Mohammed Image Archive

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Political Cartoons

This section of the Mohammed Image Archive focuses on political cartoons (also known as "editorial cartoons") -- drawings by professional cartoonists which appear in newspapers or magazines, satirizing or commenting on current events.

To qualify for inclusion on this page, a political cartoon must feature a depiction of Mohammed, and must have been published in a newspaper or magazine, and/or be drawn by a staff cartoonist who regularly publishes professionally.

What makes these cartoons noteworthy is that in the wake of the 2006 "cartoon crisis," the vast majority of mainstream media publications refused to publish any representations of Mohammed, even in their coverage of the controversial Jyllands-Posten cartoons themselves. So political cartoons showing Mohammed are particularly rare, as most publications voluntarily "self-censored" anything which might anger Muslim extremists.

In 2002, political cartoonist Doug Marlette published this drawing of Mohammed driving a truck with a nuclear bomb.
(Hat tip: Thomas G.)

On February 3, 2006, Le Monde newspaper published this cartoon by artist Plantu on its front page -- a drawing of Mohammed composed of sentences that say "Je ne dois pas dessiner Mahomet," or "I must not draw Mohammed."
(Hat tip: John, Erik, and Breteuil.)

This cartoon by French political cartoonist Steph Bergol has Mohammed (being carried away by devils) saying, "It is a judicial error! I am Mohammed, the prophet!", to which St. Peter (with a scimitar through his chest) replies, "Definitely: GUILTY!"
(Hat tip: thierry and etienne.)

Another cartoon by Bergol from 2004 and entitled Islamic Crucifixion has Jesus saying (in French), "Mohammed, my kingdom is not of this world...", while Mohammed, nailing him to the cross, replies, "But mine is!!!"

It is not known in which publication these two Bergol cartoons first appeared.

The September 24, 1876 edition of Le Grelot, a French anti-clerical satire magazine, featured on its cover this editorial cartoon of Mohammed by staff cartoonist "Pepin." The Muslim afterlife is shown as a Belle-Epoch orgy, to which Mohammed holds the keys. The implication of the cartoon is that throngs of dead Muslims (their desperate hands visible at the bottom), having sacrificed their lives for Islam, show up at the gates of Paradise, only to learn that it is "sold out." The image at the top is the full cover; the second image is a close-up detail of just Mohammed. Low-resolution versions of the cartoon were also posted at Caricatures et Caricature and
(Thanks to: Jean-Pierre N.)

In May of 2006, Harper's magazine reprinted the original 12 Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons, along with an article by famed illustrator Art Spiegelman -- who also created this updated portrait of Mohammed (in the center) based on one of the 12 cartoons, surrounded by racist stereotypes -- a greedy Jew, a Mexican bandito, an Italian mafioso, a child-molesting Catholic priest, a tomahawk-wielding Native American, a naked woman, a bucktoothed Chinaman, and a dice-playing negro -- insinuating that the mere act of depicting Mohammed is just another form of racism or bigotry. Spiegelman's array of stereotypes implies that when artists depict Mohammed as a terrorist, they are using him as a stand-in for all Middle-Easterners, so that a disrepectful image of Mohammed is actually a racist/bigoted attack against Arabs or Muslims in general. Needless to say, Spiegelman entirely misses the point: the conflict has nothing whatsoever to do with race, but instead is a clash between religion and secularism about blasphemy and free speech. But it is a standard strategy among modern-day "progressives," when they feel they are losing a debate, to change the subject to "racism" as a way of signalling their moral virtue. Several blogs gave extensive coverage to the story.
(Thanks to: Killgore Trout.)

On February 1, 2006, France Soir newspaper published this illustration by staff cartoonist Delize on its cover, depicting Mohammed alongside Buddha, Moses and Jesus in heaven. The headline says (in French) "Yes, one has the right to caricature God," while in heaven Jesus says to Mohammed, "Don't gripe, Mohammed ... we were ALL caricatured here." Inside the same edition, they also published another cartoon of Mohammed by Delize (above, right), which shows Mohammed himself sketching a picture of Lady Liberty, saying, "I drew a cartoon of Democracy, and nobody cares."
(Thanks to: Gathers and etienne.)

The French anti-religious anarchist humor magazine L'Assiette au Beurre published this amazing anti-Islam editorial cartoon on July 5, 1904. The caption reads, in French, "God of the Turks. Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet. He knew how to ensure his own existence, by promising all delights to those who die while extinguishing the unbelievers." (In earlier historical eras, the French word "Turc," though technically meaning "person of Turkish descent," was also commonly used as a blanket term to mean "Middle Eastern" or "Muslim.") Allah is the glowing light at the top in Paradise, while Mohammed (representing the essence of Islam) is standing on a pile of his victims.
(Thanks to: Nicolas C.)

Cox and Forkum snuck two Mohammed depictions into their cartoon about the Jyllands-Posten controversy.

Danish cartoonist Ivar Gjørup created this gruesome update of a classic '50s comic called "Crazy Cartoonist" (or, literally, "Crazy Penciller") in which the hero's drawings came to life as he drew them. In this version, a shaved-headed image that's apparently supposed to be Mohammed finally cuts off the head of the cartoonist who drew him -- a subtle commentary that either suggests the threat from extremists is real, or alternately that we are creating the threat ourselves. The caption reads "The Crazy Cartoonist's Last Work." More info on the drawing can be found at Gateway Pundit.

