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Papers pulling Non Sequitur because of ‘Muhammad’ mention

Universal Uclick has confirmed that several papers (upwards of 20) have asked for a replacement for this Sunday’s Non Sequitur because it mentions the word “Muhammad.” The cartoon by Wiley Miller depicts a lazy, sunny park scene with the caption, “Picture book title voted least likely to ever find a publisher… ‘Where’s Muhammad?'” Characters in the park are buying ice cream, fishing, roller skating, etc. No character is depicted as even Middle Eastern.

Responding to the news that his strip may not appear in some papers, Wiley tells me, “the irony of editors being afraid to run even such a tame cartoon as this that satirizes the blinding fear in media regarding anything surrounding Islam sadly speaks for itself. Indeed, the terrorists have won.”

UPDATED: The cartoon has hit the print. You can see the “objectionable” cartoon as well as a list of known papers who did not run it.

Community Comments

#1 Steve Walsh
September/28/2010
@ 12:33 pm

Oh for the love of Pete.

#2 Rich Diesslin
September/28/2010
@ 1:12 pm

Wiley, you radical! ;) The newspaper wuss factor is revealed. I’m wondering if you can’t draw, imply drawing or mention the name, then why is it acceptable to name people after the prophet (as is Muhammad Ali)?

#3 Beth Cravens
September/28/2010
@ 1:37 pm

It’s getting silly

#4 Dave Stephens
September/28/2010
@ 5:32 pm

“Where’s Muhammad Ali?”
Would they pull that from their papers?

Or “Where’s Jesus?”

That might stay, I would think so anyway… Though I wonder if Sparky had any of his Christian themed strips censored?

Frank Herbert had it so, so right:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#5 David Reddick
September/28/2010
@ 8:06 pm

Disgusting.

#6 Mark Engel
September/28/2010
@ 9:54 pm

If there are no pictures of Muhammad, how do you know if you’ve created a picture of Muhammad?

#7 Dave Stephens
September/28/2010
@ 11:15 pm

It’s the thought that counts.

#8 mike beckom
September/29/2010
@ 6:38 am

Note to Terrorists: We don’t hate Muslims, Islam, the Koran or Muhammad…..we hate YOU. I have a LOT of redneck brethren here in the ‘Deep South’ who will gladly help you achieve your goal of martyrdom and we can probably find some hungry alligators to dispose of the leftovers. To the rest of the world:…..lighten up!

This kinda silliness makes me wonder if one’s religious beliefs are so threatened by CARTOONS.,…..how serious are you about your religion?

#9 rick stromoski
September/29/2010
@ 7:35 am

@ Mike Beckom We don?t hate Muslims, Islam, the Koran or Muhammad?..we hate YOU.

What defines a terrorist and what sort of actions would inspire your hatred of them? Is it someone who would kill a child’s entire family in front of them, rape the child and then set her on fire? Is it someone who randomly kills innocent people for sport, posing with the bodies for photos and lopping off body parts for souvenirs? Would the definition include interrogating and torturing prisoners for weeks on end only to end in their assassinations? Perhaps the random bombings of entire families celebrating a wedding or funeral? Would it be accurate that such actions would instill the sort of hatred you’re talking about? If that’s the criteria you have for justifying hatred you have to ask yourself why we as a nation don’t understand why the people in these countries we’ve chosen to invade and occupy justifiably hate us as well since everything I’ve mentioned and much more was perpetrated by American Military personnel against Iraqi and Afghani citizens.

#10 Drew Beran
September/29/2010
@ 8:58 am

If you’re one of the “upwards of 20” decision-makers who opted to pull this cartoon and you’re reading this, you should know what you really are: A coward, through and through. Generations of brave men and women have given their very lives to defend and preserve the principles this country was founded upon – principles that should be represented every day through American journalism. They died for what they believed in; you can’t even take this non-life-threatening stand. You’ve proven yourself unworthy of their sacrifice.

#11 John Auchter
September/29/2010
@ 9:32 am

The worst part about this for me? Having read the description of the comic (and laughing out loud) I won’t have the pleasure of seeing it for the first time as intended.

#12 David Reddick
September/29/2010
@ 9:48 am

Wow, Rick. Just… wow. The very notion of your point is that we as Americans deserve what we’re getting. You just called our armed forces as a whole, terrorists. You are comparing the actions of Islamic extremeists/terrorists with our armed forces personnel. I served in the military for 4 years in the 90’s during the first Gulf War, for people like you. How dare you.

