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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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University of Guelph - Guelph, Ontario

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Mohammed cartoon that didn't result in any burning embassies


I know it's a little late to be weighing in on the Danish cartoon controversy, but I was leafing through a book of Gary Larson Far Side cartoons today and came across this one published in 1994! The Far Side was syndicated in hundreds of newspapers around the world, including Canada's Globe & Mail. I admit I may not have been paying much attention in 1994, but I don't recall any boycotts or embassies being burned.

16 comments:

Gerry Nicholls said...

Quick somebody call Ezra Levant!!

Anonymous said...

I don't get it.

Albertan Technophile said...

LOL!! The mountain came to Mohammed!'

Tango Juliette said...

But such a POLITE mountain, yet. Look! It even rings da bell at biggie-moe's place. Oy vay gevalt!!

Such a mountaing!!!

Thermblog said...

That is Billy The Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Then where's Ethel the Tree?

Anonymous said...

Growing on his shoulder,stupid!(No offense)

The Sanity Inspector said...

Well let's not jump to conclusions that nothing happened in response to this. I mean, has anyone seen or heard from Gary Larson since the 90s...? >=^O

(Clicking through via Small Dead Animals...)

Harry Bergeron said...

The idiom: If the mountain will not come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain to express 'If one cannot get one's own way, one must adjust to the inevitable, was penned by Francis Bacon.

It has no direct relationship to the Muslim religion other than the source of Bacon's inspiration was contained in the wisdom in a Muslim legend.

To attempt to place Larson's cartoon in the same category as the offensive drawing shows that you suffer not only from a lack of understanding of issues but a lack of historical knowledge as well.

Eric said...

Oh lighten up, Harry. I understand perfectly well what the historical/literary reference is, and as for the issues - well, my understanding of Islam is that ANY artistic portrayal of the prophet Mohammed is considered blasphemy, yet this relatively harmless cartoon provoked NO response from the Muslim community in 1994. The difference in 2006 is that radical Islamists are looking for reasons to provoke violence against Western targets. Gary Larson would probably not have published this cartoon today. THAT is the point.

Harry Bergeron said...

You're half way there Eric.

"well, my understanding of Islam is that ANY artistic portrayal of the prophet Mohammed is considered blasphemy, yet this relatively harmless cartoon provoked NO response from the Muslim community in 1994.

Correct, one gold star. The point you missed is that cartoon is NOT an artistic portrayal of the prophet Mohammed!, nor is the humour in it related to the Prophet Mohamed, or even the Islamic religion.

It simply is connected to a well known idiom penned by Fancis Bacon, nothing more, nothing less.

The use of the name Mohammed,was simply to clarify/establish the intended context as it related to the adage.

Many people in the middle east are named Mohammed, and the Muslims don't have a problem understanding that those people aren't the Prophet Mohammed, and I don't think they're any smarter than you are.

Anonymous said...

does anybody actually know why theres not supposed to be any portrayal of mohammed? it seems like a very out of date religious belief. Under my understanding, its so they don't worship false gods, but this is just blown out of proportion.

james said...

Dear Harry Bergeron,
The picture does indeed portray THE Mohammed from Islam as the saying is taken from one of the stories in the Koran.
The story goes something like this: Some doubters of the Islam faith challenged Mohammed to call the mountain over to them. He prayed his hardest to Allah to move the mountain. Of course, the mountain didn't move. However, Mohammed was grateful for this declaring that had the mountain come, they would have all been crushed. He then said he would go to the mountain and pray to Allah thanking him for not moving the mountain.
So the next time you want to admonish people in a stuck-up manner, you'd better make sure you get your facts right. Twat.
James Lucas

gemeentebelastingen said...

....rare case of a cartoon having funnier comments than subtitle, anyone offended?

Anonymous said...

My favorite author is Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese-born French atheist of catholic descent. The cover of his novel Samarcande, based on the life of Persian poet Omar Khayyam, shows an 18th century Persian painting which depicts the arrival of Mohammed in Medina.

It was okay for Persian muslims of a few centuries ago to depict Mohammed, and not anymore? Go figure.

Zeno Lorea

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I realize this comes 7 years too late; but for those curious about the history of Mohammad depicted in art:

http://floppingaces.net/2012/09/20/distorting-a-distortion-depicting-muhammad-in-art/