By: Armin Aljovic
When the group of bandits and scoundrels in January 2015 murdered journalists of the French satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing a caricature of the prophet Muhammad, the most sacred figure in the Muslim world, the esteemed professor from Sarajevo, Fikret Karcic, whose main realm of research is inter alia reformist movements in Islam, commented the incident as follows: '...not allow the extremists to speak on behalf of Muslims, for Muslims are the biggest victims of their violence. That way, founding values of Islam will be revealed, and that is peace on earth.'
These days, a sad, shameful and unnecessary stigmatization in his native city of Sarajevo has befallen a comic artist Filip Andronik. He published a caricature which reminds of the first president of Presidency of Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic. Although Muhammed has the universal value for Muslims all over the world, and Alija Izetbegovic is an historical figure in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, professor Karcic teaches us that, even when it comes to biggest blasphemy such as insulting the prophet, it is not wise to radically defend even the values such as prophets. Consequently, we conclude, one should not fiercely react to possible insults of president Izetbegovic, whose party has stayed in power for over two decades, hiding behind Islamic faith.
The comic artist Andronik in the disputed caricature swears at Alija from Kovaci. The caricature was also shown on a TV Sarajevo. Although the comic makes one think of president Izetbegovic, which Andronik himself subsequently tried to explain, the supervisory board and the management of TVSA have publicly distanced themselves from the TV show and its editor Enisa Skenderagic, while offering an apology to the 'family Izetbegovic, citizens and the entire BH public' for 'disgusting way of ridiculing Alija Izetbegovic'.
In its press release, TVSA further explained that TVSA entertainment program editor Enisa Skenderagic had ignored the management decision that for every TV program she was to provide a list of guests, so nobody knew that the program 'Good Vibrations' was to host the comic artist Filip Andronik.
Notwithstanding journalist associations which remind us that 'humoristic and satiric genre' are protected by the article 10 of the European convention which allows 'a higher degree of humor or mockery', notwithstanding media experts such as Mehmed Halilovic who warns that TVSA's reaction is an ill favor to media freedom and a direct attack on its own editorial politics, notwithstanding the fact that TVSA is paid by tax payers who do not all share political and ideological values of SDA, the reaction by TVSA and that political party reveal their own political matrix, which is a RTRSization of the media space in Sarajevo, which, considering his own earlier statements, even late president Izetbegovic would have agreed with.
What's worrying is that the voice of that small group people from TVSA and the party can still be heard, causing greater consequences for Sarajevo than the voice of all those who rushed to defend Andronik and thus the hallmark of Sarajevo – its openness and tolerance.
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