Cartoons

I like to read cartoons. I’m a regular reader of userfriendly.org, dilbert, the wizard of id, fokke en sukke and a few others. I can’t say that I’m a regular reader of Gregorius Nekschot’s cartoons, which cover such topics as multiculturalism, islam, and other rather controversial topics. Good satire can hurt and his cartoons definitely hits a nerve with some deeply religious individuals. His website is enitled “Gregorius Nekschot – Sick Jokes”. Lets say Nekschot is very blunt and to the point.  Anyway check here for an example.

Anyway, two weeks ago, Nekschot  put a rather visionary (in retrospect) post on his web site where he jokingly suggests that soon Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Dutch minister of justice) & his uniformed party members would be arresting free spirited people and deporting them for reeducation (in Dutch). The reason was Ballin’s apparent plans to broaden the scope of existing legislation against blasphemy and the analogy with Guantanomo that was being suggested was very to the point in my view. Also the reference to 1940’s party members of Hirsch Ballin that cooperated with the Nazi occupation or looked the other way is very much to the point since Hirsch Ballins motivation seems to display similar spinelessness and an apparent desire to follow up on rather intimidating threats/complaints coming from e.g. Iran and various islamist groups living in the Netherlands. Sort of the same groups of people that cheered Theo van Gogh’s murder a few years ago, who was BTW a friend of Nekschot apparently.

It seems Nekschot’s analysis was more accurate than he must have realized. Gregorius Nekschot was arrested last week on orders of a maverick Dutch attorney who seems to be more or less operating under direct orders from Hirsch Ballin. Nekschot was locked up for two days, with no trial, based on vague accusations regarding the general shocking, insulting and discriminating nature of some of his cartoons. This is sort of a new low. Having a cartoonist’s house searched by a 10 people strong police force and the victim subsequently deported to a prison is not something you’d expect in a modern, democratic country.  It happened last week in the Netherlands. Full thumbs up from the responsible minister apparently.

Nekschot is a pseudonym of course that refers to the “shot to the neck” execution style that very much characterizes his approach to humour. His real name is so far not revealed. A court case will change that and expose him to very real threats to his life. After all, one of his friends was murdered already for speaking freely.

I usually don’t do politics on my blog but this is a good reason to make an exception. It seems Hirsch Ballin lacks a sense of humor and an appreciation of free speech and the Dutch constitution.