Mike Thompson’s First Strib Editorial Cartoon Brings an Editorial Apology

The Daily Cartoonist noted Mike Thompson beginning his new role as Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial cartoonist last Saturday. A rocky start as the cartoon drew complaints from local Muslim representatives.

The publisher apologized.

© Minneapolis Star Tribune/Mike Thompson

From The Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Responding to criticism from four DFL Muslim legislators about a recent Star Tribune editorial cartoon they described as racist and Islamophobic, the newspaper’s publisher apologized Wednesday.

“I’m sorry that the Star Tribune published it,” CEO and publisher Steve Grove said in a statement. “We will work harder to do better as an organization to ensure we’re holding ourselves and our community accountable in constructive ways that speak to our values of respect and integrity.”

The legislators misinterpreted the cartoon saying it equated Muslim calls to prayer with gun violence.

The four legislators, along with many allies, including Attorney General Keith Ellison and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, held a State Capitol news conference to condemn recent vandalism at mosques.


While [Thompson’s] intent with the cartoon is open to interpretation, the legislators said they were disappointed, called the image “blatantly racist” and noted that the two mosque fires came after the cartoon was published.

6 thoughts on “Mike Thompson’s First Strib Editorial Cartoon Brings an Editorial Apology

  1. Not surprised at the latest epic failure by this newspaper. They have a very long history of this kind of tone deaf racism.

  2. It’s shameful that Mike Thomspon’s maiden voyage at the Mpls Star/Trib was met with a spineless editorial board refusing to refute the baseless claim of Islamophobia. Mike’s intended message was clearly presented. A male caucasian Minneapolis resident appears oblivious to the rise in Twin Cities’ gun violence, yet focuses his outrage at the Minneapolis City Council’s recent decision to allow Muslims their call to prayer at all hours. It didn’t occur to these leaders that it was the latter that likely provoked local mosque attacks, not Mike’s satirical rendering? Besides, it’s my contention that people who attack mosques don’t read newspapers.

    1. Kudos to Steve A – Looks to me that your interpretation is the logical one. Not racist at all

  3. I don’t see how it’s open to interpretation at all. It’s not Islamophobic, it’s TARGET is Islamophobes. That’s not obvious?

  4. Wow. This is mind-blowing. I agree with what Steve and Lgnatz wrote. I find it very disheartening that a clever cartoon like this can be so completely misinterpreted and then, to make matters worse, not defended by the newspaper that published it. Did anybody think to challenge the criticism, and point out the obvious?

Comments are closed.