Tag Archives: satire

Jesus and Mo Creator Interviewed by Council of Ex Muslims Forum


Background to the London School of Economics banning the wearing of Jesus and Mo t-shirts worn by atheist student society members can be read here

My good friends at the Council for ex Muslims of Britain Forum have interviewed the artist behind Jesus and Mo.

    Could you tell us a little about your influences as a cartoonist and stylist, and in a wider sense, who influenced you in terms of your sense of playfulness towards the conceits of religion, and your satirical sensibility?

    I’m still a bit reluctant to call myself a ‘cartoonist’ even after 8 years of making Jesus & Mo. I think cartoonists need to be able to draw, and that is not a skill I would claim for myself.

    That said, as a child I read a lot of Peanuts – had a load of Charlie Brown paperbacks which I’d read and reread. I still do. I love the gentle tone of Peanuts, the mixture of innocence and worldliness, the lightly worn wisdom. Schulz was a great artist – much too good for me to declare him an “influence” in any way other than the fact that he instilled in me a love of the 4-panel form.

Read the full post here.

Article reblogged by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Mehdi Hasan Responds to Critics (A Parody)



Written by the wonderful @kingofdawah

Thanks to Tom Holland for sharing.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Jesus and Mo Banned from LSE Student Freshers Fair


Chris Moos and Abhishek Phadnis of the atheist society at the LSE freshers fair were asked to remove/cover their T-Shirts which had the cartoon pictures from Jesus and Mo comic strip. When they refused they were marched off the premises by ten security guards. The following day they returned with the same t-shirt with tape censoring parts of the cartoon. When again asked to remove/cover they inquired which parts were deemed offensive so they could tape them too. Again they were asked to leave and escorted off the premises.

The images the guys chose were the best of satire in making a serious point:



[You can read Abhishek Phadnis post here]

The farce at the London School of Economics Student Union Freshers Fair would be worthy of a George Bernard Shaw play. When Shaw sat down with the Webbs and Wallace at breakfast time to discuss establishing the LSE the idea that satirical imagery – especially of religion – would be banned may well have had him chocking on his vegetarian breakfast.

“the youthful atheism with which every able modern mind begins, an atheism that clears the soul of superstitions and terrors and servilities and base compliances and hypocrisies, and lets in the light of heaven.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


The official response:

Statement on events at LSE SU Fresher’s Fair

Joint statement from LSE and LSE SU

At the LSE Students’ Union Fresher’s Fair on Thursday 3 October two students from the LSE SU Atheist Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH) wore t-shirts that were clearly designed to depict Mohammed and Jesus in a provocative manner.

The Students’ Union, which runs the event, received a number of complaints from other students.

The SU asked the students to cover the t-shirts in the interests of good campus relations. The society remained free to share their literature and views.

One member of the society declined to do this. The student was attended by a cameraman and it was feared that his behaviour would disrupt the event.

The SU referred the matter to the School. Representatives of the School in attendance agreed that the matter was a cause for concern and that the presence of the t-shirts was in danger of eroding good campus relations and disrupting efforts to run a Fresher’s Fair designed to welcome all new students.

LSE is committed to promoting freedom of expression and is known for its public events and wide range of speakers. In this instance, it was judged that the actions of the students were undermining what should have been a welcoming and inclusive event.

Jay Stoll
LSE SU General Secretary

Students at the fair wearing a t-shirt depicting Jesus and Mohamed “would disrupt the event.” No taking into account no one had caused a disruption, or that there was no imminent disruption about to be caused by an altercation.

Inclusivity should include satire, and the provocation to be feared is those that will use violence or even offence to suppress freedom of expression for others. Heaven forbid that Jesus and Mohammed are depicted as an image or attention is drawn to how art and satire are suppressed!

I decided to use twitter to find the LSE Student Union, and sure enough they are on there with this tweet:


I linked to this tweet here and encouraged followers to tweet a response to the actions of the Student union. The National Secular Society and Richard Dawkins among others passed the link on.

The National Secular Society has promised legal advice and support to the atheist society and other humanist organisations are condemning the Student Union action as well.

You can see the superb Jesus and Mo cartoons here – this is his latest on the LSE Student Union:


Please support Chris Moos and Abhishek Phadnis and the atheist societies on all campuses which have a right to freedom of expression even at the risk of ruffled feathers.

Update links:
Petition to sign here.

Your own image to print on a t-shirt!

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Filed under atheism, British Society, Culture, Dawkins, Humour, Richard Dawkins, secular, Uncategorized

The only offense is not a legal one with blasphemy

No one can try to use my blog as an example of blasphemy for the Christian religion, and have me sent to prison. Not that anyone would, given the Religious Hatred Act already protecting the right to express a negative view and disagreement about religion.

Last Thursday by 148 to 87 the House of Lords abolished the offense of blasphemy.

So will I be trying to write ever more polemic attacks on Christ and his followers, hounding them and subjecting them to ridicule and laughing at them?

Well that is not my style. Manners as far as I can make out is one example of morality, the ability to be civil to one another. There is nothing wrong with being satirical.

For example the last prosecution for blasphemy in the UK was in 1922. The point was that a mistranslation in the original Hebrew  suggested that the messiah would enter Jerusalem riding simultaneously two donkeys. One of the gospel writers actually writes that Jesus did ride two donkeys at the same time when entering the city – perhaps as a way to make the prophecy appear to have come true. A member of the National Secular Society made the point by drawing Jesus as a circus clown to be able to perform the trick. The months of hard labour he did deteriorated his health and he died soon after.

The question is do we legislate for manners, or do we consider that there is a protocol to social interaction which we would consider normal and ones that we would consider uncouth, bad taste. Perhaps even immoral. However we would not consider them illegal unless there was a greater public good. Dropping litter is bad manners but there is a public cost to society; there is a legal sanction prohibiting it with fines to counter such behaviour.

However the blasphemy law was an example of a public cost to society sanctioned on the statue books. For one, it was not well used. It favoured the Church of England over all other denominations and faiths. Potentially it was a matter of sensibility – and the law should not be about that.

However, if someone was to write a blog full of obscene vulgar language Dawkins - not afraid of an argument that may offendinsulting people of the Christian faith in that fashion I would consider that bad manners. Also I would point them to Christopher Hitchens – for it is not about shocking and outraging people but demonstrating the theist argument.

When Dawkins wrote in The God Delusion that the Christian God was:

 a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully

This is not bad manners. It is a view that is backed up by some pretty damning evidence called the bible. If you want to question the rendering then make the argument. You think the reason flawed, go ahead. But to make the cry of blasphemy – one petition on the 10 Downing Street website actually called for a law that retrospectively could have Dawkins put in prison for his book (not many signatures) – is to call for the point of contention not to be discussed, not to be aired.

Such a thing is not part of a pluralistic democracy at ease with itself. If you are offended by such discussion, well so be it. That is your right – but I am not constrained to cave in to such emotions that you have chosen to have on the subject. A fundamental principle is the right to disagree and the freedom to do so without penalty on matters of thought. To not be able to express them is nonsense – and the law is better for getting rid of blasphemy.

Unless we would rather allow people to legitimately complain with legal sanction people that name teddy bears with a name that corresponds to most people’s and someone called a Prophet.

Or a society that debates all matters of thought and finds strength and common purpose from doing so in the battle for ideas.

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