The Jordanian General Prosecutor Decision No. 1231 of 2008 over the Case of the Dutch Cartoons vs Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Case

  •  Khaled A. AlShakhanbeh    


In 2005, Dutch cartoonist Kurt Faster Gurt published sketches of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper as well as in PDF form via its website. The images depicted the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions in what Islamic countries around the world deemed as derogatory at best and blasphemous at worst. This article looks at the decision by the Jordanian General Prosecutor to put on trial Kurt Faster Gurt and his cartoonists in 2008, which opened the flood gates to numerous challenges to domestic cyber laws having international jurisdiction. From Yahoo to YouTube, the Jordanian decision set a precedent for what has become a new world of law and politics, whereby Internet content producers, no matter where in the world they appear , could be held accountable to domestic cybercrime laws. To explain the Jordanian approach, other legal cases are studied in which it is proven that the damage caused by some material available in the Internet may justify the indictment of their authors by national Courts regardless the defendant's nationality or place of residence. Such cases urge States to provide for themselves an adequate legal corpus to be able to cope with these cases and to be able to implement the Court's decisions.

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