Muslims didn’t even object to them. As you can see from this article, not even CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper, a man who is hair-trigger quick to take offense at the slightest provocation (whether real, imagined, or trumped-up), took offense at these cartoons. The worst thing that can be said about them is that they aren’t funny, but that’s beside the point. The Washington Post was playing the dhimmi in advance, censoring itself in anticipation of ruffling feathers that weren’t ruffled. Such is the absurd state of the “freedom of the press” on this day, Ramadan 3, A.H. 1428.
Readers were confused and angry that “Opus” comic strips with a Muslim theme did not appear in the Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 Sunday print editions. The strips, created by Berkeley Breathed, were distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group and published on washingtonpost.com.
Most of the controversy involved the Aug. 26 strip, which showed regular character and spiritual seeker Lola Granola in her version of a burqa, declaring she has become a “radical Islamist. Hot new fad on the planet.” Her boyfriend, the piggish super-patriot Steve Dallas, is horrified. She tells him he “won’t be getting a girlfriend obsessed with Western crud” or one “who resists a man’s rightful place.” Steve, with a leer and then a concerned look, asks: “Anything else I won’t be getting?” Lola answers: “God willing.”
Executive Editor Len Downie decided to kill the strip because he felt the language and depiction of Muslim female dress could be offensive. He consulted with other editors, one of whom talked to a Muslim staff member, who believed the strip was problematic.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group, wasn’t offended. ” ‘Opus’ poked fun at the strip’s characters, not Muslims or Islam. I see hundreds worse on the Internet every day,” he said.
Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University, also wasn’t offended. He said there is a strong Muslim tradition of satire and self-deprecation. “I think there is a danger of us becoming so politically correct that we end up by blunting the critics’ bent and the satirists’ wit. Muslims need to be sensitive to the fact that in Western culture there is a healthy tradition of not taking things too seriously.”