This Week’s Cartoon: “More Things For Islamophobes to Worry About”

Until now, I resisted doing a cartoon on the mosque controversy because, like many aspects of American politics these days, it seemed too stupid to address. But as the debate built to a crescendo last week, even I found myself getting annoyed at slogans like “STOP THE GROUND ZERO MEGA-MOSQUE.” You do realize the protesters are calling it a “mega-mosque,” don’t you? And a “9/11 victory mosque?” Do a Google image search for “Ground Zero 2010″ and you’ll find all sorts of colorful signage. The problem, of course, is that these people are inventing their own reality. Does this sound like a 9/11 victory monument?:

The facility’s design includes a 500-seat auditorium, theater, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, childcare area, bookstore, culinary school, art studio, food court, September 11th memorial, and prayer space that could accommodate 1,000–2,000 people…

The project’s organizers state that it is intended to be “a platform for multi-faith dialogue. It will strive to promote inter-community peace, tolerance and understanding locally in New York City, nationally in America, and globally,” and have stated that it is modeled on the noted Manhattan Jewish community and cultural center, the 92nd Street Y. The project’s sponsors explained that the original name of the center was meant to invoke 8th–11th century Córdoba, which they call a model of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

Sounds like something we could use, actually. Emphasis above is mine.

Since some people have asked about the Dr. Oz panel in the cartoon, I will add here that yes, Dr. Oz is a practicing Muslim; he discusses his faith in this interview on The Root.


  • Elmore

    I lived in New York for three years, and one of the things I really liked about the place was the impossibility for one group/class of people to separate itself geographically from others it didn’t agree with or care for. You had bag ladies occupying the same block that Donald Trump’s penthouse was in. If there was a Satanic temple in the block next to an apartment building, most of the tenants of that building either didn’t know or didn’t care. I suspect the people who are howling the loudest about this mosque are not New Yorkers and don’t give a fiddler’s fart about the city beyond whatever political points they can still squeeze out of the September 11 tragedy. (Read: Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin…)

  • Mick Stone

    Hey Jen, it’s Mick from UVa, how the hell are ya? I’m going around telling everyone to read the Koran, because I’m reading it now and I … had… no… idea. It’s bad, Jen. I’ve always seen Islamaphobes take a few quote and say that proves it justifies violence and figured, hey, every religion does that. But, like every page has some reference to hell fire, torment and the wrath of God poured down on the unbelievers (you and me). Most hateful thing I’ve ever read. I don’t even think “Islamaphobe” is an accurate term any longer.

  • Mr. Mayes

    Mick Stone, you sure you are not referring to the Old Testament bible? You know, the one where God killed just about everyone on the planet with a flood and promised to use fire next time? The one where plagues were beset upon non-believers (including innocent women and children)? The one where a man of faith was tortured based on a dare from Lucifer? The one where a man was asked to sacrifice his son? You sure that was the Koran you read?

  • Jen Sorensen

    Hi Mick, thanks for reading. I’m doing OK; hope the magician market is treating you well. Regarding the Koran, I think Mr. Mayes has a good point; but perhaps most important of all is how the text is being interpreted. Seems like the line should be drawn not between religions so much as between fundamentalists and moderates. Of course, I’m more of an observable-reality gal, myself.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.