There’s no pleasing some people!

The NFSW Onion image is here.

For a political analysis of the recent unrest, Here We Go Again by Kenan Malik is recommended reading.

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Discussion (66)¬

  1. So funny, and so true!!! says:

    Great strip author!

  2. Maximum Leader says:

    Meanwhile, over in Paris, Charlie Hebdo magazine has just gone all the way:

    Time to don tin hats, everyone.

  3. IanB says:

    Straight to the jugular, as usual.

  4. HaggisForBrains says:

    TJR, over at WEIT, provided this link to a Wall Street Journal article by Husain Haqqani: It is a fascinating analysis of the background to these Islamist protests. Well worth the few minutes it takes to read.

  5. J Ascher says:

    Perhaps the image can be redone showing Mohammad (physically or indirectly) enjoying the debauched scene of Jesus, Moses, Budda, and Ganesha!

  6. Jobrag says:

    I bet he pops in for a halal burger first.

  7. Sondra says:

    Or maybe The Onion doesn’t know Islam exists. *tongue firmly in cheek*

  8. Pierre says:

    Great irony provides delicious pleasure! Many thanks for giving interesting food for thought.

  9. Sam Huff says:

    I slam,
    You slam,
    We all
    Slam Islam.

  10. Hilarious. This time you got an actual audible laugh out of me, Author, as opposed to a the usual grim chuckle. Brilliant again.

  11. Well there it is, Mo – we’re damned either way. Now all you have to do is think just a little harder about why that is.

  12. fenchurch says:

    It would be great if Islam et. al. could be left out of more things they get butthurt over.

  13. Shaun says:

    Once again you have hit the nail on the head
    The stupidity of Islam is endless, keep up the good work.

  14. John Mattson says:

    Author, I am curious… How is it possible that you do not get death threats from Muslims for depicting the Prophet Mohammad in comic strips?

  15. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Trendy limp media chickens squawk
    Scared of dirty wash on the side walk
    The thought of a mujahideen
    They fill their diapers and scream
    Pickled onions, precisely a crock.

  16. Chris Phoenix says:

    Fanatics of every kind
    Are dangerous, harsh, and unkind.
    Islam’s in the news
    But other weird views
    Are equally bad for the mind.

    (…and the heart, and the society…)

  17. Gui says:

    Spot on, as usual.
    The rage goes on with this French cartoon… Today, a friend of mine on FB said “who helps me put a bomb in front of the (French) train station?” I am about to answer “why, did they draw a cartoon of you in a wheelchair?”

  18. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Those fucking Swedes have published pictures of our lovely Princess Di replica….er, Duchess of Cambridge topless (gasp, shock, horror), and the bastard Danes are following suit tomorrow. She is our Princess of hearts (loveliness be upon Her) and I demand action, millions must die!

    Over the top? Well of course it is, but at least I’d have the excuse (were I actually bothered; ‘a woman has tits’ is no surprise to me!) that she’s a real, actual person and future Queen of England and not a potentially ficticious but nontheless long-dead, desert-rambling paedophile with a talent for story-telling and self-aggrandisement.

  19. fenchurch says:

    I wonder how less inclined ideologically-fervent thugs and their supporters would be to defend the sources of their inspiration with violence if they hadn’t already given up so much in order to subscribe to said ideology.

    I wonder sometimes if a sunk-cost fallacy isn’t afoot, and some of the disproportionate responses are due to frustration from having invested way more than necessary to live well.

  20. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Now they’re at it over some French cartoons ridiculing their reaction to the American film. On the one hand, well, the French were the first to print topless (gasp, etc; see my above post) shots of Her Loveliness; on the other hand, why can’t they just GROW THE FUCK UP?

  21. The wonderful Katha Pollitt is a fan of J and M – see sidebar.

    I get to meet Katha next year at the second CFI Women in Secularism conference. [struts]

  22. Prawn of Prophecy says:

    All of this nonsense of the past couple of weeks has forced me to just order J&M vols 1-4 from the interwebs. Well, actually I’ve been meaning to do it for a while but at least I was reminded.

  23. Erichalfabee says:

    @Fenchurch. Big up to both your posts.
    @gui I’d like to read the response to your FB post.
    @John M it’s not the real Mohammed, it’s a body double.
    Which begs the question; if Mohammed has never been represented pictorially, how can anyone claim to know that a drawing is of him however he is caricatured?
    Or in other words, what is all the fuss really about?

  24. Erichalfabee
    A black turban?
    All this leads me to suspect that my money-making scheme to sell toilet paper with verses from the kor-rant is not gonna fly.

    btw can we have the ability to affirm rather than swear we aren’t spammypoos?

  25. john w says:

    This is brilliant as ever, @erichalfabee. Apparently this not depicting Mo is a relatively recent thing, he was plastered everywhere until the 17th century…I have no idea why it suddenly became unacceptable….but how can one ever understand adults with imaginary friends?

  26. nothere says:

    @John M, see cartoon #1.

  27. jerry w says:

    John w,
    To paraphrase an old Cream song, “If I didn’t have imaginary friends I wouldn’t have any friends at all”. That explains it to me, but then again I have a world class imagination.

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Erichalfabee, re; ” if Mohammed has never been represented pictorially, how can anyone claim to know that a drawing is of him however he is caricatured?
    Or in other words, what is all the fuss really about?”.

    A good question. The idea that it is forbidden to show a pictoral image of Mo is a relatively modern one. Mecca itself is chock-full of 8th Century and onwards artworks depicting him.

  29. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    John w, sorry for the duplicate answer to Erichalfabee; for some caching (so I’m told) reasons I was 4 posts behind.

    John M; simply because Mo is merely a tool of the Almighty but Author (pbuh) is the real deal. None may mess with Almighty Author!

  30. Eli says:

    To think that the original rationale behind “no pictures of Mohammed” was to prevent undue respect for and idolatrous veneration of the messenger. That obviously worked out not so well…

  31. sweetpitifulmercy says:

    Out of all the main religions only one constantly spams in an endless stream how their prophet was not divine, only a warner, a mere man, not to be worshipped. Other religions have deitys and prophet deities and sacred icons and pictures and relics and symbols. But one of them rises above that. No pictures , no symbols (LOL) and is pure and unsullied by anger only in self defence as a last resort.

    Yet only one blows shit up on a consistant basis.

  32. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well there’s something to be said for consistancy I suppose, sweetpitifulmercy.
    At least we all know where we stand.

  33. hotrats says:

    Good question! Especially when outside J&M there is no iconic image of Mohammed, how do you know it’s him being caricatured? Well, you have to be told with an appropriate label. If it’s in Western script, most Muslims can’t read it, and if it’s in Arabic then the non-Muslim readers won’t understand. Either way, it’s not a recognisable image of Mohammed, because there is no such thing.

    As the link in HaggisForBrains’ post demonstrates, outrage over mockery of the prophet is much easier to manipulate than would be the more justifiable outrage that the Islamic countries have the world’s worst human rights and the least functional economies.

  34. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Sorry, this is totally unrelated to anything, but I wish I could be there to see . It had long been an ambition of mine to see a Shuttle in flight, so that’s a fail for my ‘bucket list’ (if I were soppy enough to have made such a thing……which I’m not…….so I havent).

  35. Starfeesh says:

    What is this ? Some kind of smug ‘ the religion we don’t believe in is so much better than yours’ mutual back-patting session? Oh – you’re being ironic right? You all know perfectly well the current wave of Islamist defensiveness has nothing to do with religion and is s time-honoured socio-political reaction to the economic imperialism the Christian West favours these days? Course you do, how foolish of me.
    Islam rarely ‘blew shit up’ in it’s pretty lengthy period of economic and philosophical dominance.Seems kinda disengenuous for the west to come over all moral highgroundish when other folks get uppity in the name of religion – like it’s out of fashion now or something.

  36. hotrats says:

    No, we are not being ironic or self-congratulatory. Atheism does not distinguish between religions or gods: there are no gods, and the religions of whatever stripe that promote them are at best deluded, and at worst a threat to survival. It is not economic imperialism that keeps the Islamic countries poor and dysfunctional, but an ideology that demonizes interest on business loans, the indulgent pleasures that drive the Western economies, and the political pluralism that would rob the extremists of mass support.

  37. @Starfeesh It seems to be the thing now to call atheists smug and shallow.
    Most of us recognize the complexity of the motivation for the riots and murders, and most of us realize these have little to do with religion. They are motivated by power plays between various factions of the Muslim world. The sad part of it is that it is Islam that puts people in the mindset to be manipulated. That’s the group identity. It’s a root cause.

  38. Brother Daniel says:

    @Starfeesh: Your phrase “the current wave of Islamist defensiveness” rather obscures the fact that going violently apeshit over every imagined slight to your religion (and aiming the violence at parties other than those responsible for the insult in question) cannot reasonably be described as “defensiveness”.

    “Nothing to do with religion” is either disingenuous or delusional. Yes, there are plenty of legitimate things that can be said against western economic imperialism, to be sure, and doubtless much of the anger in the Islamic world can be traced to it. (Also I don’t agree with the latter half of hotrats’s response to you, for what it’s worth.) But when mobs attack embassies, it’s rather unrealistic to take the participants’ stated reasons as being in code. If they say it’s about religion, then at least have enough respect for them to take them at their word, rather than bending over backwards to make it into something entirely different.

    As for your (correct) observation that there were generally no such reactions to insults against Islam when Islam was dominant: That would be an effective counterargument if anyone were claiming that these crazy over-the-top reactions are due to an inherent feature of Islam qua Islam, specifically. But no such claim is needed in order to observe that whatever the reason may be, it is a great deal easier in the 21st century to get an angry mob of Muslims to commit violence over a purely religious cause than to get a similar mob of people of any other religion to do the same. An explanation for this phenomenon that appeals to some sort of historical background would certainly be interesting, but it wouldn’t change the basic fact.

  39. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Starfeesh, it’s just the lowest common denominator. Be honest, how many Christians or Seikhs living in the affected areas are joining in with ‘blowing shit up’?

    Hotrats, I’ve just left you a wee comment 2 strips back. No POTWA, but a close-run thing :-0

  40. hotrats says:

    Not even close, mon brave. You risk a POTWA of your own for excessive quibbling (at ’round’ as a description of the Earth, for those who didn’t look). First two definitions in Chambers: ‘having a curved outline or surface; approaching a circular, globular or cylindrical form.’ Covers ‘oblate spheroid’ pretty well, no?

    Remember, what goes round, comes round.

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well, I was only kidding around, and in the same vein; “approaching a circular…form” isn’t exactly acheiving one. ‘Rounded’ rather than ’round’ would be my description of choice. In any case, I blame Saint Stephen Fry and his excellent QI for my quibble; as I recall poor Alan Davies lost a truck-load of points for declaring the earth to be round.

  42. AofS and hotrats: Sheesh you guys. We’ve got some serious Islam bashing to do here and you guys are arguing over whether the earth is round? Pulleeeezzze. Get serious.

  43. I’d throw rocks at Macdonald’s myself, except it’s one of the few establishments with predictably sanitary toilets in my current country of residence. That gives McD close to sacred status. I turn not to Mecca but to the real savior.

  44. Mohamed Rabea says:

    I’d be thrown rocks at if I shared this .

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DH, as you were one of the founders of UPOTWA, I’m shocked, Sir, to the core. Anyhow, I’m sure Hotrats’ll get used to my sense of fun soon and stop rising to the bait I keep dangling 🙂

    You’re right about the golden arches, though; I’ve oft said that the only good thing about that corporation is that, no matter where in our oblate spheroid (!) world one may find oneself, there will always be at least one place with clean loos. Consistantly shit nosh, but very clean loos.

  46. Brother Daniel says:

    If the very small amount of eccentricity in the oblate spheroid that most closely (among all oblate spheroids) approximates the shape of the earth is enough to cause a problem with the imprecise word “round” being used to describe the earth, then surely the little irregularities (such as mountains) in the true shape of the earth are more than enough to cause a problem with the very precise term “oblate spheroid” being used to describe the shape of the earth.

  47. sweetpityfulmercy says:

    What I was trying to say was, for a Religion that always hammers home the point that they worship Allah and Mo was a normal man not to be worshipped..Islam is the only one that I can ever recall blowing shit up bevause of direct insults. The Life of Brian was a far bigger film than Innocence of Muslims, and it brought forth quite a few protests.

    But less shit got blown up.

  48. Eli says:

    @Starfeesh The protesters and those that manipulate them may be very bad muslims indeed (worship of the prophet is veering towards shikr, and encouraging others to shikr would be taghut, presumably) but that doesn’t make the protests non-religious, and blaming “the west” doesn’t justify the mainstraming of bad theology.

  49. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Brother Daniel, quite possibly, but then a snooker ball scaled up to Earth size would have a far more irregular surface than our planet, but even the most pedantic among us wouldn’t hesitate to describe the ball as round.
    Not that any of this matters; once the Muzzies get their mitts on nuclear weapons the shape of the planet would be a discussion for whatever species eventually arises to take the place of the extinct humans.

  50. IanB says:

    @sweetpityfulmercy I don’t actually recall anything getting blown up as a result of the life of brian. It was certainly not shown in a lot of cinemas, I ended up driving a couple of towns away to see it and there were a number of letters to various papers. Certainly nothing of the scale of fury the mohammedans are currently engaged in, the only similarity would be that most of the protesters won’t have seen the film either.

  51. Starfeesh says:

    @Brother Daniel – Is it disrespectful to ascribe a complex socio-political motivation to ostensibly religious acts? I don’t know – that wasn’t my intention. I think the protests and violence inspired by that dumb little movie are wildly over-reported here – not supported at all by the vast majority of Muslims. Yeah – there are far-right Islamist groups who like to manipulate these situations – stir shit up for their own political ends – and Western interests that are definitely served by colluding with them, presenting an image of Islam as inherently dangerous, irrational and extreme. I don’t think this could happen if many Islamic people hadn’t developed a negative opinion of the West – not primarily because of dodgy indoctrination, a weird mindset, or the political machinations of power hungry Islamist factions – but because they have repeatedly experienced violence and oppression from Western power. Christians blow shit up all the time, they just call it ‘ The War on Terror’ or something equally catchy… It’s not that easy to blame ‘The West’, even though it’s usually their fault – someone’s always got their back and wants to justify it’s actions, usually by telling you the folk it’s attempting to obliterate *cough* liberate, are at best mlsguided, most probably dangerous and prone to random acts of atrocity. They’re bound to do something awful with all that oil too. Someone said to me that it’s far easier to have a sense of humour about anti-muslim propaganda when America hasn’t bombed your village.
    Sorry to go on so, but @Eli: Doesn’t Mohammed’s lack of divinity give him this unique position? Not in religious doctrine, but with regard to personal religious identity. Muslims are represented by Mohammed and identify with him in a way that Christians, say, can’t with Christ. So, I guess an insult to Mohammed is an insult to the Muslim’s sense of self and cultural identity. With ‘The Life of Brian’ stuff, surely the actual son of God can look out for himself?

  52. Starfeesh says:

    Try entering: #Muslimrage into a search engine of your choice.

  53. spoing says:


    methinks you protesteth too much. ” not supported at all by the vast majority of Muslims. ” sounds a tad unconvincing when this supposed moderate majority does little to prevent beheadings, terrorist attacks, arson, rioting and the issuing of deadly fatwas rewarding the murder of western intellectuals who dare to author satirical parodies which ask uncomfortable questions about the origins of the faith.

    How about the Christian girl recently threatened with mutilation (removal of her hands if memory serves) for supposedly defiling a Koran?

    As someone else said in an earlier reply to you, there are many non-Muslim victims of US foreign interventionism. We don’t observe this kind of behaviour from them. Why’s that?

    I have personal experience of Muslim fanaticism. As a young adult in South Africa, a non-muslim lady acquaintance of mine had the misfortune to marry a young muslim man. She was required to accept his faith. Several years into the marriage, she recanted her vows and began attending Christian church again. Her loving husband poured petrol over her and set her aflame for her “infidelity”.

    I think it’s fair to say Islam has qualities which set it apart from other faiths.

  54. jerry w says:

    I’ve heard that death threats will be issued against you for creating an image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but only if you’re not wearing full pirate regalia whist you’re doing so. Any confirmation on this?

  55. jerry w says:

    Sadly, that word “whist” is only an “L” away from what I meant to type, but for some reason it’s immune to my Mac’s spell checker.

  56. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Jerry w, I’m sure that it’s considered sacrilege depict the sacred FSM in pictoral form, but it’s easy to pas’ta blame onto others.

    OK, I’m sorry. It’s half-past medication and I need to lay down.

  57. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Shit! “Sacrilege to depict…”.
    Join me in a whist-drive, Jerry?

  58. hotrats says:

    @jerry w:
    for a witty poem full of such ‘chequed’ text, see ‘Candidate for a Pullet Surprise’ at

  59. Brother Daniel says:

    @AoS: I was defending the use of “round” as a description of the shape of the earth, against those who would say “no, it’s an oblate spheroid”. What you say about the snooker ball simply strengthens my point.

    As for Muzzies getting nukes, they’ve had ’em since 1998.

  60. Brother Daniel says:

    @starfeesh: If you want to point out that the story is far more complicated than being merely about religion, have at it! You’ll probably find a lot of agreement. You had gone a little too far when you said “nothing to do with religion”, hence my response to you.

    Granted, there are plenty of good reasons for being angry with western powers. But I have doubts about the attempts to draw connections between that (often legitimate) anger and the anger over disrespect for their religion.
    The people at whom they direct their anger (of the latter sort) often have little or no connection to the western powers.

    “Someone said to me that it’s far easier to have a sense of humour about anti-muslim propaganda when America hasn’t bombed your village.” True enough, but to put it that way in the context of this discussion makes it sound like the anti-Muslim propaganda is a bigger deal than the bombing. If someone kills your friends and family, it makes some sense to go into a killing rage over it, if that’s your style. But if that event alone isn’t enough to put you into a killing rage, it’s not worth much as an explanation for why you’d be put into such a mood that (for example) a stupid badly-made propaganda film would then push you over the edge.

    tl;dr: It’s certainly worth discussing the evil shit that the west has perpetrated in the middle east, but I don’t think any of that history works to excuse the pathological zeitgeist within Islam today.

  61. Eli says:

    “So, I guess an insult to Mohammed is an insult to the Muslim’s sense of self and cultural identity.”
    Over here, some bearded delinquents provoked a couple hundred teenage boys to riot because “if you don’t then you don’t love the prophet”. The local imam (a radical salafi on the national security watch list) told them off with the same argument as Egypt’s mullah (the prophet was insulted in his time and never got angry over it). The imam received death threats for his trouble.
    So yeah, it’s not black and white.

  62. spoing says:

    @brother daniel – My point exactly. Why don’t we see similar levels of outrage and vitriol from Muslim quarters when Western powers perpetrate genuinely heinous atrocities, like “accidentally” drone bombing innocents in remote corners of Pakistan? To my mind, this puts the lie to Starfeesh’s imputation of the present Muslim response to rage at Western hegemony.

  63. hotrats says:

    In a way, the mullahs are right; as soon as you allow even the gentlest satire, criticism or debate, you let loose the idea that perhaps they are not so wise and reliable as you thought. From there it is a slippery slope to allowing that some aspects of Islam are no longer tenable in a post-medieval world, and before you know it, people are asking pertinent questions that the mullahs know they have no answers to. So much easier too keep the anger at boiling point, directed somewhere else, preferably an abstract ‘West’ that can be safely blamed without the risk of a considered response to the accusations, such as ‘Stop frothing and whining about imaginary crap you pretend to know for certain, and grow the fuck up’.

  64. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “The conflict, portrayed by both (sides) as a holy war, was more an exploitation of religious fanaticism by those hungry for land and power”.
    Carl Sagan on the Thirty Years’ War: Cosmos, 1980.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  65. MarkyWarky says:

    What I want to know is, who took the picture? Maybe Mo’s a looker not a doer?

  66. Maggs says:

    Would definitely prefer to affirm that I’m not a spammer. On the other hand, to need to do that at all is PD ironic anyway, so maybe I’ll swear after all…


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