Cartoon wars back on… in Belarus

A three-year prison sentence was imposed Jan. 18 by a court in Minsk on Alyaksandr Zdvizhkou, former deputy editor of the weekly Zhoda, for reprinting the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that first appeared in a Danish newspaper. He was found guilty of “inciting racial hatred” under article 130 of Belarus’ criminal code at the end of a trial behind closed doors. (Reporters Without Borders, Jan. 18)

Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion provides a little context:

That would be the same Belarus where one can buy anti-Semitic tomes such as Convicting Those Who Slaughter Russia (which quotes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion), and Stalin’s Testament, which carries a special endorsement from President Alexander Lukashenko – whose recent Borat-like ruminations on how the city of Bobrusk was a “pig sty” on account of the Jews living there led to an international outcry. Other books in similar vein were noted by the Simon Wiesenthal centre in August; meanwhile, the head of the country’s Pentecostal Union has complained that state television featured his church in a documentary on “destructive cults”.

So why the rather hypocritical crackdown over the Danish cartoons?

Bartholomew says “Lukashenko’s increasing links with Iran are a doubtless significant factor,” but also quotes Reporters Without Borders:

Zhoda was linked to Alyaksandr Kazulin, who ran against President Alexandre Lukashenko in the March 2006 presidential election. Lukashenko was very critical of Zhoda and Kazulin in a televised speech during the campaign, calling Kazulin a “hoodlum.” The economic supreme court closed Zhoda down on 17 March 2006.

To which Bartholomew adds:

It should be recalled that Lukashenko doesn’t just object to the Muhammad cartoons; he’s also thin-skinned about his own image being taken in vain in satirical drawings, and “offending the honour of Lukashenko” is a criminal offence.

Our last posts on Belarus and the cartoon wars.

  1. Islamofascist-Dhimmi Axis Assault on Free Speech
    Islamofascist-Dhimmi Axis Assault on Free Speech

    Muslims Against Sharia strongly denounce President Lukashenko and his KGB thugs for imprisoning Alexander Sdvizhkov. While most of the former Soviet Republics are embracing Democracy and Reform, Belarus continues to enforce fascist rules of communist era. Muslims Against Sharia demand immediate release of Alexander Sdvizhkov and reinstatement of “Zgoda” newspaper.

    Mr. Sdvizhkov is convicted for incitement of religious and national hatred. We already know that Islamophobia or even mere criticism of Islam is racism, because Islam is a race. And thanks to the Dhimmis from Belarus, now we’ve learned that Islam is also a nationality. We should expect Islam to be declared a gender any day now.

    Alexander Sdvizhkov is not alone. The latest casualties of Islamofascist-Dhimmi Axis Assault on Free Speech include Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, Fouad al-Farhan, Joe Kaufman, Paul Ray, Michael Savage, Mark Steyn, TomaShot, Andrew Whitehead, and many others. Are you going to be next?

    1. Lukashenko
      Lukashenko is good president in any case. Of course, there is no freedom in Belarus, but I don’t know any other country, which can boast of such order. My brother lives there and he is really happy. Prices are high, but the life is calm.