Press Law Amended For God’s Sake?

If you’re a journalist in Jordan you probably won’t ever make 20,000 JDs a year ($28,216 US) but this number is the new fine for a publication found in violation of the publication law under the recent amendments.

â??Officials said the changes made two days ago by the Council of Ministers include provisions that prohibit vilifying religions and prophets as well as inciting sectarian or ethnic bigotry.

The amendments, a government official said, support the prohibition of taking journalists into custody for charges of breaching the law in question. [source]�

Of course the government has said these amendment is not meant to restrict freedoms.

It’s strange how instead of overhauling the entire system that is the Jordanian Press Association and it’s laws, we are instead looking at new ways to restrict freedoms while telling everyone we’re not restricting freedoms when really we are restricty freedoms. Sigh…

Is there are a rash of journalists insulting religions that I’m not aware of? The editors who printed the Danish cartoons that insulted the Prophet pbuh made a mistake obviously; you can discuss an issue without pictorializing it in my opinion (as many papers chose to do). Nevertheless, even in their poor taste they were not vilifying religion.

As for “sectarian or ethnic bigotry”, is this in reference to saying nothing bad about Iraqi Shia’s or Kurds? I don’t see much of that either. In fact, I havn’t seen it at all. Of course I’m thinking this is in reference to Iraqis simply because I’ve asked the question “why now?”

Phew. I’ve already said my piece on such matters. You decide.

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