Syndicated cartoon portrays Muhammad as terrorist
A national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today expressed outrage at a Doug Marlette syndicated editorial cartoon, headlined “What Would Mohammed Drive?” showing the Prophet Muhammad driving a nuclear bomb-laden truck similar to that used by Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for an apology from Marlette’s syndicator, Tribune Media Services, and from his employer, the Tallahassee Democrat.
The cartoon is apparently a play on a recent light-hearted public debate over what kind of car Jesus would drive. Its publication comes following worldwide outrage over a similar accusation of terrorism against Muhammad by American evangelist Jerry Falwell.
“Defamatory attacks on Islam and on the Prophet Muhammad by media outlets or religious leaders only serve to harm our nation’s image worldwide and divide America along religious lines. Unfortunately, it now seems to be ‘open season’ on Islam in certain religious and political circles,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. Awad also objected to what he termed a “racist and stereotypical” portrayal of “Muhammad.” (Muslims object to any visual representations of the Prophet.)
“By learning more about the Prophet Muhammad, people of conscience will discover that he was a prime example of tolerance and mercy,” said Awad. He suggested viewing the documentary, “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet,” aired recently on PBS.
The cartoon is the latest in a series of negative religious portrayals addressed by CAIR. The group recently protested the depiction of a Jesus-like figure in a TV Guide Channel commercial promoting professional wrestling. After being contacted by many concerned Muslims, the network cancelled the commercial. (Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet of God.)
Hundreds of Muslims also contacted the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper to protest another editorial cartoon that linked Islam with intolerance and violence. The newspaper later issued a clarification of the cartoonist’s intent.
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE. Hostile comments will only serve to further harm the image of Islam and Muslims.)
Contact the Tallahassee Democrat to request an apology for their defamatory attack on the Prophet Muhammad.
Mary Ann Lindley
Editorial Page Editor
277 N. Magnolia Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32301
TEL: (850) 599-2100