Shootings over cartoons: A cycle of sadness



Some people have misread this to think I am blaming the cartoonists for the attacks. That was not my intention at all; the terrorists are 100% to blame — it all starts with them. (I am probably more supportive of taking aggressive measures against ISIS than some of my peers.) What I am addressing are some of the vile comments and yes, a few very ugly, hateful cartoons against all Muslims that have come out over the past week in response to the shootings. All of this plays right into terrorists’ hands of baiting the West, stirring up culture war, and furthering their agenda of recruitment. I see a return to a Bush-era, post-9/11 mentality, and that’s a movie I just can’t stand to watch again. If a desire for de-escalation and greater distinction between terrorism and Islam makes me blasphemous, then maybe I am, in my own strange way, Charlie Hebdo.

Also: the use of “Religion X” was not done out of fear of terrorists, as some have suggested; that didn’t even occur to me. The cartoon is intended as a parable so that we can get around preconceptions.



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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.

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