A New Caricature Of The Prophet Mohammad at President Abbas’ Daily

mo hayat2_edited-1Al Hayat al Jadida, a top official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper based in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, published in its Sunday issue, showed a middle aged man in black, standing on earth in the middle of space and holding a heart-shaped bag. The figure, standing with bright light surrounding him, was spraying water over earth with the words prophet Mohammad written at the top of the drawing.

Mohammad Saba’aneh, a Muslim artist defended his Caricature, he said that he meant no harm and that the caricature was not representing the Prophet Muhammad, it does not exhibit features or details, not even the form of the Prophet Muhammad.

He wrote on Facebook that it was not a picture of Mohammad but “a symbol of humanity enlightened by what the Prophet Muhammad brought.”

He added: “I refuse allegations against me that I intended to depict the Prophet. The drawing doesn’t portray the Prophet, and the words reading ‘Prophet Mohammad’ were only used to reinforce his role in spreading Islam and its message.”

Saba’aneh is one of the most prominent Palestinian cartoonists in a society that has long prized them as incisive critics of Israel, has faced free speech controversy before.  He was imprisoned by Israeli occupation for five months. Sabaaneh accused Israel sought to silence his mordant cartoons.

President Mahmoud Abbas sprung into action, ordering an immediate investigation.
He emphasized the need to take deterrent action against offenders, stressing respect for all prophets and sacred religious symbols.

al-hayat aljadidaOn Tuesday Feb. 3 2015, Al Hayat al Jadida daily suspended the staff responsible for the drawing and publishing of a caricature which was interpreted as depicts the prophet Mohammad and published an apology addressed to its readers and denied claims that the caricature is aimed at depicting the prophet.

The daily’s board decided to suspend those in charge of the publishing of the caricature until the investigation is concluded. Meanwhile, the names of those who were suspended remain unknown until the moment.

In Islam it is prohibited to depict prophets, on the basis that it is a disrespectful act and could undermine their reverence. Depictions of prophets are completely refused by Muslims to avoid any attempts to treat them as Gods or worship them.

The drawing stirred controversy among Palestinians; many explained that the drawing is not meant to depict the prophet, but his message of peace and love. Meanwhile others said the artist behind it, Mohammad Saba’aneh, has failed to express his intention by using the wrong title.

4 comments to A New Caricature Of The Prophet Mohammad at President Abbas’ Daily

  • Rabbitnexus

    I’m a Muslim convert, yet it seems I am better informed about Islam sometimes than Muslims born to it. I have had to make up my mind on the various issues dividing Muslims since converting and interestingly enough, I have repeatedly found that mainstream Muslim thought is quite simply wrong! For one thing I have examined the Sunni-Shia divide and the historical issues which divide them. I was astonished to find that most Sunnis are as ignorant of Shia’s actual beliefs and method of worship as most Westerners are about Islam on the whole. The historical matters are quite impossible to deny or debate honestly from both sides. Sunnis who dare to examine the facts as we know them are unable to even engage in a debate but are forced to avoid the issues and make many assumptions to fill in admitted gaps in understanding. Furthermore the Sunni outlook must necessarily risk offending the Prophet and His family if they are to maintain their trust in Umar and what occurred. Shias win the historical debate hands down and have clearly been the most true and faithful Muslims following the Quran most closely. I am not Shia even myself when I say this, I came into Islam through Sunni paths and am such by default, but I accept Shias as my fellow Muslims and also most often the best of us. Shia Islam is almost identical to Sunnis but for some minor differences which cannot be the factors which decide a true Muslim anyway, since the Quran is very specific about the teachings which are clear and unambiguous and those which can be debated. The same can be said of women’s dress codes. There is no requirement to cover all the body except eyes and basically the dress code given was precise in it’s intent of modesty but also general enough that the teaching could stand the test of time and shifting societies.

    As for depicting the Prophet (SAW) I cannot find any actual ban against it! Indeed I find many images of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from Islamic art over the centuries. What there is a forbidden is insulting and blaspheming against the Prophet. The images being depicted in Western media are insulting and degrading and as such atrocious and disrespectful. However the disrespect is towards us as Muslims, it is utterly ridiculous to refer to non-believers as blaspheming. They do not believe in our Prophet or Allah so how can their stupid words and deeds born of ignorance mean other than the simple temporal insult among human groups? Another common misunderstanding in Islam is the false idea that lizards are bad or haram. Turns out this is pure ignorance and mistranslation. Muhammad (SAW) never said any such thing. It was related that He did not like eating “al-Wazaq” not even that it was haram. However the translation from Arabic al-Wazaq is not lizard, but SALAMANDER! How many of you Muslims are running around spewing nonsense about Lizards being hated and bad creatures purely due to this error? Fellow Muslims, the time is well past for us to take a step back and examine what we are doing and how much we have left Islam behind for the sake of choosing a team and backing that team, all the way.

  • Rabbitnexus

    The mistake is simple and easy to define too. Too many Muslims pay heed to the words of men they trust and assume speak truth when we were very clearly told to read the Quran for ourselves.

  • I am a Sunni follower of Islam and i say categorically that the Shias are my brothers and sisters. There is none or has been Ijma that the shia are kuffar for the last 1430 years! after all they do Hajj and Umrah yearly, no one stops them and says these are kaffirs!

    The only ones i would have and issue with are those who curse hazrat Abubaqar,Umar,and Othman, if they do not wish to believe in them, thats they choice,its not a part of they faith to believe in them if they do not. follow the koran and hold onto the rope of Allah and be united if that is the faith of all those who believe in the message of the koran!

  • The archaeological evidence suggests that the ancestors of the Palestinians (the Hyksos) conquered ancient Egypt and ruled it for 100 years. After which they were overthrown and enslaved. Those who were enslaved in Egypt became what we now call “Hebrews” or “Jews.” Circumcision is an ancient way of branding slaves less brutal than castration.

    Both archaeological evidence and evidence from the Christian Book of Matthew suggests that Akhenaten (the founder of religious monotheism) was the Moses of the Christian “Old Testament” and the Jewish “Torah.”


    Egyptian art declined during the Hyksos rule not only because the Hyksos could not understand the Egyptian pictorial writing (hieroglyphics) but also because it gave legitimacy to the old Egyptian regime. Hence, it seems logical to conclude that the prohibition against portraying the human form in graven images is actually a ancient form religious political oppression.

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