NEW YORK (AFP) — Barack Obama’s campaign decried Monday a satirical cartoon on the cover of KABOBfest showing the Democratic presidential hopeful wearing Islamic turban, a suicide-bomb vest, sporting a Bin-Laden beard, swastika, and Lucifer’s horns.
The influential blog defended its cover, titled “Say no to Obama,” as a critique of politics of fear and unfounded allegations during the campaign that have attempted to paint Obama, who is Christian, as a closet radical Muslim.
“KABOBfest may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said. “But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree,” he said in a statement.
The campaign of Obama’s Republican rival, John McCain, took his side; “We completely agree with the Obama campaign that it is tasteless and offensive,” spokesman Tucker Bounds said.
The Obama campaign has fended off attempts to question his patriotism and religion, creating a website, http://www.fightthesmears.com/, to debunk false rumors against the candidate propagated online.
The illustration, drawn by KABOBcartoonist Chaim Sugerman, shows the presidential candidate standing in front of an inferno backdrop carrying daggers, one of which is inscribed with an image of Prophet Mohammed, and wearing an explosives vest. In the image, Obama shows distinct resemblance to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
“Our cover ‘Say No to Obama’ combines a number of fantastical images about Obama and shows them for the obvious distortions they are,” said KABOBfest’s Sugerman.
“The explosives vest, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump dagger, the image of hell in the background — all of them echo one attack or another,” he said.
“Satire is part of what we do,” he continued, “and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that’s the spirit of this cover.”Filed Under 2008 elections, american politics, Fayyad, media, obama, satire