Cartoonist and Newspaper Publicly Apologize to Muslims
Media linked Islam to nuclear bombs/compared Islamic dress with terrorism
(WASHINGTON, DC - 6/12/98) - In separate incidents, a syndicated political cartoonist and a Canadian newspaper have apologized to Muslims for slights to their religion.
The cartoonist, Bruce Beattie of The Daytona Beach News-Journal in Florida, sent a letter of apology to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) after Muslims worldwide complained about a recent cartoon that it said unfairly linked the faith of Islam to nuclear weapons and offered a stereotypical portrayal of Muslims.
Beattie drew a nuclear mushroom cloud labeled "Islamic Bomb" and showed a "Muslim" wearing a turban and brandishing a "scimitar" of the type often used to stereotype Muslims and Islam as violent. The sword-wielding figure says: "An eye for an eye...a megaton for a megaton!"
In his letter to CAIR, Beattie wrote: "I feel your letter criticizing my cartoon of June 2nd raises some valid points. I hereby apologize for my depiction of Muslims in the cartoon, and wish to express my regret for any offense the cartoon may have caused. In the future, I will be more sensitive to the concerns of the American Muslim community." In its letter, CAIR agreed to distribute the apology to the Muslim community.
"This type of stereotyping has a damaging effect on our community and can impact public policy on a variety of domestic and international issues," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.