Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jesus and Mo cartoon

Is this cartoon offensive?

The BBC thinks so. On their Sunday morning programme The Big Questions on 12th January, the producers opted not to display it to viewers even though the Jesus and Mo satirical comic strip was the very topic of debate. By doing so, they chose to manifest and perpetuate a certain hyper-sensitivity to an imagined sharia compliance with which very few British Muslims actually accord, let alone the vast majority of non-Muslims. By censoring this innocuous image, the BBC is inculcating the whole nation with the belief that depictions of Mohammed are haram - forbidden - and that everyone - people of all faiths and none - must respect and obey this precept.

Setting aside the irrefutable historic fact that Shia Muslims have a centuries-old tradition of depicting Mohammed, and this sort of strict censorship being principally a Sunni assertion of belief (including the malignant Wahhabi-Salafi strain), it is surely not for the state broadcaster to take a dogmatic view of the deeply-held sensitivities of one religious denomination, or to impose a moral view of religious blasphemy when Parliament has abolished the concept.

The fact that the BBC chose to censor a T-shirt depicting this cartoon rather upset Muslim Maajid Nawaz, who was a guest on the show. He proceeded to tweet out the image to his followers with the message: “This is not offensive & I'm sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it.” Mr Nawaz is a former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir, and became director of the anti-extremist think-tank the Quilliam Foundation. He is now the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn. Mohammed is his prophet, and Islam is his faith. But he understands perfectly that some people view Islam is a vile ideology and, for many, Mohammed is no kind of prophet at all. And depicting Mohammed saying "Hey" to Jesus does not offend him in the slightest.

No reasonable person goes out of their way to cause offence. In this instance, Maajid Nawaz was simply challenging the BBC's (myopic) interpretation of a particular (narrow) view of sharia, and demonstrating that British Muslims are moderate and do not reach for the nearest meat-cleaver to dismember the apostate or behead the blaspheming kuffar.

Sadly, a few Muslims have now threatened Mr Nawaz with certain 'surprises', and others have been more explicit in what they would like to do to him



Anonymous said...

So Christian bashers, who is the intolerant religion again?

Anonymous said...

Don't give the oxygen of publicity or public debate to Muslim views, as it gives it some perverse validation, even if that may be regarded as self-censorship

Anonymous said...

Muslims killing muslims. Gimme a front row seat!

Anonymous said...

History will note that the UK was destroyed by it's own addiction to political correctness.

Stefan v said...

Actually, it is offensive; go read the second commandment (hint, Exodus 20:4). For an idea of what results when this is ignored, read Romans chapter 1.

Old Bob said...

Jesus and Mo, a fantastic comic. The books of collected previous cartons are available online.

Old Bob said...

Jesus and Mo, a fantastic comic. The books of collected previous cartons are available online.

Dean said...

Exodus 20:4,5 4: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of any likeness of any thing that is is heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them for I the Lord the God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

Verse 5 explains the intent of verse 4. Don't worship man-made images.

It isn't the statue or picture that is the sin, the sin is worshiping the statue or picture.

Cherry picking verses out of conterxt leads to lack of understanding.

Stefan v said...

Verse 4 says don't make images of God. That includes any artist's "impression" of The Lord Jesus Christ, as well as false characterisations of The Lord as in most of professing Christendom today. Making a representation of The Lord is a sin. Stick to the word portraits in Scripture, all else is vanity.

stinky said...

the images were not "graven," i.e. neither sculpted nor carved, so even by the overwrought standard proposed, still no prob.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but you are wrong. If one wants to accept your interpretation, one could not draw a fish which is found beneath the water.

The restriction is because other cultures and belief systems worship graven (which is carved or sculpted) statutes of their "god(s)."

Dean is correct that taking a verse out of context is a recipe for disaster and that is what you have done here.

Frankly, your interpretation cannot withstand contextual or logical criticism. Like most legalistic stances and beliefs, it fails on many levels.

Luke Warm said...

Right wingers arguing about nonsense. Classic!

Stefan v said...

You can draw a fish if you feel the need, just don't go calling it God (Darwin & friends, take note...). He made it abundantly clear we aren't to make pictures of Him, but since when has anything God said penetrated your hearing?

Anonymous said...


Let's review the verse and focus on one part as you have done.

Exodus 20:4: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of any likeness of any thing .... that is in the water under the earth.

Last time I checked, a fish was in the water beneath the earth.

It is your own reading and parsing skills (or lack thereof) that shows the fallacy of your position.

As for your question of, "but since when has anything God said penetrated your hearing?" the answer is "every day."

But my friend, you are not God. It is not God's words that are in question, but your interpretation of them. God said "come let us reason together."

That verse is lost on many people and it appears to be lost on you.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what the ancient Hebrews thought was the mind of God! Does God hate art?

Stefan v said...

Verse 5 goes on to describe what people did with the images in v4, so the context is clear about what kind of "art" is prohibited. Seeing as how The Lord commanded the tabernacle to include cherubim and palm trees, He isn't against all images, just the vain ones men make to worship, let alone ridicule.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

That passage is not an invitation to display your mighty intellect, it is a challenge to an argument, a dispute, and from v24 on we learn how it turns out. This next one is the one where God tells us what He thinks of our mighty thinking skills, O wise Anon. You are not my friend, I am not yours, and if I were you I'd be wary of whatever you're hearing on a daily basis.

Proverbs 3:5:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Anonymous said...

He isn't against all images, just the vain ones men make to worship, let alone ridicule

Which is exactly what everyone has said but you.

Not all images of God or Christ are made to worship or ridicule.

Nice to see you come around to the truth.

(PS - No one but you was "leaning on their own understanding. You took a verse out of context and got called on it. Learn from the experience.)

Anonymous said...


By the way, we do see how it turns out in Isaiah. People who do not listen to God's word and reason are condemned.

However, God's reasoning and logic are available for all to see - even you.

I am sorry that you hate Christians so much that you can't even call them "friends."

Oh well. I wish you well with your legalism and pray that you don't lead people astray.

Stefan v said...

Oh, what wise and valiant disputers, setting up a straw goliath and then slaying him. My point from the start was that pics of The Lord are forbidden. Nobody listens to God unless He gives them ears to hear, but all are accountable regardless. I don't hate Christians, I hate the impostors that sneak in under the mantle and make a mockery of God's word. That includes you, dear patronising "friend".

Anonymous said...

My point from the start was that pics of The Lord are forbidden.

And that point was roundly and soundly shown to be false. Don't blame the rest of us because you tried to espouse something that wrong and got caught at it.

I hate the impostors that sneak in under the mantle and make a mockery of God's word.

You hate yourself?

There is a cure for that, you know.

That includes you, dear patronising "friend".

Wow. Just wow.

Sorry you feel that way mon ami. In short, you won't listen to God's word, think you are above it, and hate those who disagree with you.

Have a good time.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't the frequent physical representation of a cross also become a virtual craven image of worship. To deny that, saying it's only a symbol or a focus, can be used as well for any image of a deity or saint such as the Catholics have been accused of, and the cause of the Puritans vandalizing all the beautiful artwork during and after the Reformation like the Taliban do today.