Jesus and Mo

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Jesus and Mo is a satirical webcomic by the pseudonymous British cartoonist "Mohammed Jones" depicting Jesus and Mohammed[note 1] as two blokes who like to hang out together and debate religion. The supporting cast consists of Moses and an unseen atheist barmaid, who is presented as the voice of reason.

In some strips Jesus and Mohammed are shown arguing with each other; generally, these strips use one character to represent his religion and the other to represent critics in general.[1][2] Other strips see them teaming up to debate with the barmaid; here, the two protagonists are usually used to represent religion (or, at least, the more gullible side of religion) in general.[3] There are also strips which make no references to any particular religion and send up other beliefs in the supernatural.[4]

University College London controversy[edit]

In early 2012 a brouhaha blew up when the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society of University College London decided to use an image from Jesus and Mo to illustrate the Facebook page for the society's weekly pub meet. The image in question, taken from the cover of one of the strip's books, shows Jesus and Mohammed sitting in a bar, each with a glass of an unspecified beverage. Complaints were made to the UCL's student union that the image was offensive, and the union responded by asking the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society to remove the image.[5][6] The society refused, however, prompting an online petition to be set up calling for the picture to be kept[7] and one of the college's Islamic societies to issue a statement arguing at length that it is not for atheists to decide what religious people should or shouldn't find offensive.[8]

The first Jesus and Mo strip to go online after the controversy hit the blogosphere consisted solely of the two characters sitting in the pub trying not to say anything offensive as a comment on the affair.[9]

Shortly after the whole controversy the president of the UCL Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society stepped down due to the stress of dealing with the matter.[10] A similar debate occurred shortly afterwards at the London School of Economics; the LSE student union responded by condemning Islamophobia, which it declared was "a form of anti-Islamic racism."[11] One wonders if they'll be condemning anti-Scientologist racism next.

Yet another controversy happened at the freshers conference in 2013. Students managing a stall for the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society wore t-shirts featuring Jesus and Mo cartoons. Student officials and security guards intimidated the humanist students and forced them to cover up their shirts or leave the premises. Security guards followed the students round in an intimidating manner all day.[12]

Maajid Nawaz[edit]

In January 2014 Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim Liberal Democrat, posted a Jesus and Mo cartoon on Twitter and commented that he did not find it offensive; this happened after he discussed the webcomic on BBC's Big Questions. George Galloway responded by tweeting that "No Muslim will ever vote for the Liberal Democrats anywhere ever unless they ditch the provocateur Majid Nawaz", while Nawaz received death threats for his position.[13][14]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Although, according to the "about" page, the Mohammed character is actually a body double, as the real Mohammed has been dead for centuries.

References[edit]