Written by John Butler
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Topics: Muslims, Newspaper

Friday, 3 February 2006

image for Muslim Fury Over Unfunny Satirical Cartoons
Angry Muslims voice their outrage over "dreadfully unfunny" cartoons

Fresh protests are being made by Muslims angered by the publication of newspaper cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad arguing that "these cartoons aren't in the slightest bit funny".

Iraqi, Egyptian and Palestinian Islamic groups have called for demonstrations over what they describe as "the cartoon's appaling lack of satirical bite".

Leading UK-based Iraqi Muslim cleric, Safri Al-Jahaar said, "These cartoons are so pathetic - really primitive, behind-the-times humour. And it's not even a case of "so unfunny they actually are funny" either. We probably wouldn't be so outraged if that were the case. They're just plain unfunny".


"the Danish people might have to pay a huge price for their shit sense of humour if they decline to apologise".


Al-Jahaar pointed out how the Danish cartoon's humour pales in comparison to other examples of contemporary satire such as The Simpsons and Brass Eye, a British satirical show from the nineties Al-Jahaar describes as "side-splittingly ingenious".

Al Jahaar said, "You could take any Simpsons episode and legitimately say it is infinitely funnier than all 12 if these crappy newspaper cartoons put together. I speak for all Muslims in declaring we are deeply offended by these cartoon's dreadfully unamusing nature and, furthermore, that the Danish people might have to pay a huge price for their shit sense of humour if they decline to apologise".

Denmark's PM has met envoys from Muslim countries as he attempts to calm the anger over the "unfunny" cartoons, which were first published in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten.


"Al-Jahaar describes it as "stale and derivative - could barely raise a smile let alone a chuckle"


The cartoons have since been published by several other European media but have remained, in Muslim eyes at least, "unforgivably devoid of laughs".

One cartoon shows the Prophet wearing a headdress shaped like a bomb. Al-Jahaar describes it as "stale and derivative - could barely raise a smile let alone a chuckle"

Another depicts paradise as running short of virgins for suicide bombers. "Oh c'mon - seriously, who writes this crap?" Al-Jahaar enquired. "Seriously I've seen episodes of Who's The Boss that are funnier. The one where Angela catches Tony in the shower had me and my fellow clerics rolling about the Mosque living room floor".

Islamic tradition bans unfunny depictions of the Prophet or Allah. Perceived infringements of this law can lead to a "fatwa" or death-wish being placed on the author of the joke. Salman Rushdie found this out to his cost after writing The Satanic Verses, a book that Ayatollah Khomeini famously slated as "the unfunniest thing I've ever had the misfortune of reading".

In the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, dozens of protesters from the Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) forced their way into a high-rise building housing the Danish embassy bearing placards saying "No More Unfunny Allah Related Cartoons" and "Humour=Paradise".

The demonstrators, known to pride themselves on their appreciation of good satire, then pushed their way into the lobby but were prevented from reaching the embassy itself, on the 25th floor.

They pelted Danish symbols in the lobby and outside the building with rotten eggs and tomatoes, and one report said they tore down and burned a Danish flag whilst chanting "South Park Rules - Danish fools".

The group dispersed about an hour later, after the Danish ambassador agreed to publish an apology in the local media. "We regret that our cartoons failed to amuse you. We hope we can continue to live in harmony."

Supporters of free speech argue that the Danish authorities are wrong to issue such apologies as it could be seen to "threaten to ones democratic right to print unfunny material".

Dirk Prendergast from the Freedom of the Press Association believes, "every society needs unfunny humour. It's what makes genuinely funny people feel special".

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