Mahomed FAizal Dawjee, writing in the South African, Mail&Guardian, attempted to inject common sense into the crazy discussion concerning the Zapiro cartoon which depicted the Prophet Muhammad on a couch talking to a psychiatrist and saying, “other Prophets have followers with a sense of humor.” As Dawjee notes, every time there is a cartoon, some Muslim leaders go wild and make certain that a caricature that would be seen, at most, by a few thousand, is viewed by millions throughout the world. He notes that Muhammad in the cartoon is dressed in normal Arab attire, there is no attempt to make fun of his facial features, and he is talking to a psychiatrist, not because he is insane, but stressed. All normal occurrences. Dawjee raises a point that has been missed by most commenting on the cartoon– the Muslim faith requires respecting and honoring the other Prophets who have followers with a sense of humor which means Muslims also have a sense of humor.
As the writer, and others, have pointed out, Zapiro has printed cartoons which depict Israel leader, Sharon, as a Nazi, he has blasted Israel policy toward Palestinians and even poked fun at South African leaders. He is an equal satirical cartoonist. To prove this is true, today the Mail& Guardian will carry a cartoon in which a man is lying on a couch and is asked by his psychiatrist, “tough week?” and he responds, “You have NO idea.” At the side of the man is a brief case with the word, “Cartoonist.”