“Opus” Cartoon Not Offensive to This Muslim

Sheila Musaji

Posted Aug 27, 2007      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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“Opus” Cartoon Not Offensive to This Muslim

by Sheila Musaji

This past Sunday’s Berkeley Brethed’s “Opus” Cartoon “Opus” Cartoon was not run in The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country. 

Coming just a few weeks after an “Opus” cartoon strip poking fun at Jerry Falwell was printed, many are seeing this as a sign that there is a double standard and poking fun at Muslims is treated differently than poking fun at Christians for example.

I have to agree with Eugene Volokh on The Huffington Post that this cartoon is quite tame. 

As a Muslim I was offended by the Muhammad cartoons run in Denmark, and I was offended by the violent response on the part of some Muslims.  I am also offended when someone makes fun of Jesus, Moses, an entire religion, etc.  Muslims were offended in that instance because their Prophet and the faith of Islam was being maligned. 

Making fun of Islam (or any religion) is offensive, making fun of Muslims, there is no problem,  and there are plenty of Muslim comedians and comic strip artists who do just that all the time.  This cartoon is funny, and most Muslims would also laugh.  We might not agree with everything it insinuates, but so what!

The sad thing about this incident is that these newspapers have so little understanding of American Muslims, and have no one on staff to tell them when to “lighten up”.  Perhaps they should call on Azhar Usman, Bendib, or Preacher Moss to give them a mini seminar on this subject.

This is a non-incident, non-issue, but I am certain that over the next few days it will take on a life of its own and Muslims will be blamed for getting the strip pulled.

UPDATE:  In an August 29, 2007 interview on Hannity & Colmes, Mark Steyn said “Why don’t the moderate Muslims speak but when the moderate Muslims see the Washington Post not even daring to run the mildest jest about Islam, they think it’s the Washington Post that is scared of these guys, why should we be expected to speak out?” 

I guess these people don’t read what Muslims say about anything.