On Garry Trudeau, Charlie Hebdo and Mohammed Cartoons
Jesus had a knack for caricature, too, and his more controversial cartoons poked fun at the foibles and peccadilloes of the prophets. Even Mohammed was amazed by the way Jesus could capture his likeness with just a few bold lines.
But Mohammed soon grew weary of being ridiculed in pen and ink, and, some say, because he lacked the artistic ability to respond in kind, he publicly declared his own absolute perfection was something Jesus had absolutely failed to depict.
“Lighten up,” said Jesus, “nobody’s perfect.”
“I am the Son of God and I draw everyone equally.”
But Mohammed had gone his own way, banning idolatry and discouraging all depictions of the human and animal form in Islamic art. Soon after, the most devout followers of Mohammed incited their followers to raze the studio of Jesus and burn all of his artwork wherever they could find it. And they promised to reward the killers of any cartoonists who would ever dare to draw Mohammed again.
This caused much consternation among the society of cartoonists who debated whether it was now their fundamental responsibility to defend the right to free speech by drawing even more funny pictures of Mohammed.
Garry, the creator of Doonesburius, an award-winning comic strip, chastised Jesus for “punching down” when he should have been satirizing only the Romans, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and other self-satisfied and hypocritical men of privilege. He even accused Jesus and his martyred disciple, Charlie, of wandering “into the realm of hate speech” with “crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons,” and some interpreted this to mean he thought Charlie had it coming.
Others scribes and pundits, who could not draw at all, insisted that the threat of death created a moral imperative to create images of Mohammed where no need of them had existed before. Some of these scribes and pundits castigated Garry for his cowardice and implored all gentle, freedom-loving cartoonists to wield their pens in mockery of traditions and taboos held dear by most gentle, freedom-loving Muslims.
But Jesus simply said unto them, “That is your battle, not mine. You have no need of cartoonists in newspapers to sow the seeds of rancor. You can start a website and publish all the images of Mohammed you want.
“I am the Son of God and I draw everyone equally.
“Or so I like to think.”
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