever means. And that’s always been the case with fascists and extremists across the ages. Being mocked is too much for them to take. So we need to find a way carry on doing it and carry on laughing at them.

  16. Lonbo says:

    In the wise words of Bill Maher, “There are no great religions. They’re all stupid and dangerous.”

  17. Angela_K says:

    Great cartoon of Hutton. As well as being an Internet troll, Hutton infests Newspaper comment sections posting the same vacuous nonsense that he posts here, rather like that islamic twat Iftikhar Ahmad. Perhaps we could get both of them in room and leave them to the argue”my god is bigger than god”

  18. L.Long says:

    When someone uses ‘should’ or ‘ought’ they are loosing the argument and resorting to BS.
    Should and ought are judgement calls so his opinion is no better then anyone elses.
    And if true about democracy then once again I’m glad we don’t live in one, we live in a representative republic controlled by a constitution of laws and rights, not by the bigoted opinion of the majority.

  19. AgentCormac says:

    That’s what I like about the French, they don’t fuck about. Good riddance!

  20. barriejohn says:

    I see that hook-handed Abu Hamza has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the USA:

    That’ll give him plenty of time to study his beloved Koran.

    Isn’t it strange that these prominent mouthpieces are never the ones running around with assault rifles taking hostages? And never encouraging their “devout” followers to volunteer to nurse Ebola victims, either!

  21. barriejohn says:

    I also see that The Blob has been trolling our friend Daz as well (unless I’m very much mistaken!):

    Interestingly enough, it was only a few days ago that official figures were released stating that the level of “gay” “marriages” in France was higher in Paris than anywhere else in the country – coincidence?

    Floorless logic!!

  22. Paul Cook says:

    If the faith of Islam is so weak why the necessity to fear an insult. And cry hurt. This always causes me concern when ever I hear it. And the real threats that follow. The first reaction to any form of rational debate / such as do you really believe a god would write in the first and third persons when writing the most important book in all history- the answer usually involves a threat, and an absolute clampdown on further or to that simple question – usually an angry retort of ‘how dare you’.
    This makes me conclude that these people’s beliefs are vacuous infantile and irrational – and the only response they can make is to threaten and demand quiet. I perceive the problem is that if they cared to think about such a simple question – they would have to question the very foundation of their faith, as Christianity has done to an extent, concluding it is all a lie and leave it- and this they seem incapable of doing. They are ultimately all bullying cowards. They threaten physical violence, have an inability to consider the question so posed, and this is likely due to the fact that they know it’s all nonsense, but are so conditioned and frightened of losing the islamic crutch of support, that they can only react violently like a child that bites when all his/her peers stopped long ago.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Blob Hutton has also commented on Prof Hawking’s birthday (and what a concidence that that event was celebrated on this blog just twenty-four hours ago):

    [H]e is an extremely godless man and one who holds to unsound views regarding science and the origin of the world…

    Which of Professor Hawking’s scientific views do you consider particularly unsound, Bob? (Mary Barton)

    All of those views that contradict the Bible, the infallible Word of God.

    If one could add sound effects to comments you would hear the sound me falling off my chair laughing!

  24. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I liked this and particularly second sentence.

    “However, his most infamous statement was made a few years ago when he said that the afterlife “was a fairy story”.
    Why is it that otherwise intelligent people will make such wild assertions?

    Does Hutton really, actually, truly believe what he is saying? The mind boggles.”

  25. AgentCormac says:

    Back to the Charlie Hebdo story, apparently French President Francois Hollande has described recent events as ‘a tragedy for the nation’. With you all the way there, Francois. But then he goes on to say that ‘Those who committed these acts, these fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim faith’. FFS!!!!! Yes, yes they do. They have everything to do with the muslim faith. Have we learned absolutely nothing from the past few days?

  26. AgentCormac says:


    Potty Hutton is so utterly without any thoughts of his own, so utterly brain-washed and subservient to those who control his mind that I’m sure in days gone by he would have made a very enthusiastic and willing foot soldier in the Inquisition. In fact I suspect he admires the murderous muslims who have brought so much carnage to the streets of France. Oh, how he must long for the days when it was xtians like himself who could murder anyone who took issue with his pathetic, imaginary god.

  27. John the Drunkard says:

    ‘Peaceful coexistence’=abject submission and dhimmitude.

    Why aren’t such ‘spokesmen’ routinely deported?

  28. Robster says:

    I always thought that all the religious nutters/believers who follow one of the Abrahamic religious offerings are really following the same god, just dressed and named differently. Surely given this, they could try just a little bit harder to get on with one another.

  29. Paul Cook says:

    Such brave people from such a brave religion.
    It must have been so frightening for those murderous Islamic scum to go into that shop against all those shoppers armed with their lists of groceries. And all those journalists with those sharpened pencils and crayons. How brave they were to have taken just Ak47’s against such overwhelming odds of shopping and pencils – what a brave religion. What brave men they were – real role models.
    I hope they enjoy their non-existent 72 white raisans in their non-existent paradise.

  30. Brian Jordan says:

    As always with fundamentalists of whatever stripe, they cherry-pick and gold-plate. While it’s unlikely that devout Muslims have ever liked illustrations mocking Mohammed, other depictions have not been unusual.

    Depictions of Mohammed.

    Fundamentalists of Islam support the idea that any depictions of Mohammed (also spelled Muhammad) must be forbidden, but in fact such depictions had not been prohibited until the 16th or 17th century and they are never condemned in the Koran.

    To help cure this taboo about the prophet of Islam, we have compiled some representations of him, ranging from historical illustrations to artistic, comic and satirical depictions. They are roughly ordered in chronological order and the text that supplements each image is not based on religious beliefs of any kind.
    Other galleries are available – see Google

  31. Paul Cook says:

    There are more references in the koran to Moses about 126 than to Mo about 4, and of those 4 there is a lot of debate as to Are they even of (him) or of a man – much more likely the word so used was not of man at all rather the word used was a reference to ‘beauty’ ‘goodness’ ‘wonderful’ or ‘blessed’.

    These idiots don’t even know their own crass book.
    They just make it up / just like religion.

  32. barriejohn says:

    Muslims are very goood at “warning” people – it seems to be their speciality, just as it was with the Christian Church for centuries. Very public-spirited of them, I’m sure, but why does it always sound like a THREAT?