Mad Muzzies are at it again, with more than 300 Arab and Islamic web forums complaining about a few squiggles. Yes, it's another cartoon. This time it's in Japan.
According to a story in Japan Today, Shueisha Inc., a Japanese publisher involved in the production of a cartoon called JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (and its animation version), decided to suspend sales of some of the original comics and the DVD series yesterday, but said the material in it, showing a man reading a book, was not intended to be offensive.
Material like this is rarely intended to be offensive: it's sometimes intended to poke fun or satirise or just be amusing or diverting. Sometimes, as in the case of this one – which shows the baddy looking at the Koran as he contemplates assassinating the goody – a piece of fact taken from the real world is depicted as part of a storyline, in this case the Koran, which exists as a published work, as does the Bible, as do any number of editions of the complete works of Shakespeare and the latest Coldplay CD.
The perceived problem with this one seemed to be that it depicted Muslims as terrorists. Do terrorists not read books, and some of them the Koran? Don't perceived good people read pornography or material that religionists would find distasteful? Was this character, anyway, a terrorist, or just the villain you see in all comic books, whether it's the Joker or Lex Luther?
If the goody had the Koran in his hands, that would be OK, would it? You never know with these bleating whingers. Perhaps the goody would have to have a beard and be called Ali or Mahmoud rather than Nigel or Ron.
No, as with the cartoons that were published in 2005 in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten, Muslims seem not to be enjoying their religion unless someone is perceived to be insulting it and they can then jump up and down and burn things and march about demanding people's heads be separated from their bodies.
A Shueisha official said it was "a simple mistake". "Neither the original comic nor the animation intends to treat Muslims as villains," he said. "But, as a result, the cartoon offended Muslims. We apologise for the unpleasantness that the cartoon may have caused and will carefully consider how to deal with religious and culture themes."
That's what the Muslims want. They won't be happy until anyone who ever contemplates publishing anything, anywhere has to have it vetted by some High and Most Eminent Fatwa Committee blessed by Almighty Allah.
Well they've certainly ensured that the entire world has seen something of this cartoon.