Jordan Summons Danish Cartoonist on Blasphemy Charges

A Danish cartoonist and ten newspaper editors have reportedly been summoned by Jordan's public prosecutor on charges of "blasphemy" for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

According to the Copenhagen Post, prosecutor Hassan Abdullat has subpoenaed the 11 Danes for drawing and reprinting cartoons they say offend Islam, charging them with "threatening the national peace."

Under Jordanian law, reproducing images of the Prophet Muhammad inside — or even outside the country — is illegal under the Jordanian Justice Act, the newspaper wrote.

A lawyer representing "The Prophet Unites Us," a Jordanian group angling for the prosecution, said that if the Danish journalists did not appear in Jordan for legal proceedings, the next step would be to inform Interpol and seek their arrest.

But the Danish foreign ministry said that the journalists would not be forcibly deported, as the printing of the controversial cartoons is not a punishable offense in Denmark.

Jordanian courts have not issued an indictment, but lawyers are hoping the case will help establish an international law against slandering religion, according to Danish reports.

Abdullat has summoned Kurt Westergaard, a cartoonist facing death threats for his depiction of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb.

Abdullat also subpoenaed the editors of ten newspapers that reprinted the infamous cartoon in March, the paper reported.

The summons came just one day after the Danish embassy in Pakistan was destroyed in a bombing that killed 6, apparently a reprisal for the reprinting of the cartoons.

Click here for more on this story from the Copenhagen Post.