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This person (his identity is not apparent on the image, let's say he 's a generic arab, it could be muhammad but that would be stupid to think so because there is no representation of muhammad and I personnaly would be incapable of recognizing him if he asked me for a fag in the street) seems a bit pissed off that someone has planted a bomb into his hat.

Or this person looks angry and the cartoonist wants to say that his anger triggers bombs, this is badly conveyed, then. Everybody knows that if you have a bomb in your hat it will blow your own brains out...

Or the cartoonist wants to say that bombs being thrown in the name of the coran (inscription on the hat/bomb) are going to destroy muhammad's brains (ideas) ? unlikely, or, again, very stupidly put.

Or the cartoonist wants to say muhammad=coran=bombs
that would be too stupid, wouldn't it ?

all in all, the word stupid comes to mind when trying to interpret this image


re: interpretation

I suppose it means some extremists have "bombs on the brain" and it is true that this is the image many people have of all Muslims. Still I'm not sure how it helps to fortify that image. And the ban is against idolatry, not imagery, except for fundamentalists.

Some of the other cartoons I simply didn't understand. The one about "running out of virgins" perpetuated a misconception -- but I did sort of chuckle. In another one Mohammed looks like Bill Gates with an orange in his turban. Guess you have to be Danish. I'll have to remember to ask Jakob Boeskov to explain when he comes through NY again.

In any case, they have brought out some disturbing prejudices in people. I'm still not sure what to think of the whole issue but at the very least we should be able to see the visuals. Four editors at The New York Press (a free weekly) walked out when the publisher refused to print the cartoons. NYPress is pretty conservative so it was as much a protest against liberal PC bias in not printing the cartoons as anything.

re: interpretation

This guy looks like a desi - South Asian - bouncer. That explains why he has a ferocious public profile. May be he's a low-ranking sepoy guarding the armament depot - and his headgear is part of the uniform along with other such British colonial curiosities. Can't think of a rebellious British Muslim ex-colony that has gone that way?

Anyway, the insignia on his turban is a fine piece of Arabic calligraphy of 'there is no god but god, Muhammad is his messenger' - the basic Muslim confession or 'kalma' - probably commissioned by a sultan who is keen on art. And trying to muster an army that will look good in his defence - king of kings, god's shadow on earth. That discounts the subject being a Sikh - who wouldn't wear that, even if he had to quit the army. So its likely this guy's sultan has a tiny monolithic kingdom gone psychotic under threat - but that doesn't explain the art - aesthetics must have been the Sultan's childhood passion - he's making a statement.

It is doubtful if the subject is very independent-minded - and most likely values loyalty over practicality - which is why he is loaded with a lit bomb on his head and doesn't realize it. He's either a conned neocon, or he's gotta be a masochist spy who loves it - in Europe.

The explanation that makes momentary sense, is that a ferocious looking muslim, like a live bomb about to explode, looks good in Europe.

But the final one has to be that Muhammad's aesthetic is about to ferociously explode in Europe

Oh how prescient - by about 1400 years.

gazelle at Truth Shall Veil Beauty