Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mohammed caricatures... again!

The top illustration shows Jesus with the body of an elephant. The second one shows Mohammed with the body of a dog. The third finally depicts semi dog-semi human Mohammed again but this time with a placard that reads "Islam means human and animal rights".

These illustrations have been sketched by Swedish artist Lars Vilks. One of his Mohammed illustrations was published in Nerikes Allehanda, a local newspaper in Örebro, a city in southern central Sweden. Apparently, the paper chose the Mohammed sketch (not the Jesus one) to accompany an article on self-censorship. I don't know which of the two Mohammed ones was actually published. The articles I read (this and this) don't specify. My hunch is that the one with a placard came as a reaction to the furore generated by the second illustration. And I doubt if he was trying to defend himself and soothe ruffled feathers. It is more likely a smart rebuttal - Vilks thumbs his nose at those offended and drives home his point even more incisively in the last illustration.

To return to his second illustration, I feel it is in bad taste. Just like the one that had Moh
ammed with a bomb as a turban. I have two questions: a) Why do these newspapers have to continuously provoke the Muslims living in the west? And that too by using such puerile illustrations. I don't even get the point Vilks makes other than the obvious one of denigrating Mohammed by fusing him with a dog (despised widely in Islamic countries and elsewhere). It's a vicious circle (the kind Al-Qaeda hopes engulfs the entire civilised world) where provocations only engender more radicalism, and b) Why are cartoons of leaders of other faith rejected? It is the case here was so with Jyllands-Posten.

This is more like a cartoon that I'd enjoy. It's from Charlie Hebdo, a French weekly. The man above is Mohammed. The text on the left says, "Mohammed overwhelmed by the fundamentalists" and the balloon adds, "It's a pain being loved by idiots..." Charlie Hebdo was fortunately absolved of all charges of publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion. The case was brought by the Grand Mosque of Paris, the Union of Islamic Organisations of France (UOIF) and the World Islamic League.


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