Friday, February 15, 2008

Comics roundup

Compare and contrast: graphic novels from inside the Muslim world, and the anti-jihadi The Infidel, featuring Pigman, from Bosch Fawstin.

The panels of the ones translated from Arabic need to be read from right to left. I particularly like Metro by Egyptian artist Magdy al-Shafee.

I don't like Fawstin's work. Here's the concluding paragraph from one of his explanations of his stance:

Only when the enemy is crushed will the non-Mohammed Muslims be able to take the stage of Islam that the jihadists owned for a thousand years. Then Muslims will be given a chance to join the civilized world and begin making the case for a pacified Islam, or scrap the whole mess entirely. Islam’s fate will be up to them at that point, unless they pull a jihad revival, and then it’ll up to us, because we cannot allow ourselves to be at the mercy of an enemy for whom Nukes are the answer.
Mazan Kerbaj's graphic novel about growing up in Lebanon, born at the start of the civil war in the 1970s, is an account that speaks to any human being, that of a child caught up in a war:
At the age of six I could already tell between outgoing and incoming shells, by sound alone
Would Fawstin have nuked him?

I learned about The Infidel from the author, who emailed me because I published the Danish Mohammed cartoons on this blog and got included in a roundup of links on various sites. There's no comparison between the Danish cartoons and the advocacy of mass murder. In fact, incitement to murder was, in that earlier case, the province of those who objected to the cartoons. That's why I published them. Incitement to murder should never be allowed to gain traction, no matter where it comes from.


Bosch Fawstin said...

Thanks for the mention, but no thanks for the accusation that my work is an incitement to murder. My work does not come out of a vacuum; I’m not just someone who woke up one day and felt like attacking ‘the religion of peace’. The Infidel was born the day that I saw my fellow Americans hurl themselves from burning towers as a less horrific way to die. And my artistic response to that horror has no doubt been colored by the fact that I come from a Muslim background. Have you seen the anti-Infidel art coming from the Muslim world? Have you seen the signs by non-terrorist Muslims holding placards in WESTERN countries LITERALLY calling for the death of those who insult Islam? Do you see the incitement to murder and Actual murder of non-Muslims by Muslims Every Single Day around the world? I will no doubt be accused of attacking Islam, but it's more precisely a Counter-Attack and I give as hard as I get, that is, as hard as my words and drawings can be. My work is a Response to the incitement to murder and to actual murder in the atrocities we see in the name of Islam carried out by Muslims. You're way out of line, my friend, but then so many of us are that you’re just typical.
I'd ask anyone who has an interest in finding out my full context, to visit my site and be his or her own judge about what my work is.

Peter Risdon said...

That's actually rather a measured response; I was expecting something rather more vitriolic.

Yes, of course I've seen the sort of hate art that's common in the Middle East, and I've posted some of it here so others can see it too.

But in fighting this great evil, we must not become as bad as our enemies. I'm not suggesting you are as bad as they are, because you're not. But I stand by my post.

Bosch Fawstin said...

Fair enough, as I stand by every word I write and draw. And one word about us becoming like the enemy. We're not, and we can never be. But if we continue underreacting to this threat the way we have, we may very well one day become the enemy, on our knees facing Mecca.

Peter Risdon said...

Well, personally I'd end up dead before that happened, but I agree: we are underreacting. Izlamists have declared war against us, and we should reciprocate. People in the middle east would agree with that, by the way. Follow the link two sentences back.