Thursday, February 5, 2015

That USA Today Cartoon

So, a few days ago, USA Today published as its Daily Editorial Cartoon, a piece by Cameron Cardow of the Ottawa Citizen. It equates Islam with Nazism.


In retaliation, the cartoon and the paper have been attacked by the usual suspects (see below). But on the other side, both are getting praise from Islamophobes like, well, me.

Let's look a bit further into it. Cameron Cardow appears to be a "conservative" or "classical liberal" or whatever you want to call it, cartoonist. He has skewered all sorts of people and groups, including Mitt Romney, during the 2012 elections. But he has also created a number of cartoons that are highly critical of Islam. Not "Islamic extremism", but Islam.

He's a brave man. Seeing that he's working in Canada, he's technically violating or at least closely skirting the country's "anti-hate speech" laws and ruling culture. Just recently a Canadian man was sentenced to over a year in jail for making critical comments about the Koran on a subway train.

But Cardow is also tough on pro-Islam apologists, which of course expands the circle of "offense" even further. Here's a cartoon of Pope Francis kneeling on a Muslim prayer rug.

Why, the gall of that man. Maybe the Pope will punch him the next time he visits Ottawa.

Serious comment now: Can we get out of this pro-censorship haze that we're in and go back a few years. Isn't this the sort of thing that political cartoonists are supposed to do?

Now, on to USA today. Does the paper or editorial staff believe (with Cardow, presumably) that Islam is equivalent to Nazism? That's very doubtful. As far as I can tell, the point of the Daily Editorial Cartoon is to highlight some point of view (among many) in the public sphere. They pick all different cartoons from all sides of the political spectrum. That's the purpose of the Daily Cartoon. Like, duh, as they say. Indeed, speaking of Islam, today they ran a cartoon with the more "mainstream" message that by burning a captive alive in a cage, ISIS was in fact going against Islam and the Koran:

But that isn't enough for the usual suspects who want to censor only the cartoons they don't like.

For the fun of it, I'm going to reprint the reaction of the ironically named Fairness and Accuracy in Media. Of course Mahound's Paradise is going to insert some of our own comments, using the utmost charity, as always:
It's not a terribly hard cartoon to parse: Islam is the modern equivalent of Nazism, and threatens a new Holocaust. The cartoon lists entities that have nothing in common with each other aside from their connection to Islam...
...political movements like Hezbollah and Hamas, who have been the targets of far more violence than they are responsible for...
Are you an apologist for terrorism or just a useful idiot?
...along with groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, terrorist groups whose victims are primarily Muslim...
Otherwise you obviously wouldn't give a flying fig.
...Hezbollah and ISIS are actually engaged in intense warfare with each other.
Yeah, and the SS slaughtered the SA. And your point is?
In case you missed the point (ah ha), the cartoon puts one of the holiest phrases in Islam–"Allah Akbar," or "God is great"–in the mouth of a Nazi skeleton.
OH. MY. GOD. (Deal with it.)
(Along with its roll call of Muslim villains, the cartoon includes the phrase "politically correct"– which I can only take to mean that people who criticize the politics of cartoons — for example — are a kind of Nazi too.)
Well, that's a leap worthy of Kierkegaard. You go, Skippy.
No doubt defenders of the cartoon will say that it's only talking about the badkind of Islam, which is just as persuasive as making a list of all the horrible people you can think of from a particular ethnic group and then saying that you're only talking about the bad people from that ethnic group. One would hope USA Today would decline to make such a smear its daily editorial cartoon.
Will you guys stop wagging your fingers? Seriously, it's making me dizzy.
UPDATE: You can send feedback to USA Today's editorial page editor Brian Gallagher at
If enough of our people email them, they'll stop printing cartoons we don't like.

But this is tiresome. Let's be frank. Fairness and Accuracy in Media and all of their supporters aren't Americans. Not really. At least if we still define ourselves as being open to  a free exchange of ideas, without subservience to anyone, especially fascist groups and ideologies.

Fly away now. It's okay, I hear there are some openings in the media control department of the Turkish government...

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