Barack Obama’s campaign expressed outrage over a cartoon on the cover of The New Yorker magazine, which depicted the Democratic candidate in Islamic dress, burning an American flag in the fireplace of the oval office. Many have condemned the cover, which hit newsstands on Monday, while the influential magazine defended the cover. Obama spokesperson Bill Burton called the cover tasteless and offensive catering to right-wing critics of the Senator, but believes that most readers of The New Yorker will find it equally offensive. Obama condemned the cartoon, calling it an insult to Muslim Americans. “You know, there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things,” he told CNN’s Larry King. “And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it’s not what America’s all about.” The campaign of Republican candidate John McCain also condemned the cartoon, saying he believes it’s totally inappropriate.
CAIR called a satirical cartoon of Barack Obama on the cover of The New Yorker magazine, inflammatory for its depiction of the presidential hopeful and his wife, intending to portray them as Muslim, militant, pro-terrorist, and Anti-American. In a statement released earlier this week, CAIR stressed that these inflammatory images and spurious associations will only serve to reinforce the racism and anti-Muslim stereotypes the magazine says it is out to challenge. The Muslim advocacy and civil liberties group also said that the magazine cover failed to achieve its goal of lampooning right-wing caricatures of the Obamas.
The New Yorker is publishing a long article on the difficult relationship between the Vatican and Islam. “These are fierce theological times. It should come as no surprise that the Vatican and Islam are not getting along, or that their problems began long before Pope Benedict XVI made his unfortunate reference to the Prophet Muhammad, in a speech in Regensburg last September, and even before the children of Europe’s Muslim immigrants discovered beards, burkas, and jihad. There are more than a billion Catholics in the world, and more than a billion Muslims. And what divides the most vocal and rigidly orthodox interpreters of their two faiths, from the imams of Riyadh and the ayatollahs of Qom to the Pope himself, is precisely the things that Catholicism and Islam have always had in common: a purchase on truth; a contempt for the moral accommodations of liberal, secular states; a strong imperative to censure, convert, and multiply; and a belief that Heaven, and possibly earth, belongs exclusively to them. (…)”