Mickey Mouse, Modi and Muslims

The 'joke' and the joker's twitter page

If anyone should be objecting to the Islamised cartoon of Mickey and Minnie mouse, it should be the Disney group. It completely mauls their loved characters. The main job of the guy responsible for this is to make money through the mobile company he owns in a Muslim country. As a report states:

An Egyptian Christian telecom mogul has angered Islamic hard-liners by posting an online cartoon of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie in a face veil. The ultraconservative Islamists, known as Salafis, called the cartoon posted by Naguib Sawiris on Twitter a mockery of Islam.

Naturally, everyone who is not part of the campaign or understands it has been going haha at his joke, although he has since apologised because the shares of his company fell after a call for boycott. Some people have asked, and rightly so, what happens if he had made Mickey and Minnie wear a priest and nun clothes or those of Jewish rabbis? Would it not be considered anti-Christian or anti-Semitic?

This guy lives in Egypt and runs a successful business. So, what makes him find humour in this sort of thing? I mean, it isn’t even worth a titter, unless you are seriously retarded and laugh at people who slip over banana peels. To be honest, when I read a small item, I smiled. I like Mickey and Minnie and thought there would be a cute beard and a nice sexy naqab. Muslims do not have proprietorial rights over beards – some famous names have them. And most of the Hollywood women cover their faces with outsize shades that work just as well as veils. Besides, Egyptians do not dress like that. Haven’t we seen enough of them at Tahrir Square?

But when I saw the cartoon, it does not look like a joke. Mr. Sawiris is no different from the rest of the hate-speechers I discussed following the Geert model. One is unclear about the motives except to push a faith into a corner without taking into account the varied kinds within it. Is Christianity to blame for what some priests do in their chambers? Are all Jews to blame for the Zionist expansionism? Do Hindus stand for the saffron parties? Then why must every Muslim be looked on as a potential cartoon or someone who needs to be poked to elicit anger and show the ‘ugly face of Islam’?

I feel sorry for such tickled imaginations.

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On another note, I got this in the mail. I should hope the ‘accidental reader’ is revisiting the site of accident, for I prefer responding here since there was no reference to the context in the note. I hope s/he understands. Thanks, anyway.

The note

I came across your blog by accident, and it made for delightful reading.

Would you feel safe in India if Narendra Modi were to become the PM by some tyrannical twist of fate?

My response

I assume you are asking this question because of the faith I was born in. Therefore, it means that the general perception is that Mr. Modi is against Muslims and could pose a threat to the community. As chief minister he has to be house-proud and showcase Gujarat as such, which is the reason many local Muslims of a certain class have become part of the economic development. As Prime Minister, he will have to delegate responsibility and not be the sole arbiter. That tendency, however tendentious, ended with Indira Gandhi.

If the BJP/NDA were to prop him up, I am not quite sure he would be ready for it. He is aware of his reputation and he is most certainly not a team person, unless having police officers at his beck and call can be termed a team. On a larger platform, he might have to soften his stand considerably, and since he has pushed the economic agenda he will have to live up to it. The RSS will be at hand to raise the communal bogey and he would not be able to shirk from being a loyal soldier of the cause of ancient heritage. The problem is there is no Babri Masjid to demolish now, so large-scale violence across the whole country would not be easy. Besides, he cannot take the mickey out of the mice who have already scraped the niche market.

The resurgence of the Hindu rashtra idea has pushed the Indian Muslim into backward mode to a large extent in terms of social attitude. This has been the worst legacy of the Hindutvawadis.

The survival of the Modis and Advanis, not to forget the whole saffron brigade, rests not on reclaiming culture but on opposing what they see as another culture. Take that away and they will be left twiddling their thumbs.

So, to answer the question: I would feel safe if Modi became the PM, but sorry – for him and his fractured ideas.


  1. FV
    Seeing Arabic Mickey and Minne is just as bad to our taste as seeing the actual Arabic folks in their Arabic attire. But, the actual problem is when people relate Arabic attire to being Muslim?

    Being Muslim has nothing to do with wearing some specific cultural attire or in practicing certain Arabic traditions.

    Why people are so morons to mock Islam in Arabic garbs?

    It is the samething if we start mocking Christianity or Juadism in Arabic garbs or traditions because all of us know all these religions originated from Arabic world.
    How about Indian Muslims? Pakistani Muslims? Irani Muslims? American Muslims? Chinese Muslims?
    If only this world would have had less morons?? I am sure this world wouldn't be such a bad place to live with.


  2. Farzana:

    Law of electoral math in India does not allow a prime minister to be elected unless majority seats from U.P. and Bihar are won by a coalition. You might recall that Modi could not even get into Bihar to campaign and in Delhi he had only one appearance.

    Modi's chances of getting into PM office are remote.

  3. Circle:

    I think every society develops what is broadly a national dress. The problem is when certain societies cannot tell the difference. And the insistence on making a religion into a joke based on ignorance. Unfortunately it is these morons who decide the fate of others.


    You are right about Modi's slim chances of becoming the PM and am not sure he'd want to get there. I just thought some loud thinking might answer the query posed to me.


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