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The Southern Poverty Law Center adds Bosch Fawstin to their 2016 Report

THE INFIDEL #1 coverComic creator Bosch Fawstin is in the center of controversy after his portrait of Mohammad won the contest hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). That contest spurred two terrorists to attempt an attack on the event hosted by AFDI. Both gunmen were killed by police.

Fawstin Tweeted the below concerning the attack.

He has since used the event to promote his anti-Islamic series The Infidel, causing the series to vault to the top of digital sales on comiXology. I reviewed the comic a while ago and you can read the review here.

Fawstin, a New York born, former Muslim, won $12,500 in prize money for his art.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which tracks hate groups, includes the AFDI in its annual list of U.S. hate groups. They plan on adding Fawstin to the list according to Heidi Beirich, director of the tracking effort. In full disclosure, I’m very much a supporter of the SPLC, and find Fawstin’s and the AFDI’s beliefs disgusting. Beirich said to Reuters that Fawstin would have been listed before, but was not due to the fact they were unable to figure out his location.

Beirich said to Reuters:

He’s like the artist of the movement. His views, they are hate views.

Fawstin said he fears for his safety, but will continue his work. To Reuters, he said:

It definitely is concerning. You do your work and people out there want to kill you for it. I understand the threat, but I’m not going to be cowed by it. I still intend to go up there and I still intend to speak out.

And on being added by the SPLC:

So they want to put a cartoonist on there who doesn’t act out violently? Go for it.

It should be made clear, Fawstin is against all Islam:

You can see his drawing below.

This is a story we’ll be following as it progresses.

 

(via Reuters, The Outhousers)

Review – The Infidel #1


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THE INFIDEL #1 coverThe Infidel #1 is a tough comic to review.  It’s almost as if it’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.  By “liking” it you run the risk of being labeled as endorsing its politics, if you “dislike” it, then you’re a knee jerk liberal.  Written by and art by Bosch Fawstin, The Infidel is a pretty controversial comic already taking a hard stance against Islam and more specifically extremists.  But, beyond all of that noise and distractions is potentially a great story about twin brothers with different religious beliefs and world viewpoints.

THE INFIDEL, a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

I’ll come out and outright say it, I enjoyed the comic.  I cringed at some things, but I believe in Fawstin’s right to say them, and in fairness I cringe at other things I enjoy too.  Now, I feel like I really need to defend my opinion here.  There’s almost an autobiographical take on this story which makes it fascinating.  Fawstin was born into an Albanian-Muslim family, and raised Muslim.  He has an interesting perspective on the subject he writes.  It’s clear 9/11 has affected him, you can feel anguish in this comic lingering from that event and it’s the spark for the comic within the comic, Pigman.

But the main focus, which comes later in this first issue, is the twin brothers.  I’m sure a psychologist can make the case this is Fawstin’s own struggle with his identity.  We’ll see as the series progresses how this plays out, but taken by itself, an Islamic brother and an anti-Muslim brother is a great story to be told.  I’m hoping this is the focus of the series, the two brothers debating their beliefs.  That’s something I want to read.

The comic within a comic is humorous if not overtly phobic of Islam.  There’s beyond insulting material in there.  But to me, I don’t really care; it is what it is and is just one part of the story.

It’s nice to see a “right-wing” comic and I’m hoping to see more out there.  This is the first issue, and I actually look forward to the next.

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