Turkey, Sweden: The Internet Conflict over Mohammed Images

Click here: Stratfor.com – Turkey, Sweden: The Internet Conflict over Mohammed Images

Turkish and Swedish computer hackers are waging a cyberwar over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in a Swedish newspaper. In the latest round, Turkish media outlet Zaman reported Oct. 18 that Swedish hackers broke into Turkish e-mail accounts and sent pornographic images depicting Mohammed with Mustafa Kamal Attaturk, the revered founder of modern Turkey. These images could inflame Turkish religious and nationalist passions, putting Scandinavian interests in the country at risk of attack.

In the first week of October, Turkish hackers attacked 5,000 Swedish Web sites in retaliation for a cartoon depicting Mohammed with the body of a dog published by the Swedish daily Nerikes Allehanda. Swedish hackers responded Oct. 13 by attacking Turkish Web sites and hacking into Turkish e-mail accounts, sending the offending images. According to Zaman, “The hackers, operating on a Turkish network, removed all files on the Web sites, and in some cases replaced them with messages.”

…For Muslims, any image of Mohammad is considered blasphemous. For Turks, slandering Attaturk is considered sedition, punishable by jail time under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.The images could incite unrest in Europe as they spread to Turkish communities there. Although the Turkish immigrant community in Sweden is small, numbering only about 11,000, Europe’s largest Turkish community — in Germany — could act out against Scandinavian targets in that country.

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