Oops. A cartoon in the “Mail & Guardian” newspaper in South Africa has created a bit of a furore. The Zapiro cartoon shows the Prophet Muhammad leaning back in a chaise lounge in the clouds, lamenting to a psychiatrist that “Other prophets have followers with a sense of humour”.
As if to prove his point, the Council of Muslim Theologians tried last night to prevent the cartoon from being published. Their bid was unsuccessful.
However, according to the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Nic Dawes, there have still been many angry calls and death threats. For most Muslims any depiction of the prophet is considered blasphemous, even a favourable drawing.
Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro had apparently sketched the cartoon in response to the outcry over a Facebook page (“Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”) which had been created after a radical Muslim group made threats against the “South Park” TV series for showing the prophet wearing a bear suit.
UPDATE: The Facebook page has been removed, perhaps by its creator, and perhaps because it was calling on people to draw Mohammad on Thursday and that’s now over.