Chappatte Cartoon and Religious Restlessness

“Ignorant, wrong, and racist, you Christian fascist enabler”

Following up on that Marcel Boudreaux cartoon from earlier today,
is Patrick Chappatte describing his Muslim maelstrom over a cartoon.

For a few days last June, I was abundantly called a racist, or islamophobic, or both on Twitter.

The culprit: a cartoon on the anti-abortion decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

© Patrick Chappatte

To me, it looked like a visual idea, simple and direct. One of those editorial cartoons that jump at your face. It did. Except… not the way I imagined.

To comment on the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Roe vs Wade, I drew Taliban in the chairs of the Supreme justices. Published on June 25, 2022 in the Geneva newspaper Le Temps, posted automatically the same day on my social networks, both in french and in english, the cartoon initially did well with my audience. Then, after 24 or 48 hours, Twitter started convulsing. For the first time, I experienced a phenomenon I had talked about: being chased by a Twitter mob.

The comments ranged from the very prosaic “How many Muslims are there on the Supreme Court?” to the more elaborate “Hey buddy, this is a creation of right wing Christianity, not islam” or “This cartoon is harmful because it diverts attention from the truth: those responsible (…) are radicalized white Christians”. Experts in systemic racism bias came running: “Translation: a Westerner cannot be reactionary and backward, only the Oriental is”.

Patrick describes the reaction and discusses the “noise amplifier” of social media.


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One thought on “Chappatte Cartoon and Religious Restlessness

  1. It’s a fair point that the people doing are professing Christians, not Muslims. But the Taliban are certainly fair game, and the message is “They’re just like these people we consider our enemies.” It’s sort of sad that some people don’t get that.

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