[To learn more about the Freedom Center's recent victory over the Left's censorship attempt, and its call for a coalition across party and ideological lines to defend free speech, click here.]
Bosch Fawstin is an Eisner-nominated cartoonist, the creator of The Infidel series featuring his anti-jihadist superhero Pigman, and the winner of the 2015 AFDI Mohammad Cartoon Contest organized by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer which took place in Garland, Texas. Muslim fundamentalists have issues with artistic representations of the Religion of Peace's warlord prophet, so two armed jihadists tried to disrupt that event and slaughter the participants but were killed in the attempt. Especially since then, social media attacks and death threats have become a way of life for Fawstin, whose artwork has graced many David Horowitz Freedom Center pamphlets and FrontPage Mag articles (including this one).
I asked my friend and colleague Bosch recently about being targeted for his defense of free speech and about his perspective on the social justice agenda dominating the comics world.
Mark Tapson: Earlier this year Dutch freedom fighter Geert Wilders announced that he was organizing a “Draw Muhammad” contest similar to the Texas event which you won, to be held in his party’s offices in the Netherlands, and that you would be the judge. Quite an honor. It’s already drawing condemnation, if you’ll pardon the pun; an op-ed in The Economist, for example, argues that it should not be allowed to go forward and that legislation should be drafted against “speech which is grossly offensive, menacing or false.” How do you respond to that?
Bosch Fawstin: I think The Economist’s estimation is grossly offensive, menacing and false. Muslims have MURDERED cartoonists over cartoons. The time for anyone to be offended by cartoons – and not by those who murder over cartoons – is over, at least in reality. In the unreality that leftists and Muslims demand that we observe, cartoons cause terrorism, with some Muslims even calling cartoons themselves terrorism. This is mad, and it has to be pushed back against and mocked, and that’s partly why I continue to draw Mohammad cartoons.
MT: The Southern Poverty Law Center, the news media’s go-to source for so-called “hate groups” even though the SPLC itself is a leftist-funded smear organization, included you in an “anti-Muslim roundup” in May. The left insists on using this demonizing label “anti-Muslim” rather than anti-Islam. Can you talk about the distinction?
BF: “Anti-Muslim” is a smear which requires our own cultural values to be used against us, as our culture values people, individual human beings, unlike Islamic culture, and so to call Islam critics “anti-Muslim” is to defame them as anti-people, not as critics who are fighting evil ideas. And it works, to an extent, as the weaker among us don’t want to be associated with those who are [considered to be] against people. As for the SPLC, the first thing they did right after I survived a jihadist attack was to list me as a one-man “hate group,” and they did an interview right after the attack in which they said that they were trying to find my location, and that they had whittled it down to one area. Think about that: an American citizen almost dies in an attack by the Islamic enemy, and this American arch-hate group, SPLC, acted as if they were working with the Islamic enemy, trying to find my location (to what end?) and defaming me, while saying nothing about those who had just tried to kill me and everyone else at the Garland event.
MT: Can you offer up your thoughts on the “social justice” agenda, particularly the promotion and whitewashing of Islam, that seems to have the comics world in its grip?
BF: I’ve written about this for years, since 2010, when the Islamization of comics really kicked off, with DC Comics teaming up the Justice League with “The 99,” a group of Muslim superheroes. And despite the fact that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were in it, it bombed on every level. And Muslim superheroes have been pushed by both Marvel and DC Comics ever since. I wrote a piece for PJ Media on this called “10 Truths Mainstream Comic Books Evade to Promote ‘Muslim Superheroes.” Marvel has been trying to sell the idea that its Muslim superhero, Ms. Marvel, is popular, because in the middle of a jihad being waged against us, the last thing in the world the market demands is a Muslim superhero, especially one whose comic book ignores the ONLY reason we’re discussing Islam in the first place: Jihad. But that’s what the leftists and Muslims at Marvel want to do: deny the only reason we’re discussing Islam – Jihad – while desperately trying to make an unpopular superhero popular, to sell the myth that “Islam means peace.” She’s so unpopular that they have to shoehorn her into endless better-selling comics, and she’s always shown in prominent ways on their covers, as if she’s the star, in order to make her as visible as possible, and to push the illusion that she’s popular because her own comic book can barely sell over 10,000 copies a month, which is far behind their bestselling books which sell over 100,000.
