Bosch Fawstin’s “The Infidel”: A Waste of Talent
by Sheila Musaji
Robert Spencer has just published an article encouraging his readers to read Bosch Fawstin’s superb THE INFIDEL #2. He refers to Fawstin as an “Ace counter-jihad illustrator” and says that this is a serialized graphic novel about a battle between “Pigman” and his archenemy “SuperJihad”. Spencer then waxes poetic “All too accurate, all too real, this novel takes you into the mind and heart of a dedicated warrior for freedom as he stands tall against true believers in jihad who are willing to kill for their belief, supine and willfully blind dhimmis and Useful Idiots, and other features of the contemporary landscape. Strikingly original, deeply insightful, and powerfully moving, THE INFIDEL #2 is the story of our sad and foolish age. Don’t miss it.”
Not knowing anything about Fawstin or his graphic novels, I did a little research. Fawstin has his own site featuring his drawings, prints, and graphic novels.
Bosch Fawstin was interviewed by Aasif Mandvi on the daily show last year. Fawstin was upset that DC Comics was considering a Muslim sidekick for Batman. At one point in the interview, the following exchange took place
Asif: Let me understand this, so I get my head around it, All muslims, even me, could be jihadists?
Bosch: Yeah. Some muslims as far as you know they’re muslims one day and then commit a jihadists attack and at that point, yeah, they are jihadists… Batman’s not immune from what’s going on down the real world. Batman has never faced down jihad.
Fawstin must have realized how foolish this appearance on the Daily Show made him look, and so wrote a statement about it. In this statement, he attempts to make the point that editing took his views “out of context”. After reading the following, it is clear that Fawstin should have left well enough alone, as the views he expresses “in context” succeed only in proving his own ignorance and bigotry. Here is his attempt to explain his Daily Show appearance”
The most egregious omission/dropping-of-context was with respect to my answer to the question that was supposed to be the focus of the piece: “What is wrong with a Muslim Batman?” The aired segment makes it appear as if my answer was “Nightrunner could be a Jihadist.” During the actual shooting, I was prompted to state that as a complete sentence, after responding “yes” to Aasif’s question, “Could Nightrunner be a Jihadist?” That statement was NOT given as an answer to the question, “What is wrong with a Muslim Batman?” My answer to that question is and was a lot more involved.
The short answer, which I stated immediately after being asked the question, and which was edited out, was, “What’s wrong with Batman, during WWII, recruiting a German Batman with no mention of Nazis?” During a significant portion of the interview, Aasif was emphasizing that comics aren’t real and was asking, in essence: Why can’t comics just take a piece of reality, out of context, if they want? My point was, you can’t peer into reality just a little bit, and pick-and-choose in this way. The only reason Nightrunner exists (and probably the reason Aasif is on “The Daily Show” although he seems to be a nice guy who does a good job) is because Muslim terrorists attacked us on September 11, 2001, and they did it in the name of Islam. (I made a similar point during the interview.) In my view, it is irresponsible for any cultural medium to include Muslims while dropping the larger context that is the reason for including them at all. (At least “The Daily Show” sometimes includes some of this larger context, and often does a good job of it.)
Another noteworthy instance of my being taken out of context was with respect to my view of the propensity of Muslims to become Jihadists, and how one should deal with self-described Muslims. Yes, I did say that I think it is possible for a Muslim to become a Jihadist. This is because, as I have learned in the research I did leading up to writing and drawing The Infidel, Islam prescribes Jihad as something its true believers should engage in, in order to spread Islam. What I discussed in the interview, which didn’t make it into the final segment, was my own attitude towards individual Muslims. I have family members who consider themselves Muslims with whom I am friendly, and I would certainly not conclude that your average Muslim is likely to become a Jihadist. They cut from the segment the following statement, which clearly distinguishes average Muslims from Islam’s consistent practitioners: “Your average Muslim is morally superior to Mohammed. They are individuals who may or may not be a problem. It’s Islam’s consistent practitioners, it’s organized Islam, that is the problem.” Obviously, this statement made me seem too reasonable (or maybe they thought it was too blasphemous) for it to be included in the segment.
Another significant point that was omitted was my view that, while most Muslims are relatively harmless, there are still aspects of Islam that are detrimental to even more passive Mulsims: the casual misogyny, anti-Semitism, and the idea that everyone outside the clan is, essentially, worthless. I was brought up surrounded by all of this.