#13 Milt Priggee
September/29/2010
@ 9:55 am

WELL-
So much for providing a a forum for the market place of ideas….in the defense of free speech.

#14 RR Anderson
September/29/2010
@ 10:34 am

Go for it Milt!

#15 rick stromoski
September/29/2010
@ 10:51 am

An argument can be made that the effect in the Arab world of United States soldiers raping and murdering children, cutting off body parts, indiscriminate murder of non-combatants, drone bombings of wedding parties and torture of prisoners is the same as ours towards the extremists who lop off the heads of Journalists and suicide bombers flying airplanes into buildings.

We are very quick to call those who kidnap, torture and murder prisoners and innocents “terrorists” and rightfully so. The point is that we are viewed as such in the Arab world for being guilty of the same crimes. Every thing I’ve pointed to can be documented.

Your serving in the US military during Gulf War One doesn’t invalidate my point or actually have any relevance to it. The fact that I had I had two brothers in Viet nam, another in Lebanon, a Father in WW2, several cousins in the Gulf is also irrelevent to the discussion. Whether you like it or not, we ARE viewed as terrorists by the people in the gulf region for the atrocities we’ve perpetrated on Afghan and Iraqi civilians.

#16 David Reddick
September/29/2010
@ 10:58 am

Um, Rick, apparently we Americans are also viewed as terrorists by you.

#17 rick stromoski
September/29/2010
@ 11:01 am

Um Dave…you completely and utterly missed my point.

#18 David Reddick
September/29/2010
@ 11:10 am

Um, Rick, no I didn’t. I got your point verrrry clearly.

#19 PhilWohlrab
September/29/2010
@ 11:17 am

“Whether you like it or not, we ARE viewed as terrorists by the people in the gulf region”

Some do view us that way sure, but I’d like to give the whole gulf region a little more intellectual credit than that. I’m some are capable of seeing both sides just as you are.

#20 rick stromoski
September/29/2010
@ 11:18 am

“The very notion of your point is that we as Americans deserve what we?re getting.”

“Rick, apparently we Americans are also viewed as terrorists by you.”

Point exactly to where I made either of these statements in any of my posts.

#21 Drew Beran
September/29/2010
@ 11:32 am

Rick’s point is that it’s insane to pull a cartoon because irrational, unreasoning, hyper-religious people might be angry at your newspaper for running it. That’s what Rick’s saying, right?

Wait, no, Rick is saying he agrees with the papers’ decision to pull the cartoon. He’s saying it was a smart move designed to protect the paper from backlash. Is that what Rick’s saying?

Oops, nope. A second reading reveals that Rick is struggling to make a point thoroughly unrelated to the topic at hand. I think Rick’s rambling, vindictive comment, which has nothing to do with the absurdity of religious doctrine squashing free speech in American journalism, shouldn’t be dignified with a reasoned response. It’s off-topic and bloated with blame America inanity.

#22 rick stromoski
September/29/2010
@ 11:41 am

@ Drew

You’re right.

I was responding To Mike Beckom’s comment #8 and derailed the thread in my exchanges with David Reddick, which should have been taken offline.

I withdraw the comments since they’r unrelated to the topic.

As for the topic, your first paragraph states my position well.

#23 Layne Myhre
September/29/2010
@ 11:58 am

Just a bit of advice, Rick, to take or leave as you choose…

In the future, if you plan to make statements about shocking things done by politicians or the military or whatever, you probably should put in some links to news articles about the alleged actions, or at least SOME kind of evidence. You know very well that many of the things you accuse U.S. soldiers of are contested/controversial (whether ultimately true or false), and you have to SUPPORT your words if you hope for people to react with anything other than defensive outrage.

I’ve read a few news stories myself about illegal and immoral actions taken by U.S. (and U.N.) soldiers in Afghanistan, or in Iraq, but haven’t heard of most of the specific actions you mention… and so even *I* reacted with incredulity to your post, despite the fact that I’m more likely to be accepting of your premise than many.

