The Jordanian weekly Sheehan has published three of the controversial caricatures (in Arabic) that depict the Prophet Mohammad. Accompanying the cartoons is an editorial from the paper’s editor-in-chief, Jihad al Moumani. You can read the whole story here (in Arabic) but here are some translated portions:

You Muslims of the world, act rational. Who insults Islam more: a foreigner who draws the prophet or a Muslim with an explosive belt killing himself at a wedding in Amman or a anywhere else? … Which act prompts the world to insult Islam and Muslims: cartoons or a real scene of the butchering of a hostage with a sword in front of a camera while accompanied by the chanting of Allah Akbar.

What’s going to happen now? Will people start boycotting Mansaf? Will Jihad Al-Moumani start receiving death threats? Will the government shut this paper down? This is a very bold move that may have grave consequences.

Meanwhile, intense discussions are currently raging over this issue on Mental Mayhem’s newswire. Frankly, I can’t keep track of all the comments at this point. As the discussion has grown it is becoming more heated between those for and against the cartoons. Some are really getting out of line. I’ll need to hire someone full-time just to monitor the debate and comments from both sides of the conflict! There are links to other related stories within these posts, but these are the hot topics receiving the most discussion right now:

UPDATE: As I’d expected, a few hours after the publication of the cartoons in the Jordanian weekly Sheehan, the owners said they had fired their editor and taken the issue off the stands. And, no surprise either, the government is threatening legal action.

UPDATE 2: The publisher of the newspaper Sheehan has made a statement: "The company was shocked that Sheehan republished the insulting caricatures and it strongly condemns such an irresponsible behavior." It vowed "severe measures against people whose implication is proven." The government also came out strongly against newspaper’s decision. "The government believes that the paper committed a grave mistake and demands an apology, while at the same time is considering legal action," said Government Spokesperson Nasser Judeh according to Jordan’s News Agency, Petra. In the mean time, Jihad Moumani apologized, expressing "deep regret" and saying he meant to show people how the cartoons were insulting. More details are available at The Jordan Times.