Some less significant, but genuinely funny things were omitted. For example, when I was discussing the Islamization of the West by Muslims and Islamophiles — e.g., DC Comics featuring JLA/99 and Nightrunner — Aasif humorously tried to correct me, saying, “You mean Islamicizing.” And I replied, “No, Islamization.” He repeated, “Islamicizing?” I answered “Islamization.” This went on a few times until Aasif said, as if conceding, “Oh, Islamicizing, yeah, right, that’s the Muslim exercise,” to which I quipped, “Five times a day.” And then he said, “Ohhhh, Islamophobic humor.” I immediately dismissed this as “Islamophonia,” because fear of Islam is not irrational. And we had a little back-and-forth on that as well.
One unfortunate omission was something that was silly, but fun. They quoted my term, “IslamiCrap,” which I used in my post about Nightrunner. Aasif said only, “IslamiCrap.” And I replied, “Yeah, that’s right, ‘Islam means peace,’ the Muslim Batman, IslamiCrap.” And he responded, “How about Islami$#!+?” and I said, “No, IslamiCrap.” To which he responded, “How about IslamiDooDoo?” And I held my ground, “No, IslamiCrap,” saying it rolls off the tongue better. Perfectly silly, fun. Too bad it was left out.
Another thing you don’t see in the aired segment is Aasif conducting part of the interview in his superhero suit, which you see at the end of the aired segment. During that part of the sit-down interview, he asked me what I thought about him and his suit and, echoing Howard Roark’s response to a similar question from Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead, I said, “I don’t.” The premise of that part of the segment, the producer told me on set, was that Aasif wanted to be a superhero and I, by ruling out the possibility of a Muslim superhero, was ruining his chances. So we had a back-and-forth during which I said that, if he was willing to go after Jihadists, then that was fine with me, and he agreed to do so. Fairly funny stuff, not as good as some of the other omitted material.
Perhaps the funniest bit that was omitted from the aired segment was Aasif and I, supposedly traveling to my “psteudio” in a car. The premise was that, because of the nature of my work, I would take precautions with respect to who could come to my studio and I would not let visitors learn its location. So, like Batman did in the 1960?s TV show, we put a blindfold on Aasif. The difference being that here, Aasif was actually doing the driving, while blindfolded, getting directions from me, sitting in the passenger seat next to him.
To their credit, the editors did not take advantage of two instances where I misspoke. In one instance, when speaking about the English Batman, I mentioned London and England interchangeably, as if both were cities. In another, I was referring to Pigman’s super strength and I said, as a throwaway, that he’s as strong as 40 men, or 20 jihadists, when I meant the converse (i.e., I meant jihadists were weaker than the average man, not stronger). But in any event, that could have worked to Pigman’s benefit, to make him seem even tougher.
One final thing that shows how they really tried to make me look bad, down to the last detail: they gave Aasif both our rations of pre-camera make-up.
In an interview on DBKP, Fawstin gives a little of his background I was born in the Bronx, New York to Albanian/Muslim immigrant parents. I Began drawing at a very early age and have never stopped, falling in love with superhero comic books and finally making a career out of it.
In an article he wrote for Frontpage magazine he said My name is Bosch and I’m a recovering Muslim. That is, if Muslims don’t kill me for leaving Islam, which it requires them to do. That’s just one of the reasons I’ve been writing and drawing against Islam and its Jihad for a number of years now. But fortunately for us, Islam hasn’t been able to make every Muslim its slave, just as Nazism wasn’t able to turn every German into a Nazi. So there is Islam and there are Muslims. Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.
What we learn from all of this is that Fawstin says that his family was anti-Semitic and bigoted. This is more than unusual in an Albanian family. I am surprised that someone from an Albanian Muslim family is able to ignore the history of the Albanian Muslims and connect Islam and Nazism as if they are interchangeable.
In my article Muslims Who Fought Against the ‘Real’ Fascists & Nazis numerous examples are cited, and Albania, and Albanian Muslims are particularly noted. In that article,I note that
Albania was the only Muslim majority country in Europe. Albania not only saved Albanian Jews from the Nazis, but, in fact, Albania was the only country in Europe that had a larger Jewish population at the end of the war than before the war. Not one Albanian Jew or any other Jew who came to Albania for protection was turned over to the Nazis. Albanians like Refik Vesili who — as a 16-year-old — saved eight Jews by hiding them in his family’s mountain home. - The English-Albanian plaque in the Jewish Corner of Tirana’s National Museum lists the names of 33 Muslim Albanians who have been honored by Yad Vashem, and leaves space for other people “whose names remain unrecorded.”
Fawstin’s graphic novel can be downloaded as a PDF, but it will cost you $2.50. I would suggest saving your money unless you enjoy pure hate propaganda.