Regarding the May 13 editorial cartoon implying that Muslim women want to raise their children to be “underwear bombers,” and by implication that all Muslims are extremists:
Gross generalizations that stereotype people of varying faiths and ethnic and cultural backgrounds do all of us a disservice. All religions contain groups and individuals who become extremist and who do not represent the vast majority of individuals in that religious group.
Perhaps your cartoonist would like to publish a cartoon implying that Christian mothers want their children to grow up to be like Timothy McVeigh, Anders Breivik or Eric Rudolph, or to join the Ku Klux Klan; or a cartoon implying that Mormon mothers want their children to grow up to behave like splinter-group polygamist Warren Jeffs. Or he could draw a cartoon implying that Jewish mothers want their children’s role models to be like mass murderer Baruch Goldstein or assassin Yigal Amir. My guess is that such implications would not be tolerated by The Augusta Chronicle’s readership.
Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said, “The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan values and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.” Perhaps your cartoonist could find a way to provide amusing commentary without encouraging stereotyping and intolerance of the religious faiths of others.
Linda B. Hardy, M.D.