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Apologies from this cartoonist? No way ("What Would Mohammed Drive?")
Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | 1/5/03 | Doug Marlette

Posted on 01/05/2003 1:09:59 PM PST by Jean S

Last month, I drew a cartoon showing a man in Middle Eastern garb driving a Ryder truck hauling a nuke with the caption, "What Would Mohammed Drive?" The drawing was a takeoff on the recent controversy among Christian evangelicals over the morality of driving gas-guzzling SUVs: "What would Jesus drive?"

To a cartoonist working in the current geopolitical atmosphere it is a natural step to ask, "What would Mohammed drive?" And I'm sorry to report that the image in post-Sept. 11 America that leaps to mind is the Ryder truck given to us by the terrorist Timothy McVeigh, carrying a nuclear warhead and driven, alas, not by an Irish-Catholic, an ultra-Orthodox Jew or a Southern Baptist, but, yes, by an Islamic militant.

Unfortunately, for many Americans these days, such a leap of the imagination is not a great stretch -- hence the homeland security office. In 2001, we watched Islamic militants commit suicide by flying planes into our buildings, killing thousands of innocent civilians, including many Arab-Americans.

In Afghanistan, we watched the Taliban murder noncompliant women and destroy great works of art. We watched an American reporter decapitated by Muslim "true believers." We watched young Palestinian suicide bombers murder innocents in cafes and markets and on buses, in the name of the Prophet Muhammed.

Such nihilists are considered by many Muslims to be martyrs worthy of admiration and emulation. Meanwhile, an Arab country led by a genocidal maniac intent upon developing weapons of mass destruction is bringing us into war.

How would you have drawn it?

My cartoon has prompted a firestorm of reaction orchestrated by a lobbying group called CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). This is not the first time that my cartoons have prompted such organized attacks.

Years ago when I went after the corrupt excesses of Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker's Praise The Lord Club, for example, I similarly outraged fundamentalist Christians with cartoons

• The cartoon can be viewed at www.Dougmarlette.com by clicking on political cartoons and previous cartoons that, like this one, depicted the obvious correlations of real events to instinctive imagery.

That, by the way, defines the art of political cartooning. The objective is not to soothe and tend sensitive psyches, but to jab and poke in an attempt to get at deeper truths, popular or otherwise. The truth, like it or not, is that Muslim fundamentalists have committed devastating acts of terrorism against our country in the name of their prophet.

CAIR reprinted my cartoon in its newsletter and encouraged its subscribers to e-mail and call me, my newspaper and my syndicate to complain. During the last few days, we have received more than 5,500 e-mails and counting, all saying more or less the same thing about me and my drawing: Blasphemy. Ignorant. Bigoted. Disrespectful to our Prophet Mohammed. Hateful. "Donkey"?

They all demanded an apology. Quite a few threatened mutilation and death.

My only regret is that the thousands who e-mailed me complaining felt that my drawing was an assault upon their religion or its founder. It was not. It was an assault on the distortion of their religion by murderous fanatics and zealots.

In fact, I have received death threats and hate mail throughout the years for standing up for the rights of minorities in my drawings, including Muslims and Arab-Americans. Just as Christianity and Judaism and probably Zoroastrianism are distorted by murderous fanatics and zealots, so too is the religion of Islam.

May I rest assured that the constituents of CAIR who e-mailed their outrage to me and my newspaper were just as vigorous in condemning those who dishonored their religion with the attack on the World Trade Center? Have they been equally diligent at protesting the widespread support -- among intellectuals, "charities" and government officials -- that the terrorists enjoy in the Muslim states of the Middle East?

Were they part of the anti-Taliban movement in this country that long predated Sept. 11? Did they pummel al Qaeda with similar protests and bombard the Taliban with demands that they apologize for spreading a false image of Islam with their hatred and destruction?

In my 30-year career I have regularly drawn cartoons that offend religious fundamentalists and true believers of every stripe, a fact that I tend to list in the "accomplishments" column of my resume. I have outraged fundamentalist Christians by skewering Jerry Falwell, Roman Catholics by needling the pope, and Jews by criticizing Israel. I have vast experience upsetting people with my art.

What I have learned from this experience is that those who rise up against the expression of ideas are strikingly similar.

