Zapiro writes:

Given the controversy about the "Everybody draw Muhammad Day" campaign, I felt that it was necessary to draw and publish a cartoon on the subject. The objective was certainly not to offend but to draw a cartoon that was challenging. The prophet in the cartoon looks sad . His followers don't have a sense of humour and are fanatical and sensitive. Reaction to the publication of the cartoon has proved exactly what the cartoon depicts..

I believe that all religions should be subjected to satire and that some religious groups should not be able to think they are above society.

Earlier this year, South Park, the American animated TV series depicted Muhammad in a bear suit. Following death threats and calls for censure, a cartoonist started a global campaign called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!"

I joined (the campaign) because people were getting scared. It was a day of solidarity for cartoonists to draw the prophet. Maybe I was naive as I did not think the cartoon or the paper would be interdicted. I thought I would get away with it, but I am glad for the freedom of expression in South Africa.



Born in Cape Town in 1958, Zapiro couldn’t imagine a career in cartooning, so he studied architecture at University of Cape Town.

Couldn’t imagine a career in architecture, so…>

'A Prophet at Loss':
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© Zapiro | May 21, 2010

A Prophet at Loss

A PROPHET AT A LOSS: Zapiro's cartoon of the prophet Muhammad comes in the wake of a five year controversy since the cartoons depicting Islam's spiritual leader first appeared in the Danish publication Jyllands-Posten.

Since then, people have died, lives threatened, property damaged and free speech has been severely challenged in a radical backlash by Muslim fundamentalists. Most recently, in a counter attack, free speech advocates have promoted an "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" on facebook. Zapiro's cartoon is a light hearted take on the over reaction. But his provocative depiction of the prophet in the cartoon will no doubt inflame the debate.