This post is just to give a nod to Jesus and Mo, a web comic that explores issues relating to religion in a thoughtful but humorous manner. This cartoon made the news recently when some Muslim fanatics issued death threats against parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz for tweeting one of the cartoons from the site.The UK’s Channel 4 reported the event in a crawling, cowardly way, presenting a copy of the cartoon in question but blacking out the drawing of Muhammad. Channel 4 has offered a ludicrous explanation in which it claimed that its concern was “the likelihood of significant offence to our audience.” Got that? It’s not the blanking out of the cartoon in question which Channel 4 regards as offensive, but the cartoon itself. The Channel 4 cowards claimed that the cartoon which the story was about was not “integral to the story.” Then why show any part of it? “As to not pixelating the image of Jesus, it was not felt that the same level of offence was likely to be provoked as the image is commonly depicted in cartoon form.” In other words, Christians don’t commonly threaten people’s lives for showing images of Jesus; you have to engage in threats and violence for Channel 4 to blank out the news to your liking.
Earlier the BBC had banned “Jesus and Mo” shirts worn by audience members at a televised debate. Again, the reason behind any phony words was fear of violence by murderous Muslims.
Actions like these by news agencies strengthen the impression that all Muslims are murderous fanatics, and that their threats of violence are so credible that Britain must capitulate to their demands. This in turn encourages the fanatical anti-Muslim movements in Europe. If the news media tell you that they have to cover things up because their lives are in danger, people will wonder just how bad the stuff that isn’t being reported at all is. People don’t have time to investigate every issue in detail; if the news media tell them, in effect, that Muslims are terrorists, a lot of people will believe it. The Muslim Society of Britain has denounced the website but not (as far as I can tell) the threats, thus giving more support to the same conclusion.
That isn’t the only side to Islam, though. Jesus and Mo promotes critical understanding of, and skepticism about, religious ideas. This is why both the mainstream UK agencies and Allah’s fanatics hate it.
I guess this ended up being more than “just a nod.”