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CAIR, CAIR-Kansas Call on Syndicate to Drop Offensive Anti-Shia Cartoon, Invite Cartoonist Engage in Dialogue with Muslim Community 

(WASHINGTON D.C., 8/19/2021) – The Council on American-Relations (CAIR) and CAIR’s Kansas chapter (CAIR-Kansas) today called on syndicate and digital entertainment provider Andrews McMeel Universal to drop an offensive anti-Shia cartoon and invited the cartoonist to engage in a dialogue with the Muslim community.  

The cartoon — in the series “Argyle Sweater” by cartoonist Scott Hilburn — mocks the name of Shia Muslims with the phrase “No Shiite Sherlock,” and was published in the Kansas City Star and presumably other newspapers nationwide. [NOTE: The phrase “no sh*t Sherlock” is used to indicate something that should have been obvious.] 

SEE OFFENSIVE CARTOON: https://www.gocomics.com/theargylesweater/2021/08/04 

In a letter to the editor in response to the cartoon, Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council Chair Cindy McDavitt said that by publishing the strip, the Star “aligned itself with other media outlets that actively target Muslims to antagonize them and contributed to making Kansas City an unwelcoming place for our Muslim friends.”  

Shia Muslims make up at least 10 percent of the world’s Muslim population, with large populations in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Azerbaijan and as minority communities in other nations. 

SEE: Offensive Comic Strip, Biden’s Responsibility, JoCo Sheriff 

https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article253579879.html

In a statement, CAIR-Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy said: 

At a time when Muslims are targeted by bigotry, cartoons like this contribute to the overall atmosphere of Islamophobia. This cartoon belittles and insults the Muslim community. We call on the syndicate to drop it and invite the cartoonist to take part in a dialogue with the Muslim community to gain greater understanding of Islam and Muslims. Islamophobia must not hide behind misguided attempts at ‘humor.’” 

Elbayoumy said he could facilitate that dialogue with community leaders. 

CAIR Research and Advocacy Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz said: 

Words can have negative consequences in the lives of ordinary people of all faiths. While we strongly support the First Amendment right to publish even offensive material, common courtesy and respect for others should be the guiding principles at rule in this case.” 

Shahbaz noted that CAIR’s first public campaign in the consumer world was launched in 1994 in response to a greeting card containing Islamophobic language, including insults targeting Shia Muslims. That get-well card stated: “So you’re feeling like Shiite. Don’t Mecca big deal out of it.” As a result of CAIR’s campaign, Recycled Paper apologized for the card and ended its production. 

#CAIRSnapshots Video: CAIR Campaign Against Islamophobic Greeting Card Results in Settlement 

CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.      

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.      

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END    

CONTACT: CAIR-Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, melbayoumy@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com 

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