Amid concerns of offence

Another week, another cartoon about Islam yanked from a student newspaper.

A cartoon satirising Islam has been pulled from the internet by editors of  the Australian National University student newspaper, amid concerns of offence  and potential for violent backlash.

The Woroni student newspaper originally published the cartoon on  April 18 as part of its “Advice from Religion” infographic, the fifth in a  series previously featuring Catholicism, Scientology, Mormonism and Judaism.

ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young said editors retracted the cartoon two days after  it was posted online following a formal complaint to university management.

So…cartoons about Catholicism, Scientology, Mormonism and Judaism, okay. Cartoon about Islam, not okay.

Speaking on ABC Radio on Monday, Mr Young said there was also concern about  the potential for a violent backlash because of the graphic, which appeared on  the backpage of the paper.

“There have been a number of cases internationally of satirical cartoons  about the Koran which can have some very unfortunate side effects,” he said.

So…violence and intimidation work.



  1. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I was just talking about “amid” on Twitter. I hate “amid.”

  2. says

    “… We felt that it actually breached the rules of the university in terms of students’ conduct.”

    OK, what was it about this cartoon that meant it breached university rules? Did the other cartoon breach these rules? If so, what have you done about it? Can you specify what sort of cartoon about Islam would not break university rules? If not, do the rules specifically mention Islam?

  3. Pen says

    Thanks, dexitroboper, the author’s response was brilliant. I hope he finds more venues for it soon.

  4. quixote says

    We’re talking about religion being given veto power over our ability to express thoughts, and the main thought needing expression is the exact usage of “amid”? Really?

    (I know, I know. They’re just lighthearted parenthetical comments. So’s mine!)

  5. Francisco Bacopa says

    OOOH Scary! Some idiots gonna do violence if we reprint this. Print it. Meet them with massed violence if they strike first. Go nonviolent if the police and media are involved.

  6. says

    We the audience for public student newspapers, recognise our 2 distinct factions:

    And whereas this author (Jamie) reasonably addresses the non-violent, this vice-chancellor spotlights the other:
    >>“concern about the potential for a violent backlash because of the graphic”

    Reactionaries; thresholds for retaliatory attacks –and/or headcounts– “may” lower by spreading critical cartoons. Who knows?

    All focus is on triggers; because we yet have no clue how best protect against local, inevitable, koranic brutality.

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