Trinity lecturer warning over offensive cartoons

alisanews1Trinity College lecturer Dr. Ali Selim has warned Irish media not to reprint “anti-Islam” cartoons.

He was speaking in the wake of today’s attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 people.

The last tweet on the publication’s Twitter account was a cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader.

The former spokesperson for the Islamic Culture Centre in Dublin said he would seek legal advice if any Irish publication were to publish cartoons that are offensive to Muslims. 

“If the law of the state gives me the right to take you to court, I will do it straight away,” Selim said in an interview on Classic Hits 4FM

“I encourage freedom of expression that does not give room for confrontation, that does not turn one person against another,” he said. “I encourage people to live in harmony and peace, and respect each other.”

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Catherine Healy

Editor at Trinity News
Editor of Trinity News. Interested in politics, history and all forms of media.
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  • Conor Boyle

    “I encourage freedom of expression” unless it offends me, then, I will sue you.

    • Michael Stirner

      He doesn’t appear to understand satire, since it is a mechanism often used to criticize and ridicule, it tends to be confrontational by nature.
      I wonder does he take issue with Charlie Hebdo cartoons which ridicule other religions, such as Christianity or Judaism, or whether he feels like it is only Islam that shouldn’t be satirized.

      • oldoddjobs

        He’s not alone. A great many people defend Christianity and Islam mockery but draw the line when you start mocking Judaism. Obviously the only reason I’m pointing this out is so that I can mock Jewish people with impunity. Why else?

    • Akash

      IN A NUTSHELL..the same view held by the majority…and somehow …someway it is perpetuated and propagated by seemingly intelligent makes u wonder whether these people feel sympathy for those who drew a cartoon of their prophet…or those who were shot dead in cold blood..for drawing a cartoon?..SMH

    • oldoddjobs

      Good point, Conor. But go one further. “I encourage freedom of expression but if you publicly dispute the events of WWII, then, you will be thrown into a cage like an animal.”

      I thought freedom of speech was easy. The more offensive the speech, the more you stick to the principle. But why do so many people crow about freedom of speech and then immediately start rattling off the list of exceptions?

      • Conor Boyle

        Well there’s a massive difference between offending someone by saying or drawing something distasteful and denying that the holocaust happened if that’s what your inferring. Freedom of speech is meant to protect opinions rather than protecting people who deny facts

        • oldoddjobs

          Kill everyone in the world. No one has ever been raped. The Titanic was sunk by aliens. London should be burned to the ground. Ireland won the last six world cups.

          Freedom of speech protects freedom of speech, not nice things or true things.

  • EamoY

    But if the newspapers publish Charlie Hebdo cartoons it is as an expression of their solidarity with the people murdered today. To publish such pictures would be a powerful statement against the goal of the terrorists and as such should be considered artistic expression which would not be punishable under the anti-blasphemy act.

  • paulmoloney

    What an embarrassment to a great college.

  • Kieran Crosbie Staunton

    No mention of the barbaric acts committed yesterday?? No outcry from the spokesperson of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin??? So he obviously accepts yesterdays murder rampage as justified??

    I’ve read about this man before, google him and you will see he’s nothing but an empty kettle on constant boil!

  • Twunter

    If a Trinity lecturer had said that Jewish girls are forbidden from marrying Catholic/Protestant boys he would be hounded from the college by all – and rightly so.

    But when a minority with a different skin tone says it, nobody has the balls to confront him. Shame on you Trinity.

    And shame on you Trinity News for not publishing these cartoons as a response to this asshat Neanderthal.

    • Akash

      I btw have a darker skin tone.. therefore ur argument is invalid..;/ ..although i do agree with everything else u said ;p

  • Closeted Racist

    “I’d just like to contribute that I don’t realise this is a news piece containing one person’s valid opinion, not an opinion piece about news. Why does this Muslim not answer for the crimes of his people?”

  • Twunter

    God it must hurt to be as liberal minded and right on as you are. Disagreeing with the views of someone that has a different skin tone to yours does not make you a racist.

    Ali Selim is an asshat of epic proportions.

    • ‘Liberal’ Seán

      He didn’t just ‘disagree’ though, did he? And I never made a comment specifically about him disagreeing. I disagree with Dr. Selim myself, have posted Hebdo cartoons to friends, and even wrote an article about it ( front page). So stop this irrelevant, defensive nonsense. The guy suggested that a Muslim has some sort of moral obligation to address the actions of other supposed Muslims. You, now that I look at it, criticised a newspaper for publishing this article. For not publishing the cartoons. You, Twunter, are a hypocrite who doesn’t know the meaning of the word censorship. You referred to the man in the article as an extinct primate of low intelligence. That said, you were also hysterical enough to call him an ‘asshat’, thus I judged ‘Neanderthal’ as perhaps not a racist comment, but after reading this last response, I’m slowly losing high regard for your opinions.

      • Kieran Crosbie Staunton

        How is my comment (making no reference to race) “just racist”? (Religion
        is not a race after all!!) I don’t care for him personally but as a
        spokesperson for the Irish Islamic Centre it is his duty to condemn
        these attacks instead of threatening legal action against those of us
        who spread the cartoons that brought about these attacks. You may keep your racist card hidden…I have read enough about this man to not like him, and him alone. His countrymen and women, those that I work with, are the kindest people.

        • Seán

          No, it is not his “duty” to condemn the terrorist attacks. The men committed murder, killed 12 people including an Islamic police officer. The only thing these people had in common with Dr. Ali Salem was a label, and saying that you expect him by “duty” to condemn the attacks is lowering him to the same level of extremist terrorists. As you said, he a spokesperson for Islam – you think his choice not to talk about the terrorists wasn’t intentional? Speaking on behalf of the Islam community, his “duty” is simply to comment in a manner that will benefit the world and ensure the welfare of Muslims in Ireland at this emotional time. And he did in fact condemn acts like those that happened in Paris, “I encourage people to live in harmony and peace, and respect each other.” He’s probably so sick of people like you (although not maliciously) expecting him to comment on all this stuff that has nothing to do with Islam (why? Racism isn’t always intentional, and I’m sure you’re a nice guy, but this is just the way people in the Muslim community will view your sort of “expectation”.

          • oldoddjobs

            Two politically correct morons eating each other’s faces. Priceless.

  • graham fagan

    a newspaper should feel free to publish what are afterall only cartoons and if those cartoons poke fun at a belief system then so be it, ireland as france is not beholden to islamic law.

  • Akash

    As a gesture of free speech…in solidarity with the victims of both Charlie Hebdo and the neglected..needless to say, African victims of the Boko Haram Massacre….I propose that we publish these bad boys..not just offending islam…but all religious and oppressive institution ever to have been conceived by the human mind…but doubt this PC college would ever allow such a radical act…anyways..vandalism??;p

  • Mike Lyons

    This guy is an adjunct lecturer in Arabic. He has no concept of Trinity tradition of free speech and free enquiry.

  • EmmmaS

    What an embarrasment to Trinity College to have this man as a member of staff.

  • KingHasNoClothes

    Why is this man – Muslim Brotherhood – allowed to say in this country?


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