Irish media outlets have been warned by a Dublin-based Muslim leader against tweeting a satirical cartoon of Mohammed that appeared in the Paris-based paper Charlie Hebdo, target of the terrorist attack on Wednesday, which resulted in the execution of 12, including 10 members of the paper’s staff and two police officers.
Dr. Ali Selim lectures in Trinity College and is also part of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. He was interviewed yesterday by Niall Boylan, a host on the radio station 4FM, following the terror attack. Boylan asked if he should fear for his life if he (Boylan) retweeted a replica of the Charlie Hebdo cartoon.
“Not your life would be in danger but definitely we will check the Irish law and if there is any legal channel against you, we will take it,” Selim replied.
The lecturer, who condemned the shocking attack and said he is a “great advocate of freedom of expression,” nonetheless said he would seek legal advice if any Irish media outlet publishes or shares offensive imagery of Mohammed.
“You can say love is stronger than hate, but you can’t portray the Prophet Mohammed. If the law gives you the right to do it, do it, if the law does not give you the right to do it, then don’t do it,” Selim said.
Publishing the cartoon, he added, “doesn’t help for peaceful coexistence,” as the image “is an act of mockery.”
Selim said that he’s mulling a political run in the next Irish election as an independent candidate. He recently published the book “Islam and Education in Ireland.”