Test pattern

Chris Muir is the ingenious cartoonist who has taken to the Internet to ply his trade at Day by Day. I like his artwork, enjoy his characters, admire his wit, and envy his somewhat detached point of view.
Chris calls the cartoon below “Marketing Muhammed.” I originally found it posted under that title here. In it Chris comments on the South Park affair.
I love Chris’s use of the test pattern metaphor at the top of the panel. He’s dating himself a bit with the metaphor. Being a little older than than Chris, I find the test pattern metaphor effective, and the motto he places on the test pattern speaks powerfully for itself.
Chris manages to work in allusions to other recent events in the cartoon. His characters are unusually well-informed. They set a good example! And he ends the panel on a high note.
In her Wall Street Journal column on the South Park affair today, Ayan Hirsi Ali discusses one possible response to the “informal fatwa” exercised by extremist Muslims over South Park and other venues. One idea, she writes, “is to do stories of Muhammad where his image is shown as much as possible. These stories do not have to be negative or insulting, they just need to spread the risk. The aim is to confront hypersensitive Muslims with more targets than they can possibly contend with.”
Ali adds that one important advantage of such a campaign is to accustom Muslims to the kind of treatment that the followers of other religions have long been used to. Ali observes, that after the South Park episode in question there was no threatening response from Buddhists, Christians and Jews–to say nothing of Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand fans–all of whom had far more reason to be offended than Muslims.
In “Marketing Muhammad,” Chris Muir himself sets a good example of one way it can be done. Incorporating the cartoon that got Kurt Westergaard in trouble (also discussed in Ali’s column), Chris demonstrates an artist’s courage as well.

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