Muslim cartoon provokes fury among UK Jews

For days, Muslims across the world have been protesting about European newspapers that published drawings showing the Prophet Mohamed. One MP accused the editors of hypocrisy.

Yesterday a newspaper published cartoons that Jewish groups say they find offensive, and US generals protested about a cartoon in the Washington Post. It showed Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary, beside a limbless soldier, but the generals said, on behalf of the normally robust Mr Rumsfeld, that the drawing was "tasteless".

The latest cartoon row centres on the British paper Muslim Weekly. Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon, said the cartoon was "obscene" and in terribly "bad taste", and has now made a formal complaint to the paper. He added: "This cartoon depicts people in the most obscene fashion, reminiscent of Die Sturmer, the Nazi propaganda sheet. It denigrates and incites hatred towards Jewish people. I sympathise with the Muslim complaints about the cartoon that appeared in Denmark, but it is hypocritical to publish a cartoon like this."

Mr Dismore hinted that if the the paper does not promise to stop carrying artwork of that type he would make a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. The cartoon, which appeared in last week's edition of the current affairs publication, shows world leaders, including President George Bush, President Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair and Iran's new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a caricature of an Israeli figure meant to represent Mr Olmert. The caption reads: "The nuclear club (US, UK, France and Israel) is angry for Iran's attempt to enter the nuclear market."

A spokesman for the Muslim Weekly said the cartoon was an "evocative" caricature, not intended to offend or be "stereotypical". He said: "It's a caricature so that's the whole point of it. It's a depiction, a portrayal. If he feels it is anti-Semitic we will try to reach common ground."

Jewish groups have complained about previous cartoon portrayals of Jews that appear in the Arab press. They include a depiction in 2002 of the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak as Hitler, with his hands dripping with blood. Another shows a Jewish devil with a huge hooked nose haranguing the Pope. The Pope says: "Peace on earth" and the Jew replies: "Colonies on earth."

Cartoonists are defending their right to lampoon public and religious figures, even the prophet Mohamed. Dave Brown, of The Independent, said: "If there was some important strong, valid point which would have necessitated the drawing of Mohamed, then fine. The one with the turban in the shape of a bomb: the only point it makes is that all Muslims are terrorists, which is crass, stupid and objectionable."

Ralph Steadman said: "I can draw whatever comes into my mind if whatever comes into my mind is legitimate. If it does not incite violence or cause people to get hurt or endangered, I can produce that drawing and make it what it is."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent