Thousands of Christians Riot, Protest Cartoon of Jesus Smoking Cigarette
SARCASM ALERT: Make-up headline shows contrasting belief systems. The “cartoon” is actually an altered “Sacred Heart of Jesus” image.
Today’s story about an irreverent depiction of Jesus in a newspaper makes me wonder…if a tree branch snaps in the woods and no one heard it, did it really make a noise?
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A newspaper catering to Malaysia’s ethnic Indians published a front-page apology Thursday for printing an image of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi criticized the action as hurtful and an insult to Christians, and called on people not to play with religion, the national news agency Bernama reported.
Thanks for the apology, but was it really needed?
“If the Christians get to know about it, it will create problems,” Abdullah was quoted as saying. “I remind them again to stop doing this.”
Get to know about this? It will be a miracle if more than three websites carry this story.
Will we hear an uproar the likes of which we have not seen since a Danish newspaper published irreverent Muslim editorial cartoons, one of them showing Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban?
The cartoons sparked worldwide protests, rioting, and deaths fueled by revengeful Islamic crowds.
Here’s the “strong” Christian reaction so far to the Jesus cartoon:
Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, who earlier criticized the image as a “desecration,” accepted the newspaper’s apology. In an e-mail to Periasamy, the archbishop’s office said Pakiam now “considers the matter closed.”
However, the Malaysian Indian Congress, a party in Malaysia’s ruling coalition, filed a police report and called on the government to close the paper, which has generally been critical of the MIC.
“It’s a very serious issue. For certain things you can apologize, but for this kind of sensitive issue, the editor should be sacked and the paper closed,” senior party official T. Mohan told the AP.
Sounds like a pretty peaceful request to me.
S.M. Periasamy, general manager of the Tamil-language daily Makkal Osai, told The Associated Press that the newspaper published the image by mistake.
“The graphic artist, whom we have already suspended, didn’t see the cigarette,” Periasamy said. “It was a mistake.”
He said the artist downloaded an image of Jesus from the Internet for use along with a quote from the Bible on the paper’s front page Tuesday. But the artist overlooked the fact that the image had been, with a cigarette in one hand and another object — a can or a book — in the other, he said.
And yada yada yada…and yada yada yada and poof! Jesus should not have been holding a cigarette. Great, thanks for the amusing story.
You know, Jesus has always been ridiculed, why would it be any different today? As Christians, this should be an easy one to understand. Jesus with a cigarette? No big whoop. That’s nothing compared to what he went through to forgive our sins. Need a refresher course? Perhaps viewing The Passion will be a good start.