Anyway, sorry, I don’t mean to drag out the off-topic thread, just trying to give some (hopefully) constructive criticism…

#24 rick stromoski
September/29/2010
@ 12:06 pm

Links

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Hearing_testimony;_U.S._soldiers_took_turns_raping_14_year_old_Iraqi_girl_before_killing_her

http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/us-troops-allegedly-took-afghan-fingers-as-kill-souvenirs/19626565

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20090416_american_soldier_gets_life_sentence_for_murder/

http://chattahbox.com/us/2010/09/28/one-of-five-american-soldiers-accused-of-killing-for-fun-confesses/

#25 Stacy Curtis
September/29/2010
@ 12:10 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/09/us-soldiers-afghan-civilians-fingers

#26 Tom Wood
September/29/2010
@ 12:14 pm

Maybe the editors are afraid that one of the characters in the cartoon will eventually be identified as being Muhammed? At this point, just about any drawing of anything can be called a picture of Muhammed.

~{:->

Now I’ve done it…

#27 Drew Beran
September/29/2010
@ 1:43 pm

Oh, and the cartoon that’s causing the hubbub sounds great. The strip itself aims to point out the absurdity of ‘blasphemous’ depictions of Muhammad, while the fact that newspapers are running from the bad guys instead of running the cartoon demonstrates the spinelessness of modern newspapers. Two birds, one stone. That’s fine work, Wiley.

#28 Elayne Boosler
September/29/2010
@ 2:47 pm

The last place left for unvarnished truth in newspapers WAS the comics page. How sad that they finally noticed and destroyed that too. Not trusting brilliant artists like Wiley with creative freedom is the last nail in the journalistic coffin. I hear Sesame Street can no longer be sponsored by The Letter “M”.

#29 Pat Crowley
September/29/2010
@ 3:28 pm

I was married to an editor who made those kinds of decisions.

That (Wily’s) particular cartoon is very clever and funny but sometimes others have to live with the consequences. When dealing with the very real threat of violence- just deciding to yank their chains is not as easy or heroic as it seems.

Newspaper editors censor cartoons and language all the time – when they offend women, minorities or any non-Christian religion- anything deemed not to be “politically correct.”

Every working cartoonist has horror stories to tell about newsroom censorship.

#30 dan reynolds
September/29/2010
@ 10:11 pm

Rick said,

“Your serving in the US military during Gulf War One doesn?t invalidate my point or actually have any relevance to it. The fact that I had I had two brothers in Viet nam, another in Lebanon, a Father in WW2, several cousins in the Gulf is also irrelevent to the discussion. Whether you like it or not, we ARE viewed as terrorists by the people in the gulf region for the atrocities we?ve perpetrated on Afghan and Iraqi civilians.”

David Reddick said HE served. Your response was that your relatives served. Perhaps if you yourself had served you would better appreciate what David was saying. When you’re “over there” you are able to gain an immeasurable amount of appreciation for how blessed we truly are in the US. Is EVERY person who serves more appreciative of what the US has? No. Is EVERY soldier a model ambassador for the US? No. By far, MOST are.

As I write this, I do realize it’s on the verge of silliness for me to write this as I’m aware that it’s impossible for someone who has not personally been involved in being “over there” to fully comprehend. So, I apologize for that. It’s just real hard to hear someone paint the US with these wide, disparaging brushes. I, personally witnessed two people on my ship die in a plane crash right off the front of the ship. I had spoken with both of them one half hour before they died. The good far outweighs the bad.

#31 mike beckom
September/30/2010
@ 6:34 am

dang…..looks like I missed out on all the fun yesterday. I especially hate that I missed Rick’s derailment in response to my post. Another time, I suppose.

#32 Jim Lavery
September/30/2010
@ 6:39 am

War is hell. That is not a quote from a pacifist but from a hardened and experienced general. When the dogs of war are unleashed, some combatants may go caveman in their exploits. Many times mistakes are made that cost innocent lives. I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of US servicemen committing various atrocities against Germans and Japanese in WWII. In that war we’ve heard of scores of errors that cost untold waste, death and destruction. Those same things occured in all of our wars. That didn’t make the US or its Armed Forces terrorists. Only the enemy is going to think that as they continue to engage in atrocities-as-policy a million times worse.

#33 Jimmy Delach
October/3/2010
@ 5:32 pm

Did your newspapers carry the Muhammad comic strip Today? I can report that the St. Petersburg Times carried the Muhammad strip while the Tampa Tribune did not.

#34 Milt Priggee
October/4/2010
@ 8:40 am

Censoring comic strips is just forcing newspaper readers to go to the Internet to see what newspapers used to publish.

#35 Jack Rawlinson
October/4/2010
@ 12:38 pm

Muhammad, Muhammad, Muhammad!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIaORknS1Dk

Why are we regressing, as a society?

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