Last year, I watched the British brouhaha over my friend Maajid Nawaz, the prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for Kilburn and co-founder of the counter-extremism outfit Quilliam. Nawaz had tweeted a cartoon called Jesus and Mo. Jesus to Mo: ‘Hey!’ Mo: ‘How ya doing?’ The end. That was it. Two top-tier prophets swapping props.
The problem for some Muslims is that, according to tradition, Muhammad cannot be depicted in image lest he become an object of worship. But by insisting that he cannot be drawn under any circumstances, these Muslims make the prophet off-limits to anyone who does not believe as they do. They thus turn Mo into, well, an object of worship. It leaves a lot of us wondering what, if anything, has been learned since the Danish cartoons fiasco eight years ago.