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The Hindu Publishes Cartoon Showing Coronavirus In Muslim Attire, Takes It Down After Backlash

The Hindu newspaper today published a disturbing cartoon, showing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) dressed in Muslim attire and terrorising the world.

The cartoon by Deepak Harichandran, the paper’s National Design Editor shows the virus dressed in a Pathani suit, worn by Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, and pointing an AK 47 assault rifle at the earth.

The newspaper was called out for equating the deadly virus with caricatures of Muslims and normalising anti-Muslim hatred.

After it was severely reprimanded for its shockingly xenophobic editorial judgement, the newspaper replaced the Pathani suit with a stick figure and expressed regret “for the hurt or unhappiness caused”. However, the paper did not issue an apology.

The changed cartoon.

“Some readers have objected to the cartoon published on March 26, 2020 as Islamophobic. Any link to Muslims in the attire of the virus was completely unintentional. The point of the cartoon was to show the world being taken hostage by the virus. However, we agree that the virus should have been shown as just a blob or a stick figure and we express our regret for the hurt or unhappiness caused. Accordingly, we are taking down this cartoon online and replacing it with one that has a neutral representation of the attire,” the editorial said.

One social media commented saying, although the paper replaced the cartoon, its latent Islamophobia stood exposed.

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Shaik Zakeer Hussain is the Founder and Editor of The Cognate.

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