Another Cartoon for the Toonophobic

Apparently now it is illegal in Malaysia to not only show cartoons of mohammed, but just mentioning him in a cartoon will bring on troubling consequences.
The cartoon in question was this one:

The newspaper, in Malaysia, that ran it, was the “New Straits Times“. Here is an excerpt from the apology editorial they ran after coming under fire.

Obviously, we misjudged how different people would react to Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur syndicated cartoon published by the New Straits Times last Monday. We have written to the Internal Security Ministry in response to its letter asking us to show cause, explaining the processes involved and how the cartoon came to be published. It is a process involving the human factor, and humans err.
We told the ministry the same thing we are telling you — that we may have misjudged how different people would react to the cartoon, which, as we have pointed out to the authorities, was NOT one of the 12 produced by Danish cartoonists that outraged Muslims throughout the world. It was a totally different cartoon.It was wry humour by an artist whose work is syndicated in more than 700 newspapers, including those in Islamic countries, and whose strip has run in the NST since 1998.
There was no caricature of the Prophet Muhammad at all in that cartoon; nor was there any derogatory comment made about the Prophet or Islam.
Perhaps, in more ordinary circumstances, such a cartoon would not have received more than a passing mention.
Yet, these are different times. The Muslim world was outraged by the blasphemy of the Danish and European newspapers.
When the Sarawak Tribune and Guang Ming Daily reproduced pictures depicting the caricature of the Prophet, the Government acted firmly and suspended both newspapers. Their editors and publishers were held accountable.
In the case of Wiley Miller’s cartoon in the NST, there was no caricature of Prophet Muhammad at all. NONE.
(In other words, don’t kill us, burn down our offices, riot in the streets or go on a Christian killing rampage, as if you even needed an excuse to do those things anyway. -ed.)
And that is why we believed it was inoffensive. But just as we have received letters and emails, many from Muslims, saying they could not see what the fuss was all about, there are also those who feel strongly about this.
They include some members of the Cabinet, including newly appointed Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin; NGOs, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the Opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia, and others who have called the NST office to register their protest.
But again, we want to make very clear: There was no caricature of the Prophet published in the NST.
(See note above. -ed.)
We have always been sensitive to religious feelings. In fact, the NST is the most multiracial newspaper in the country because we have a very good mix of Malaysians working with us at all levels.
No other newspaper can boast of that racial and religious make-up. Hence, that makes us more sensitive to each other’s feelings and allows us to respect each other’s beliefs to a greater extent than an organisation dominated by one racial or religious group.
(Hey, we’re victims here too…but we just realized that Malaysia, like all other muslim countries, doesn’t have freedom. -ed)
When the caricature controversy began, our editors and section heads were instructed not to even think about reproducing any of the caricatures.In the case of the Wiley Miller comic strip, the sub-editor in charge let through the cartoon because it bore no caricature nor words offensive to Islam. (Anyone else feel that maybe the sub-editor is a “dead man walking”? -ed.)

Read the rest of the bowing and scraping here. Maybe an iman will like the shoe kissing and go ahead and tell them that they are under his protection. “Good little news paper editors. Now curl up on the floor by big daddy imans chair and kiss my shoes some more. If you’re really good at it, I might even pat your head some.”
Oh, by the way, here is a link to the origianal cartoons.
For a definition of “Toonophobia” click here.

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