Uproar over M&G Prophet Muhammad cartoon
VERASHNI PILLAY | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - May 21 2010 10:59
It was a late night in court for the Mail & Guardian as the Council of Muslim Theologians on Thursday evening tried to stop the newspaper from publishing a Zapiro cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad.
An interdict was not granted, but on Friday morning M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes and other staff were fielding a flood of angry callers, and even death threats hit the newspaper's office.
"You've got to watch your back" and "This will cost him his life" were some of the remarks made.
The cartoon followed the furore surrounding the Facebook page, "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day", which was sparked by threats by a radical Muslim group against the creators of US TV series South Park for depicting the prophet in a bear suit.
But Zapiro's cartoon, published in Friday's M&G, was far gentler in its satire, depicting the prophet reclining on a psychiatrist's couch and bemoaning his followers' lack of humour.