Defamation case over Prophet Mohammed cartoons ‘to be held’ in Britain

The Telegraph:

A Saudi Arabian lawyer has threatened to use British courts to overturn a Danish free speech ruling by bringing a defamation case over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that depicted Islam’s founder as a terrorist.

By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Published: 4:22PM GMT 16 Mar 2010

Faisal Yamani, a Jeddah based lawyer, is planning to take a case to London’s libel courts on behalf of over 90,000 descendants of Muhammad who have claimed that the drawings have defamed them and the Islamic faith.

Cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were published in Danish newspapers in 2006 triggering violent protests across the Muslim world and riots which claimed the lives of over 50 people.

According to Danish press reports, the case can be heard in the Britain because the images, including a caricature of Muhammad with a bomb shaped turban, have been freely accessible via the internet.

Danish politicians and publishers are furious that European Union rules reward “libel tourism” by enforcing British defamation rulings across Europe.

Ebbe Dal, managing director of Danske Dagblades Forening, the Danish national newspaper association, is concerned that Britain’s tough libel laws could be used to restrict free speech in liberal countries such as Denmark.

“The Danish courts have decided that the case is not actionable and that we are allowed to print the drawings in Danish newspapers and websites,” he said.

“It would be very odd if a civilised country like Britain could go against that. If this succeeded we would have to pay a lot of money to Saudi Arabians misusing the British courts to make it difficult for freedom of speech.”

Mr Yamani demanded last year that 11 Danish newspapers remove all cartoon images of Muhammad from their websites and issue front page apologies along with promises that the images would never be printed again.

Only one newspaper, Politiken, agreed to the demand leading to the new threat of an expensive British court action backed by wealthy Saudi Muslims.

Lars Barfoed, the Danish justice minister, has complained to the European Commission that EU rules forcing Denmark to enact British court rulings would damage freedom of expression.

“It’s fundamentally reasonable that judgments in the EU can often be exercised across borders. But it would be taking it to the extreme if a UK court could rule against the Danish media and then require compensation and court costs to be paid,” he said.

EU officials have acknowledged that libel judgements in the British courts have become a major issue since “Rome II” rules on mutual recognition of European court rulings entered into force last year.

“We are well aware that there is a problem with libel and defamation tourism involving Britain, where judges can be sympathetic and damages awards are high. There will be a review next year,” said an official.

A British Ministry of Justice working group on libel law is expected to publish a report calling for reform later this month.

“The government is concerned about any potential chilling effect that our libel laws are having on freedom of speech,” said a spokesman.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

6 Replies to “Defamation case over Prophet Mohammed cartoons ‘to be held’ in Britain”

  1. This mahound-thing that inbred bedouin savages worship isn’t even real… It (not he) is likely to have never existed.

    If this lawsuit goes ahead, anyone should be able to file one too on behalf of the descendants of Bigfoot, Paul Bunyan, Sasquatch, the Easter Bunny and any such mythological figures who might have felt offended by any derogatory remarks made about them by mahoundians.

  2. Excellent point. Gay dentists for example should be able to sue over the constant derogatory remarks and films about the ‘tooth fairy’.

  3. Quote: “. . .take a case to London’s libel courts on behalf of over 90,000 descendants of Muhammad who have claimed that the drawings have defamed them and the Islamic faith.”. . .

    Interesting. If this case proceeds, then what’s to stop anyone from initiating a counter claim, a class action suit also brought into London’s libel courts on behalf of over 5.3 billion kaffirs claiming Qur’anic scripture defames and incites toward physical, emotional, financial harm against all non-believers.

  4. Speaking of apologies… Here’s an excellent post from Gates of Vienna, on the Danish People’s Party’s response to the threat made by that inbred bedouin savage posing as a lawyer:

    Danish Peoples’ Party: Muslims must apologize!

    Berlingske Tidende, September 8th 2009
    By Troels Mylenberg

    The Danish Member of Parliament Martin Henriksen suggests that Denmark demand of Islamic countries that they issue an apology for oppression of women, stoning and assaults on civil liberties.

    As response to the frequent Islamic demands for apologies and withdrawals, the latest being from the Saudi lawyer Faisal A.Z. Yamani towards Danish newspapers reprinting the Muhammad cartoons, the Danish Peoples’ Party now takes aim in the opposite direction.

    “I demand an apology for oppression of women, stoning, intimidation of adherents of other beliefs, violation of civil liberties, and not least the extensive contempt for Danish culture and democracy, Danes and Westerners, says social issues spokesman Martin Henriksen, who is seriously weary of Islamic countries and organisations repeatedly demanding Denmark and the Danes to apologize.

    I’m happy for Denmark to have politicians capable of not being bound by PC MC rules, so that they can come out and fearlessly tell people nothing but the truth.

  5. =================================================
    Democracy Calling Islam.

    If you prefer freedom for thought, word, and deed,
    of the kind not physically destructive to others,
    and not silencing or intimidating to mind,
    you must be concise, and to the point,
    of not allowing the theistic thugs of Islam their way,

    and you must be the thinker not afraid to show
    your displeasure and condemnation of a ‘holy book’,
    i.e., their all-revered Koran of hate and infamy;

    you must argue that their theistic impulse
    is nothing less, or more, than mind’s bankruptcy,
    and you must bear witness to the facts,
    and then on to religion, in general, as it goes.

    Those of contemporary European culture
    who believe this is a debate for armchair philosophers,
    wishing to leave bad enough alone,
    likewise display a bankruptcy of mind.

    They come across as intellectual cowards,
    forgetting what we owe those who down through centuries
    were tyrannized, tortured, burned, and killed,
    directly as a result of religion and its thug-popes,
    thug-prophets, and their henchmen thugs.

    What do we owe them for their suffering,
    which today ensures that we are free in mind and body?

    How dare the apologists distance themselves from, e.g.,
    an artist and his cartoon depicting a mentally disturbed man,
    whose followers today are challenging our European values?

    These theorists argue that the debate must move on,
    and that accommodation must be found
    for the inanities of the religion of Islam.

    No ~
    those who must move on are the Muslims,
    the adherents of a belief-system incompatible with freedom,
    and freedom is what this is all about preserving,
    in honor and memory of those whose lives were taken.

    No ~
    compromise on the part of Western culture isn’t required;
    only a clear and unequivocal “No, to yours!”,
    and if it takes the re-printing, again and again,
    of a cartoon of a mentally imbalanced individual
    with a lit bomb in his turban, let it be so,
    until finally his head is blown off.
    /
    Now,
    dear sisters and brothers of Islam,
    it isn’t easy to shed an identity
    fed on the offal of a doctrine 1400 years old,
    but you must grow up, and fast;

    as the children of Aristotle,
    and still in your juvenile years,
    the civilized world is waiting,
    and Democracy is calling!
    =============================================

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