A scene from an animated version of a popular Japanese comic book has sparked an outcry int the Muslim world which could become another version of the Danish cartoon wars which raged last year. At issue is a 90 second “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” video segment that depicts Dio Brando, a villain, picking up a Quran from a bookshelf and apparently examining it as he orders the execution of the hero and his friends. The animation is based on the widely popular manga by Hirohiko Araki which appeared weekly from 1987 to 2003. A pirated version of the cartoon seres with Arabic subtitles has been available on the Internet since March, 2007.
Someone posted a still on the Internet and now it has spread all over the Muslim world. Sheikh Abdul Hamd Attrash, chairman of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni authority, called the cartoon an insult to Islam. He noted: “This scene depicts Muslims as terrorists, which is not true at all. This is an insult to the religion and the producers would be considered to be enemies of Islam.”
The producers of the cartoon admtted it was a simple mistake and said “we applogize for the unpleasantness tthat the cartoon may have caused and will carefully consider how to deal with religious and cultural themes.” He said one of the animation authors merely had tried giving the scene a sense of authentcity.
Many Arabic and Muslim web sites are now arousing anger by accusing the Japanese of attacking all Muslims and trying to engender feelings of hate toward the Muslim world. Cries of boycotting Japenese products are now being heard.
It was a mistake, nothing more than that. Of course, the same people who are upset at a cartoon series propogating hate have no problem with Muslim cartoons which depict Jews as evil and urge children to hate them. How about issuing a Fatwa against all forms of hate toward religions which appear on children cartoon programs?