Slate cartoonist Jack Higgins drew this cartoon of Mohammed responding violently to the Pope's suggestion that Islam is violent -- with a riff on the old aphorism, "If Mohammed can not go to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Mohammed."
(Hat tip: Ted K.)

The "Middle-East Conflict" blog resposted this political cartoon of Mohammed the false prophet leading his blind followers into Hell. The "SB" signature style of the artist suggests it is a professionally drawn political cartoon, but it is not known in which publication it first appeared.
(Thanks to: Raafat.)

This French cartoon feminizes Mohammed while mocking the Islamic prohibition on depicting his face, by showing him wearing a woman's veil. The caption translates as, "The Muslim religion forbids the representation of Mohammed." It appeared in an as-yet unidentified mainstream French-language publication on February 1, 2006.
(Hat tip: Martin.)

This political cartoon from a 1919 edition of the Des Moines Register shows Mohammed as an allegorical figure representing inflationary price levels. (Click on the image to see a larger version.) It was drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jay Darling, and can now be found at the University of Iowa Libraries, which has a page for the cartoon with full attribution.
(Hat tip: Martin H.)

This is a close-up of the first Mohammed shown in the 1919 Jay Darling cartoon.

And this is a close-up of the second Mohammed shown in the 1919 Jay Darling cartoon.

On August 18, 1925, the British newspaper The Star published this cartoon by illustrator David Low showing cricket sports hero Jack Hobbs towering over other historical figures -- including Mohammed (spelled the old-fashioned way, "Mahomet," on his pedestal). A 2006 article in the London Times stated, "According to a Calcutta correspondent, when [this cartoon] appeared in the Indian version of the Morning Post, it 'convulsed many Muslims in speechless rage. Meetings were held and resolutions of protest were passed'." In contrast to the "cartoon controversies" of the 21st century, however, the fury in the Muslim world over this cartoon was almost completely ignored by the Europeans. The picture on the right is a close-up detail of the Mohammed figure in the original cartoon. From The British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent.
(Thanks to: Martin)

"Muhammad Speaks" by Monte Wolverton was syndicated to various publications in January of 2015.

Marian Kamensky, editorial cartoonist for the Swiss magazine Nebelspalter and the German magazine Eulenspiegel, responded to the January, 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre with this cartoon of a Charlie Hebdo Mohammed literally bathing in blood.

The following day, Kamensky drew his own portrait of Mohammed in a cartoon of an armed cartoonist drawing Mohammed.

Syndicated political cartoonist Milt Priggee's response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre paints Mohammed as a good guy who just happens to have bad followers.
(Thanks to: strsbndy)

M.E. Cohen's commentary on the 2006 Danish "cartoon crisis" mocks the overly intellectualized introspection of westerners trying to figure out the psychology of Muslims. He sneaks two tiny portraits of Mohammed into panels two and five.
(Thanks to: strsbndy)

September 4, 2014 beheaded

The Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen ran this cartoon on June 3, 2008 as a commentary on the continuing violence in the Muslim world over the Mohammed cartoons. The text on his chest translates as: "I am Muhammed and nobody dares to print me."
(Hat tip: Luuk.)

When a Russian newspaper published this cartoon, it was shut down by authorities and its editor faced criminal charges. Reader John M. sends a translation of what Moses is saying: "But we didn't teach them this," refering to the people fighting on the television.
(Hat tip: Martin.)

This editorial cartoon depicts Mohammed and Allah in paradise laughing over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, while an Islamic terrorist below them on Earth laments (in Spanish), "How can we advance in this crusade with their lack of solidarity?!!" (in other words, Mohammed and Allah are not angry about the cartoons in the way that Muslims are). Although the image remains online here, it is not known where it was first published or who first uploaded it and translated it.

Cartoonist John Cole of The Times-Tribune syndicate commented on the controversy over a 2008 New Yorker magazine cover which depicted Barack Obama as a Muslim by comparing his supporters' outrage to the outrage actual Muslims feel over satirical images of Mohammed. The comparison was actually a poor one because the New Yorker cartoon was not meant to imply that Obama is actually a Muslim, but instead was mocking the rumor that Obama was a Muslim; most of the outrage over the cartoon came not from Obama's supporters but instead from Obama's detractors who felt it belittled a legitmate concern.
(Hat tip: Fenris.)

Australian political cartoonist Larry Pickering posted this cartoon to his site on January 8, 2015, which shows a pig-like Mohammed (with a "Halal" label on his rump) roasting on a spit made out of a pencil, while Korans below wait to be ignited.
(Thanks to: Gerard C.)

This "Far Side" cartoon by Gary Larson riffs on the adage "If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain." The cartoon contains a very very small representation of Mohammed, from a time when it was not considered controversial. The image, scanned from a newspaper, was posted to Pinterest but most likely was originally published sometime in the 1980s.

In 2006, Finnish culture magazine Kaltio fired its editor Jussi Vilkkuna for the crime of publishing a five-page cartoon about Mohammed in the magazine; the first page is above, and the remaining four are shown below. Vilkkuna, who had been Kaltio's editor for eight years, was told to leave after he refused to remove the cartoon from the publication's website as requested by the magazine's board of directors, who had been pressured by advertisers. An article about the incident, along with higher-resolution versions of each page, can be found here at Slightly smaller versions of the jpegs are also still online here. The irony is that the entire cartoon is about the cowardice of Finnish liberals when confronted with threats over depictions of Mohammed:
(Hat tip: Paul B., nord, Tuomas H., and Martin.)

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