Arab Knesset members seek to outlaw cartoons of Muhammad

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Arab Member of Knesset Ibrahim Sarsur (Ra’am-Ta’al party) has reintroduced legislation that would lower the threshold for what is considered a racist offense and would ban the publication of materials that disparage the Prophet Muhammad through a “cartoon, defamation and insult.” Sarsur is one of three sponsors of the bill, all of whom are from Arab parties.

A portrait of the Prophet Muhammad. Credit: Michael Baudier.

Under Israeli law, a person whose actions are “crudely offensive” towards a religion and its believers is liable to one-year prison sentence. The new bill, which is an amendment to the Israeli penal code, would make the law less open to interpretation by omitting the word “crudely” and specifying some of the instances where the stipulated punishment would be applicable, such as the drawing of the Prophet Muhammad.

The language of the bill also makes it illegal to denigrate Moses, Jesus and various religious scriptures.

Posted on May 28, 2013 .