Netherlands: Cartoonist under investigation

Imam Abdul Jabber van de Ven, a Muslim convert and now youth preacher, is quite involved in the Dutch Muslim radical scene (see Dutch Report).

Gregorius Nekschot's site is now offline, but the Google archives still has one of his Jabber van de Ven cartoons, titled 'Dr. Beul treated youth-imam Abdul Jabber van de Ven'.

'from now on only positive fatwas'
'table football...! table football...!'


The police arrested the cartoonist known by the pseudonym 'Gregorius Nekschot' this past Tuesday on request of the public prosecution. He's suspected of publishing cartoons discriminating against Muslims and blacks.

A search was conducted in the Amsterdam residence of the cartoonist and several things confiscated. Gregorius Nekschot was freed on Wednesday after interrogation.

Thursday evening D66 parliament members Boris van der Ham requested clarification from justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin. Van der Ham says that Gregorius Nekschot is certainly 'very disputed', but the course of events this week brings up many questions.

The arrest followed an investigation which started after a complaint was lodged in 2005 by imam Abdul Jabber van de Ven. 'Nekschot' publishes on the the internet, but his book 'Nekschot: Misselijke Grappen' ('sick jokes') was also investigated. His extreme jokes and cartooning style go to far according to many, others admire him for it and think they're hilarious and sharp. Theo van Gogh, murdered in 2004, was one of Nekschot's admirers and put the cartoonist's work on his website.

According to the public prosecution, a number of cartoons are insulting and discriminating. The National Expertise Center for Discrimination, which is involved in such investigations, is housed under the Amsterdam prosecution. The investigation is still ongoing and it is not clear whether 'Nekschot' would be prosecuted.

Gregorius Nekschot keeps his identity secret in order to prevent unnecessary risk. Entertainer Hans Teeuwen, who knows 'Nekschot' said on the Pauw and Witteman TV show that the arrest was intimidating. The police had told the cartoonist that he would now lose his anonymity, which Teeuwen says was a pretty intimidating remark.

Nekschot says that this is a method used by 'fascists and communists to get rid of their opponents'.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)


Nekschot now fears for his life. He says that the police agents told him: What you make is much worse than what they did in Denmark. Do you realize what it means if your identity is known? To which he replied that then they'll be taking upon themselves a great responsibility.

The cartoonist says he uses a pseudonym for a reason, and he's afraid that if he'll go to jail now, he'll be in danger for his life.

You can see an interview with Nekschot on Danish TV, Feb. 28, 2008 here (The interview is mostly in English, with some Danish)

Source: Parool (Dutch)

See also: Dutch caricaturists: It's a type of self censorship


Randall H. Miller said...

I find it absolutely mind-boggling how Muslims around the world have reacted to the Mohammed cartoons when you consider how Jews/Christian/Infidels are routinely depicted in their own media.

Dinah Lord said...

This is freaking scary. I don't know what's worse - the islamism or the fascism.

Anonymous said...

There's no such thing a s freedom of speech in europe. he should apply for asylum or something like that in the U.S like Hirsi Ali did.

Anonymous said...