Toon Wars: Prophet Cartoon Threatens to Derail World Cup

Building on the furor over cartoon depictions of the prophet Mohammad, the South African Muslim community is protesting against a new cartoon published in a South African weekly newspaper.  With the World Cup soccer matches scheduled to begin in Johannesburg in under three weeks, concerns have been raised about a violent reaction by extremist groups.

The cartoon, drawn by well know cartoonist Zapiro – shows the prophet lying on a psychiatrist’s couch in heaven, complaining, “Other prophets have followers with a sense of humor!”

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting:

South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council issued a statement condemning the cartoon on its website this weekend.

“The Muslim leadership appeals to all Muslims to express their condemnation and disapproval of this latest insult on the Muslim community in a responsible and dignified manner,” the council said.

Even before the Zapiro cartoon, security at the World Cup games was already a serious concern for many foreign countries, whose citizens are likely to attend the month-long soccer tournament starting June 11. More than 325,000 foreigners are expected to attend the games, and the largest single national group of these are Americans, who have bought some 40,000 tickets alone.

Terrorist groups have made numerous threats against Danish and Dutch cartoonists who have depicted the Prophet Mohammad, and some South Africans view the latest cartoon as courting violence in the name of publicity.

 


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