"Subtle Humor"


The latest from The Ryskind Sketchbook. Click the link and go to his blog, "Fresh Meat,"for additional comments, too.

I still don't believe in blaspheming a religion just because you can, but as it is now clear we're in the middle of "a situation," this strikes me as an honest cartoon. Plus, I've been doing a little research. While it's true that Islam forbids images of man or animal in a religious context, it isn't true that any image of Mohammed is inherently blasphemous (although it is certainly contrary to the sensibilities of contemporary Muslims). Muslims themselves used to depict Mohammed in art in order to evangelize. They just didn't put these pictures in mosques. See here for some examples. And here. Some of them are in the Louvre and other museums without drawing protest. And don't tell bin Laden, but there's a relief of Mohammed (with other "lawgivers") in the frieze on the outside of the U.S. Supreme Court.

I'm still too jet-lagged to get into things too deeply, but one thing the numerous Arab Christians I spoke with in the last ten days said repeatedly is that the West does them no favors with its insistence on casting Middle East violence in terms of intractable hostility between Jews & Arabs. What Western journalism ignores in their view is the religious source of violent incidents. To put it plainly, nothing you read about in the papers is a matter of "Arab" v. "Jew." It's always a matter of Muslims v. Everyone Else. More later.