The Daily Cartoonist reported this week that more than twenty newspapers are so afraid to publish an upcoming "Non Sequitur" strip that mentions the word "Muhammad," that they have requested a replacement strip. The Daily Cartoonist describes the offending strip thusly:

The cartoon by Wiley Miller depicts a lazy, sunny park scene with the caption, "Picture book title voted least likely to ever find a publisher... 'Where's Muhammad?'" Characters in the park are buying ice cream, fishing, roller skating, etc. No character is depicted as even Middle Eastern.

This marks the second time creator Wiley Miller's commentary on the importance of free speech in the face of extremist pressure has stirred controversy, with a 2006 strip [pictured above] satirizing the controversial Danish cartoons that were published earlier that year. That strip resulted in Malaysia's New Straits Times apologizing to an offended readership, but no action was taken in the US.

Earlier this month, we covered the sad news that Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris had gone into hiding as a consequence of her involvement with the controversial "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" event. Because some Muslims believe it is heresy to depict the Prophet Mohammed visually, Norris' life was threatened by extremists and she was advised by the FBI to "go ghost" and disappear from her life.

Norris's tragically unfair circumstances are made even more frustrating by the fact that "Everybody Draw Mohammed" day was a campaign in support of "South Park" creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone, whose lives were also threatened for their irreverent depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in their animated series. While thankfully not in any danger, "Non Sequitur" creator Wiley Miller is experiencing another level of the same kind of pathetic irony, as the knee-jerk fear that he was parodying in his strip has prevented its publication.

For his part, Miller told The Daily Cartoonist, "The irony of editors being afraid to run even such a tame cartoon as this that satirizes the blinding fear in media regarding anything surrounding Islam sadly speaks for itself. Indeed, the terrorists have won."

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