No one is less tolerant than those demanding tolerance. A certain humorlessness, self-righteousness and literal-mindedness bind them. Despite differences of culture and creed, they all seem to share the egocentric notion that there is only one way of looking at things -- their way -- and that others have no right to see things differently.

What I have learned from years of experience with this is one of the great lessons of all the world's religions: We are all one in our humanness.

Here is my answer to them: In this country, we do not apologize for our opinions. Free speech is the linchpin of our republic. All other freedoms flow from it. I realize this may be a repugnant concept for many of those who wrote, but let me be clear. I do not apologize for my drawing.

Granted, there is nothing "fair" about cartoons. You cannot say "on the other hand" in them. They are harder to defend with logic. But this is why we have a First Amendment -- so that we don't feel the necessity to apologize for our ideas.

After all, we don't need constitutional protection to run boring, inoffensive cartoons. We don't need constitutional protection to make money from advertising. We don't need constitutional protection to tell readers exactly what they want to hear. We need constitutional protection for our right to express unpopular views.

The point of opinion pages is to focus attention, stimulate debate and provoke argument. By that standard, my cartoon did what it was supposed to do.

If we can't discuss the great issues of the day on those pages of our newspapers, fearlessly and without apology, where can we discuss them? In the streets with guns? In cafes with detonator vests and strapped-on bombs?

I welcome the thoughts of all those who made the effort to e-mail me. But I would urge them to consider that minorities should be especially vigilant about free speech and circumspect about urging apologies for opinions. History shows that when free speech goes, it is always the minorities who are the most vulnerable and suffer the most from its absence.

Just ask the Arabs currently being held in detention without being charged with a crime. That's how it works in totalitarian regimes. This is not a totalitarian country, which, I presume, is one of the reasons that those who wrote to me live here.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cair

1 posted on 01/05/2003 1:09:59 PM PST by Jean S
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To: JeanS
"Quite a few threatened mutilation and death."

Well, maybe he should act in the manner described in the Torah, and kill them first.

Actually, if someone threatened me in such a manner, as a Christian I might employ the same strategy.

2 posted on 01/05/2003 1:19:54 PM PST by wcbtinman
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To: JeanS
"Osama" is now one of the most popular names for new born Arab males.
3 posted on 01/05/2003 1:48:34 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: aimhigh
Marlette's response is suprisingly strong. I'm amazed his syndicator and their customers didn't manage to extract at least a half apology and some groveling to the "religion of peace." he does dip into relativism a couple times, but basically he's saying its the Moslems fault they are percieved as backwards and bloodthirsty. He is right on in his criticism of CAIR, which can't seem to disavow terrorism without using the word "but" in the middle of every sentence.
4 posted on 01/05/2003 1:54:45 PM PST by eno_
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To: JeanS
Bumping.

I hate when different papers change the title of the article. Sorry I eneded up posting a duplicate thread
5 posted on 01/05/2003 2:09:38 PM PST by SAMWolf
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To: eno_
I looked for his email and they only had a physical address. Any idea of his email? I would like to send him a thanks for standing tall.
6 posted on 01/05/2003 2:10:15 PM PST by riri
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To: JeanS

7 posted on 01/05/2003 2:10:38 PM PST by BullDog108
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To: JeanS
Given the nature of Mohammad's "ministry" in which he used the most modern weapons available in his day to kill or assimilate the nations of his world into his belief system, how can anyone deny that he would do the same today?
8 posted on 01/05/2003 2:15:53 PM PST by DWar
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To: riri

Try this address: inquiry@dougmarlette.com

9 posted on 01/05/2003 2:17:05 PM PST by SAMWolf
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To: JeanS
If some people take this cartoon as offensive i think it's funny that they are offended.
10 posted on 01/05/2003 2:28:09 PM PST by INSENSITIVE GUY
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To: JeanS
Just ask the Arabs currently being held in detention without being charged with a crime. That's how it works in totalitarian regimes.

'Arabs' like Yaser Hamdi?

11 posted on 01/05/2003 3:26:59 PM PST by Grut
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To: JeanS
My all time favorite Marlette cartoon:


12 posted on 01/05/2003 3:30:33 PM PST by Howlin
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To: JeanS
After all, we don't need constitutional protection to run boring, inoffensive cartoons. We don't need constitutional protection to make money from advertising. We don't need constitutional protection to tell readers exactly what they want to hear. We need constitutional protection for our right to express unpopular views.

