Jesus Caricatures Don’t Arouse Muslim Anger

Two recent caricatures of Jesus Christ which appeared in Sweden apparently have not aroused the ire of Muslims who object to portrayal in the media of images they regard as offensive. However, the editor of a Swedish newspaper has received death threats for publishing a picture of Jesus being defacated on by the devil. The newspaper, Ostgota, published the picture last Saturday and it sparked a vigorous debate on its homepage. Editor Ola Sigvardsson hoped its publication would result in debates about issues of freedom of the press.

This week, a Swedish artist unveiled a sculpture depicting Christ as a well-endowed dog. Stig Ramsing, said he wnted to stimulate debate about freedom of religion and the press. “It is my turn to follow Lars Vilks(his cartoons of Muhammed stirred anger in the Muslim world) and provoke a sensilble discussion about religion.”

Unfortunately, these depictions of Jesus Christ did not stir any anger or violence in the Muslim world. Islamic clerics who issued statements urging boycotts and violence against Danish property are remarkably silent when the topic concerns caricatures of Jesus Christ. The only conclusion is that Muslim clerics raise issues about insulting religion when it pertains to what they regard as vulgarity to figures in the Muslim religion.