Feature

The media’s fear of Muslims

The cartoon was an extremely mild way of noting that publishers are terrified of anything that offends fundamentalist Muslims—and the newspapers proved Miller’s point by killing it, said A. Barton Hinkle in Times-Dispatch.

A. Barton Hinkle
Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch

What is the one group that the U.S. media refuses to offend? asked A. Barton Hinkle. Hint: It’s the same group that routinely threatens to bomb any newspaper or magazine that dares violate its exquisitely tender sensibilities. We had another demonstration of this sad fact last week, when a host of major newspapers—including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune—refused to run one of Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur strip cartoons because it poked fun at Islamic intolerance.

Playing off the Where’s Waldo? picture book, the cartoon posed the question, “Picture book title voted least likely to ever find a publisher?” The response: “Where’s Muhammad?” It was an extremely mild way of noting that publishers are terrified of anything that offends fundamentalist Muslims—and the newspapers proved Miller’s point by killing his cartoon. How come? Evangelical Christians and the Catholic Church both endure “frequent and withering ridicule” in the media. Americans have every right to be critical of Islamic extremists, and it’s “ominous” that our newspapers have voluntarily surrendered that right.

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