The other way you know that she’s not popular is when leftists keep saying how “popular” she is. And this is with Marvel Comics, owned by Disney, behind her, and they still can’t make her popular. Now the head of Marvel Studios was asked by the BBC if Ms. Marvel will appear in Marvel’s movies, and he said yes. I think that “yes” was out of fear of saying no. I dare Marvel to have her appear in her own movie, and advertise her as “The First Muslim Superhero” in their movies, and see how that works for them.
MT: You have had a very active presence on social media, but Twitter repeatedly suspended your account and ultimately banned you for so-called violations of its standards. Can you tell us the sort of tweets that were deemed to have violated those standards?
BF: The tweet that got me banned for good by Twitter was one in which I was criticizing Marvel Comics’ Islamic propaganda, as they have a Muslim superhero in their comic books who is as Muslim as you and I – not Muslim at all – which is the only way they can make her at all appealing to American audiences. I think that’s a very strange tweet to ban me for, especially since Twitter has allowed the accounts of Muslims who’ve threatened my life on their platform to remain on their platform. I call Twitter “Twitterstan” now.
MT: Meanwhile you continue to be hit on Facebook with a stream of unimaginable vitriol, including blatant death threats, from people around the world who are triggered by your statements. Can you give us a feel for the kinds of hate you receive, and does Facebook ever respond to your complaints about them?
BF: I’ve never gotten the amount of death threats that I’ve gotten this past week, as they’re now in the thousands. Death threats picked up after Geert Wilders announced me as the judge of the new Mohammad cartoon contest in June, but now, on all of my remaining platforms, and in public comments and private messages (it used to be only in private), average everyday Muslims – not ISIS – are threatening me in the most elaborate ways, and Facebook doesn’t consider a good number of these explicit death threats to be violating their “community standards,” as many fans have told me when they’ve reported the threats. As for Facebook responding to me, they haven’t since a few years ago when they removed my account right after the Garland attack, and it was only after a wave of backlash that made them restore my account within hours. They said it was a “mistake.” And I’ve reported death threats since and they no longer respond to me about them.
Pakistan, an entire country, just blocked me on Instagram, and the death threats have dropped precipitously. Incredibly, they probably think that they're punishing me, when it's actually a reward. Turkey blocked my blog a few years ago, also.
Now, Muslims are beginning to create fake accounts with my name and face. Also, “the vast majority of peaceful Muslims,” when not threatening me, are celebrating Hitler and the holocaust on my threads on Facebook, with such “peaceful” comments as “Happy Holocaust!” Facebook is allowing Muslims to weaponize its platform the way Muslims weaponize everything. Facebook knows that one of its users is being threatened with death on its platform by thousands of its Muslim users, and it doesn’t care. Someone told me the other day that they’ve never seen the amount of death threats that I’ve gotten, and I think if that’s the case, if I’ve gotten more death threats than other critics of Islam, it may be because cartoons get to the point in an instant, unlike a book or an article that’s critical of Islam. My cartoons can be understood by everyone, regardless of language, in an instant. And just to explain how determined Muslims are to be offended by me, they’re responding with insults and threats to every post and cartoon of mine, even those that have nothing to do with Islam.
MT: Apart from judging the “Draw Muhammad” contest, what’s next for you?
BF: I just released my new book, My Mohammad Cartoons Vol. 1, which has 130 of my Mohammad cartoons, along with a few articles by me, on why I draw Mohammad, my Muslim background, Islam and Jihad, and Mohammad. I’m currently adapting a novel into a graphic novel, which should be announced soon. And I’m also being considered to draw a book that is linked to the original Danish Mohammad Cartoons “crisis” in 2005, and that’s all I can say for now, about that. And after a friend suggested that I put together a book of the death threats I’ve gotten, I’ve been taking screenshots of them, but there are so many that I can’t keep up. One of my working titles for it is Death Threats of Peace.
MT: Bosch, thanks for having the courage to stand against the enemies of freedom. For more information about Bosch Fawstin’s work, check out his website here.