A Jordanian journalist has been arrested and could face prison time for photoshopping Salt Bae into The Last Supper.
We would hazard to guess that a fair few of you reading this right now are big fans of memes. We certainly spend a large chunk of our day scrolling through them and chuckling to ourselves. Whether it be Pepe the Frog, Evil Kermit, or Condescending Wonka, we are fans of them all.
For the most part, memes tend to be pretty non-offensive. Entertaining and fleeting images that poke fun at something. However, some people seem to take memes more seriously than others. Take the one below, for instance. Salt Bae, the Turkish chef who became famous in 2017 for the unique way he seasons his steaks, lending a helping hand at The Last Supper. We think it's pretty damn funny.
Turns out the Jordanian government does not agree with us. A journalist named Mohammad Al-Wakeel has been arrested for the above image appearing on his news site's Facebook page. After the image was posted, Albawaba reported that some Jordanians reacted angrily, calling for action to be taken. Even though the site, Al Wakeel News, promptly removed the image and issued an apology, that was clearly not enough.
Jordan's Roya News reported that Al Wakeel was arrested last Monday for his apparent role in the photoshopped image being created and posted on Facebook. He was also denied bail last Tuesday. The journalist is being charged with incitement of sectarian and religious strife. According to the Daily Mail, if Al Wakeel is found guilty, he could face jail time for as long as three years.
We understand that around the world there are cultures and walks of life very different to our own. We also understand that being offended by something is a very subjective thing. However, this feels like something of an overreaction to us. It was obviously intended as a joke and as soon as Al Wakeel realized he had upset a number of people, the image was removed and an apology issued. To be sent to prison for a meme, well, that seems like a little much.