UPDATE: The Godless Spellchecker, Stephen Knight, has a new post on the Pakistani-induced blasphemy policing of CafePress and WordPress, as well as some sharp words about how CafePress allows “blasphemous” images from every religion save Islam.
This week’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “store”, came with a bit of sad and distressing news: the Easily Offended theocratic government of Pakistan has struck again, forcing CafePress to remove from sale any Jesus and Mo merchandise that depicts Mo. It’s blasphemy to show the Prophet, don’t you know? As you know, my own Jesus and Mo posts get censored by WordPress from time to time, with WordPress also acting as an arm of the Pakistani censors.
From the artist’s email:
The strip this week is a day early, in response to the following recent news.
After 15 years of selling J&M merchandise, CafePress got a notice from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority telling them to take down all store items featuring images of Mo. Which they did. We never made a lot of money from the CafePress store (a 2-figure sum paid out every year or two), but it was nice to offer t-shirts, mugs etc to people who wanted them. Currently, only the burka clad boys are available – presumably because you can’t see who it is under the cloth.
We will let you know if we find an suitable alternative outlet who won’t buckle at the first hint of protest from a censorious government.
In the meantime, if you’d like to support the comic by other means, please consider becoming a Patron. If you can spare a dollar or two a month, it really helps to keep us going:
The strip reflects the fact that CafePress, like WordPress, has taken it upon themselves to enforce Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. And today’s strip is even more blasphemous, showing Mo in a Borat-like mankini. That will really rile up the Pakistani government!
I tweeted a ticked-off response to CafePress (below), and maybe if you have a Twitter account you could also inform CafePress that they’re acting as the enforcer of Pakistan’s ridiculous blasphemy laws: