American Newspapers Lose Their Nerve

Berkeley Breathed, the American cartoonist, apparently misjudged the furor he would kick off in his comic strip Opus with two relatively inoffensive depictions of one of his favorite characters, Lola Granola, who turned Muslim and renamed herself Fatima Struggle in the first strip and went to the beach in a “burqini” in the second.

The Washington Post declined to run the cartoon in its news pages, although it ran it on the Post website. Several other newspapers across the US also declined, for fear that they would offend Muslim readers and because of the sexual innuendo.

Across the world over the past couple of years, Muslims have reacted with outrage and occasional violence to lighthearted depictions of either their religion or its founder, the prophet Mohammad.

Unlike the American publishers, we would prefer to let readers judge for themselves. Here are the two cartoons.