By Denis Schulz.
Al Capp was one of the great cartoonists of the 20th Century-perhaps the greatest. There was Walt Kelly and Bill Watterson and not much else. Who can forget the Yokums and Marrying Sam and Senator Jack S. Fogbound? And Daisy Mae Scraggs did more for ragged short shorts than Marilyn Monroe did for hot air vents. Capp’s hillbillies were so rude and ignorant they made The Three Stooges seem almost as erudite as Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill and Frank Rich, and, of course, better plumbers. Yet no hillbillies, from Granny Clampett to Grandpa McCoy, ever pursued Al Capp through the streets with a hickory switch.
Capp portrayed Joan Baez as Joannie the Phoney and his campus S.W.I.N.E.(Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything) were forever stuffing flowers down National Guard gun barrels-flowers which “naturally, somebody else growed,” said Li’l Abner. The radical left hated his guts. What he would have done with Michael Moore and Howard Dean can only be imagined.
He relentlessly lampooned Chester Gould’s famous comic strip detective, Dick Tracy, with his own counter-culture creation, Fearless Fosdick. Tracy fans were incensed but Gould declined mortal combat. He could have hired Flattop or Pruneface to rub out Fosdick, but he didn’t, and there were no demonstrations in front of Gould’s house and no death threats were issued.
It was not always in good fun but art is art and it has to be seen to be appreciated (That’s from Mortimer: reductio ad absurdum) Art defines a society-especially comic art; no art, no comic art, no society. It’s as simple as that.
Al Capp once ran an art contest in his Li’l Abner comic strip-readers were encouraged to submit drawings of Lena the Hyena; the world’s ugliest woman. That was back in the days when no self-respecting barfly could open a matchbook without some hottie on the inside cover asking him to “Draw me and win an art scholarship:” so why not a contest to draw a picture of Mohammed?
There are many representations of the Abominable Snowman and the Loch Ness Monster-certainly no more terrifying to dhimmis than Mohammed. And there are thousands and thousands of artistic renderings of Jesus Christ, the Buddha, and L. Ron Hubbard. But there are no Mohammeds. Shouldn’t the dhimmis have some idea of what their Stalag-Master might have looked like? Of course!
But when Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark’s largest newspapers, asked 40 cartoonists to submit a likeness of Mohammed, the response was not what they had anticipated. Capp got thousands and thousands of Lena submissions but only 12 of the 40 cartoonists approached by Jyllands-Posten bothered to respond. Nonetheless, it was more than enough to awaken the world’s sleepiest seismologists. Muslims throughout the world were outraged. Once again, ignorant dhimmis were profaning Mohammed! It is against Islamic law to draw pictures of the Prophet! Allahu akbar! Don’t the dhimmis know anything at all about peace and toleration?
Thousand of Muslims took to the streets; Danish Imam Raed Hlayhel demanded an apology; death threats were issued; two of the cartoonists went into hiding; Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the Alfred Rosenberg of Sunni Islam and the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, promised to take the protest to the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, and if that didn’t work, to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; a Pakistani terrorist group offered a five thousand Kroner reward for anyone that would kill one of the cartoonists.
Were the drawings that bad? Were they crude-tasteless? Did someone use the wrong colors? Did some future Al Capp drift over the lines with his flesh tones? Or were the representations too accurate? Did they make Mohammed look like something that had crawled out of Dante’s Inferno; a sword-wielding kook: a madman with a turban shaped like a bomb strapped to his head? It doesn’t really matter-a dot on a piece of paper would have been enough; under Islamic law, any image of the Prophet is blasphemous.
The usual blowhard spokesman at Al-Azhar University said they fully respected freedom of opinion and expression and the necessity of protecting these universal freedoms through laws and constitutions; however, “international law experts have agreed that freedom of expression should not be in violation of other guaranteed freedoms and rights, including individual and collective sanctities.”
Did those rat-bags at Al-Azhar represent O.J. Simpson? Is that why Judge Roy Bean kept a six-shooter under his bench whenever somebody reached for his Holy Book? Islamic law does not trump the Danish constitution. It doesn’t trump anything. No one in Denmark voted for it. It’s not legally binding on non-Muslims except for the poor saps willing to accept a spineless dhimmitude-the number of which, unfortunately, is growing, especially in Eurabia.
Islamic law is not the Mayflower Compact. It’s not the Virginia or Kentucky Resolutions. Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws had at least a patina of legality. Dianetics makes more sense.
Not that Muslims don’t appreciate good art; Al-Manar TV, a running dog of the Lebanese terrorist organization, Hezbollah, produces claymation films for children called Stories from the Koran. Dr. Zeinab Zamzam is one of the geniuses behind the stories. On December 7. 2005, Al-Manar aired their latest claymation special, “Jews Turn Into Apes and Pigs, are Annihilated and Cast Into the Sea.” This film would have scared the pants off of Spanky and Alfalfa-especially if they had spent the Sabbath trying to hook catfish in the Old Millpond instead of on their knees in Parson Brownlow’s Church of All Denominations. The film is scarier than The Return of the Frankenstein Monster.
It starts with Grandpa telling his grandson: “Yes, my child. The Lord ordered us not to do anything at all on the Sabbath, and to stay at home to worship the Lord.” That’s right-stay at home and worship the Lord, and whatever you do, don’t go fishing, especially for the Sabbath whales who come only on the Sabbath. But Pinhas and Slamloun, a couple of Jews, have a plan. They will dig a trap on the beach for the whales the day before the Sabbath and pick them up the day after the Sabbath! A brilliant plan-they will have their whales and eat them too without profaning the Holy Day. By this time Spanky and Alfalfa are all smiles.
Another bearded wonder, Habakkuk passes by while Pinhas and Shamloun are enjoying their fish fry. “What is that smell” he says. “It that grilled fish I smell? Who is that wicked man who is grilling something forbidden?”
To make a long story short: Pinhas, Shamloun and Habakkuk, who falls victim to his own greed, are turned into apes and pigs for profaning the Sabbath. This is done in the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful. And this is where Spanky and Alfalfa swear off catfishing.
One might want to take a close look at Habakkuk; he could be mistaken for Mohammed. Go HERE Study the film, draw Habakkuk’s phiz and enter it in the Jillands-Posten Mohammed contest. What’s the worst that could happen-a fatwa, a death threat? And they say Muslims don’t understand art. Of course, they do; they just don’t like it.