New Zapiro cartoon to respond to controversy

2010-05-27 10:34

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, widely known as Zapiro, will respond

to the offence caused by his depiction of the prophet Muhammad in a new cartoon

to be published tomorrow.

His assistant, who declined to be named, said: “Mister Shapiro has

been swamped with calls from journalists but he will be responding by cartoon in

the Mail & Guardian on Friday.”

The Mail & Guardian’s editor Nic Dawes said this week that the

newspaper regretted the offence caused by Shapiro’s cartoon.

Dawes said the newspaper, along with Shapiro, met Muslim community

representatives and business leaders in Johannesburg yesterday to discuss their

concerns.

Dawes said: “We regret the offence caused by the cartoon and the

pain experienced by many Muslims around the country.”

The cartoon, published last Friday, depicts Muhammad lying on a

couch complaining to a psychiatrist: “Other prophets have followers with a sense

of humour!”

Dawes said in light of what the paper had learned since publishing

the cartoon on Friday, it decided to review its editorial policy on religion,

especially where it concerned the Prophet Muhammad.

The review would be informed by consultation with a variety of

parties within the country and based on “the constitutional values of freedom of

expression and the M&G’s own values of social justice,” he said.


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