Just wanted to see that passage again.

13 posted on 01/05/2003 3:32:38 PM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: JeanS; SAMWolf
No one is less tolerant than those demanding tolerance. A certain humorlessness, self-righteousness and literal-mindedness bind them. Despite differences of culture and creed, they all seem to share the egocentric notion that there is only one way of looking at things -- their way -- and that others have no right to see things differently.

Here is my answer to them: In this country, we do not apologize for our opinions. Free speech is the linchpin of our republic. All other freedoms flow from it. I realize this may be a repugnant concept for many of those who wrote, but let me be clear. I do not apologize for my drawing.

As a free verse writer of poetry I wish to add a huge AMEN to this author/cartoonists thoughts! This is the United States of America, what he draws and what I write are our opinions, thoughts, feeelings, etc. We have the right to express them with out running around apologizing for them!

14 posted on 01/05/2003 3:35:36 PM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: INSENSITIVE GUY
It usually turns out that those " offended "
are because the truth strikes home , and
thay don't like it.
15 posted on 01/05/2003 3:36:02 PM PST by squibs
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To: squibs
thay = they
16 posted on 01/05/2003 3:37:01 PM PST by squibs
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To: JeanS
If we can't discuss the great issues of the day on those pages of our newspapers, fearlessly and without apology, where can we discuss them? In the streets with guns? In cafes with detonator vests and strapped-on bombs?

The prefered methods of the likes of Hamas, PLO, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

I'm so sick of the Liberals with their opinion of "You only have the right to say what you want, as long as it's something I want to hear"

17 posted on 01/05/2003 3:43:15 PM PST by SAMWolf
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To: wcbtinman
Marlette's cartoons and comic strips have had poignant messages over the years. He went after the hypocrisy and the money grubbing of the Bakkers and their Pass the Loot Club with vigor.

But he couldn't deny the pull of his Southern roots. Look at the preacher's battle with PC feminism in his Kudzu strip. At times the preacher is lampooned for his ambition and ego; at others he sticks it to the feminists.

Now he takes on the hypocrisy of Islam with no fear. I hope he wins another Pullitzer for it.
18 posted on 01/05/2003 3:45:45 PM PST by DeFault User
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To: JeanS
Great post - thank you.
19 posted on 01/05/2003 3:52:17 PM PST by lodwick
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To: JeanS
("What Would Mohammed Drive?")

Something with fur and four on the floor.
20 posted on 01/05/2003 3:54:28 PM PST by aruanan
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To: wcbtinman
Well, maybe he should act in the manner described in the Torah, and kill them first.

Better check your chapter and verse.
21 posted on 01/05/2003 3:55:30 PM PST by aruanan
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To: JeanS
"My only regret is that the thousands who e-mailed me complaining felt that my drawing was an assault upon their religion or its founder. It was not. It was an assault on the distortion of their religion by murderous fanatics and zealots."

I wonder if Mr. Marlette knows that it's the moslem fanatics who are true to the moslem scriptures, not the "peaceful" moslems he's thinking of.

22 posted on 01/05/2003 3:57:01 PM PST by nightdriver
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To: JeanS
I kept thinking Camel.
23 posted on 01/05/2003 4:02:20 PM PST by reg45
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To: JeanS
I can't remember CAIR or any other muslim group apologize laudly for what their murderous muslim brothers did in the name of Allah on 9.11.01. It's well over a year now, and we are still waiting.
24 posted on 01/05/2003 4:04:02 PM PST by desertcry
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To: aruanan
Don't have a Torah handy, but somewhere in there I have read that (paraphrasing) 'if an enemy comes to kill you, you should rise up and kill him first'.

Maybe someone of the Jewish persuasion can enlighten me.

25 posted on 01/05/2003 4:34:28 PM PST by wcbtinman
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To: wcbtinman
I believe that's found in Bush 42:10.
26 posted on 01/05/2003 4:39:58 PM PST by DeFault User
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To: Howlin
The far right side of that cartoon isn't showing up on the screen. Would you be so kind as to tell us what should be there?

I hope the cartoonist happens by to look at this thread about his letter. I think he's brilliantly correct.
27 posted on 01/05/2003 5:37:18 PM PST by ChemistCat
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To: ChemistCat
That's it. Just the winner, just like in basketball!
28 posted on 01/05/2003 5:44:49 PM PST by Howlin
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To: JeanS
IMHO, Doug Marlette is a great cartoonist (FAR better than, say, the unfunny what's-his-face who draws Doonesbury). (My church wound up on his skewer list at least once but it doesn't really count, I guess, because it echoes a joke we make about ourselves). It was a sign, though, that the local paper was turning left when, sadly, they dropped his "Kudzu" strip. Now I have to read it online.
29 posted on 01/05/2003 6:06:59 PM PST by Eala
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To: JeanS
No one is less tolerant than those demanding tolerance.

That's the most devastatingly succinct description of the left that I've heard yet.

30 posted on 01/05/2003 6:18:30 PM PST by pupdog
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To: wcbtinman
Don't have a Torah handy, but somewhere in there I have read that (paraphrasing) 'if an enemy comes to kill you, you should rise up and kill him first'.

The Torah, in its most specific meaning, refers to the Pentateuch, ie., the Books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Given the specificity of instructions in the Pentateuch of what does or doesn't constitute a murder (see Numbers 35), a preemptive strike scenario based on an assumption of intent seems to be inconsistent with what is actually there.
31 posted on 01/05/2003 6:27:37 PM PST by aruanan
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To: JeanS
"What Would Mohammed Drive?"

'BMW'......................!!!

:-(

32 posted on 01/05/2003 6:32:36 PM PST by maestro
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To: snowstorm12
b
33 posted on 01/05/2003 6:52:31 PM PST by snowstorm12
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To: aruanan
If a man points a gun at my head, and I somehow overpower him, and then kill him to stop the threat, then I have made a pre-emptive strike under the rule you propose. I don't think that God ever intended us to remain passive in the face of a mortal threat.

The Bible is full of common sense laws, and I have no doubt that to kill someone who has announced their intention to inflict death and mutilation is within the purview of permitted actions in the Bible, notwithstanding the legal system.

We don't seem to take the Bible in the literal terms as I suppose it used to be, or we wouldn't have the homosexual problem that is so 'in your face' today.

34 posted on 01/05/2003 7:28:07 PM PST by wcbtinman
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To: snowstorm12
bump.... and Mohammed drives a goat. Female, of course. He's not a perv, after all!
35 posted on 01/05/2003 7:36:05 PM PST by dcwusmc
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To: JeanS
It's about time someone took a public stand against political correctness.
36 posted on 01/05/2003 8:25:23 PM PST by Joseph_CutlerUSA
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To: wcbtinman
If a man points a gun at my head, and I somehow overpower him, and then kill him to stop the threat, then I have made a pre-emptive strike under the rule you propose. I don't think that God ever intended us to remain passive in the face of a mortal threat.

If you attempted to overpower him in an effort to protect yourself from a contemporaneous attempt on your life and he got killed in the attempt, you wouldn't be guilty of murder. However, if you managed to overpower him, disarm him, and had control over him and then shot him to prevent any future attempt on you, this would be premeditated murder.
37 posted on 01/05/2003 8:38:18 PM PST by aruanan
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To: JeanS
It was not. It was an assault on the distortion of their religion by murderous fanatics and zealots.

The author of this is ignoring the evidence of thousands of e-mails that it is not a distortion of their religion.

38 posted on 01/05/2003 9:58:40 PM PST by TigersEye
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To: JeanS

39 posted on 01/06/2003 1:11:12 AM PST by arielb
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Treelimb
Can you show me some muslim literature that uses profanity against any christian or jewish holy figures?

Surely, you jest.

41 posted on 01/07/2003 1:58:39 PM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Treelimb
What are you worried about? The Iraqi people got to vote Saddam back with 100% of the vote, and despite the sanctions, Saddam is still able to build his palaces live in lavish luxury - (solid gold domes, et al) so clearly there's enough money to go around!
42 posted on 01/07/2003 2:12:27 PM PST by MrsEmmaPeel
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To: Treelimb
Welcome to Free Republic. Are you truly that ignorant of the Islamists?
43 posted on 01/07/2003 2:20:31 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

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