A group of journalists have been arrested after inserting Salt Bae into the 'Last Supper'
Hey guys, remember Salt Bae?
In the social media age, internet celebrities are a dime a dozen and forgotten in a minute, but Turkish professional chef and meat tenderiser Nusret Gökçe has been burned into our collective consciousnesses after he went viral for a series of mesmerising, weirdly sexual videos of him tenderising some meat.
Google them if you've not seen Salt Bae in action - I would do it myself, but I'd never get this article written. Point is, folks, we love Salt Bae, and so did this team of journalists out in Jordan. But while I show my love for Salt Bae by writing altogether too many words about him in an article, they edited him into one of the most famous paintings of all time.
It... did not go well.
Now, you or I probably aren't the most up to date with our knowledge of art, and there's nothing wrong with that but we're all at least vaguely aware of The Last Supper, the painting by Leonardo da Vinci that isn't the Mona Lisa. It is exactly what you might expect - a painting of Jesus looking all divine at what turned out to be his last-ever meal before things went decidedly south. That one up there, in case you were wondering.
Anyway, apparently out of love for Salt Bae, a group of journalists at Jordanian outfit Al-Wakeel News thought it would be a good idea to go right ahead and edit Salt Bae in there, complete with him sprinkling salt right into Jesus' last meal. Christ isn't really having it, though: our Lord and Saviour looks like he's telling him to hold up on the salt.
You or I might get a little chuckle out of that image, but the Jordanian government did not take kindly to this blasphemous Photoshop job. Not one bit. The edited image was deemed offensive to Christians (who make up to six percent of Jordan's population), and two people at Al-Wakeel News were arrested as a result.
Journalist Mohammed Al Wakeel, who runs the site, alongside trainee editor Ghadir Rbehat, were taken into custody, released on bail, and if convicted of inciting sectarian strife, they could serve up to three years in prison. In addition to that a statement released by the Latin Patriarchate Schools called on the Jordanian Ministry of Education to take legal action against Al-Wakeel News.
"The cartoon works to deepen the spirit of hatred amongst people," says the statement, and there are shades of the incident reminiscent of the assassination of 56-year-old writer and political activist Nahed Hattar, who was killed after posting a cartoon on Facebook entitled "God of Daesh", which was given the government charge of "incitement".
Hattar had tried to explain that the cartoon was mocking "terrorists and how they imagine God and heaven, and does not insult God in anyway," but there were people in Jordan who did not feel the same way.