Bosch Fawstin talks about his appearence on the Daily show
Holy Jihadist Batman!
Last night on the Daily Show, the extremely funny Asif Mandvi interviewed Bosh Fawstin, the Creator of Pigman, a comic "infidel" who can fight Jihadists. Daily Show interviews are well known for being hilarious, thanks to excellent editing and hard pressing questions. For those who didn't see the interview in question, click here for the clip.
Well Mr Fawstin feels that the whole interview would have put him in "better" light rather than the edited one, as he is actually a very funny and grounded guy, who is simply stating facts through the medium of comic books...okay so maybe sarcasm is not my strong suit. Check out what he had to say below:
The most egregious omission/dropping-of-context was with respect to my answer to the question that was supposed to be the focus of the piece: “What is wrong with a Muslim Batman?” The aired segment makes it appear as if my answer was “Nightrunner could be a Jihadist.” During the actual shooting, I was prompted to state that as a complete sentence, after responding “yes” to Aasif’s question, “Could Nightrunner be a Jihadist?” That statement was NOT given as an answer to the question, “What is wrong with a Muslim Batman?” My answer to that question is and was a lot more involved.
The short answer, which I stated immediately after being asked the question, and which was edited out, was, “What’s wrong with Batman, during WWII, recruiting a German Batman with no mention of Nazis?” During a significant portion of the interview, Aasif was emphasizing that comics aren’t real and was asking, in essence: Why can’t comics just take a piece of reality, out of context, if they want? My point was, you can’t peer into reality just a little bit, and pick-and-choose in this way. The only reason Nightrunner exists (and probably the reason Aasif is on “The Daily Show” although he seems to be a nice guy who does a good job) is because Muslim terrorists attacked us on September 11, 2001, and they did it in the name of Islam. (I made a similar point during the interview.) In my view, it is irresponsible for any cultural medium to include Muslims while dropping the larger context that is the reason for including them at all. (At least “The Daily Show” sometimes includes some of this larger context, and often does a good job of it.)
Another noteworthy instance of my being taken out of context was with respect to my view of the propensity of Muslims to become Jihadists, and how one should deal with self-described Muslims. Yes, I did say that I think it is possible for a Muslim to become a Jihadist. This is because, as I have learned in the research I did leading up to writing and drawing The Infidel, Islam prescribes Jihad as something its true believers should engage in, in order to spread Islam. What I discussed in the interview, which didn’t make it into the final segment, was my own attitude towards individual Muslims. I have family members who consider themselves Muslims with whom I am friendly, and I would certainly not conclude that your average Muslim is likely to become a Jihadist. They cut from the segment the following statement, which clearly distinguishes average Muslims from Islam’s consistent practitioners: “Your average Muslim is morally superior to Mohammed. They are individuals who may or may not be a problem. It’s Islam’s consistent practitioners, it’s organized Islam, that is the problem.” Obviously, this statement made me seem too reasonable (or maybe they thought it was too blasphemous) for it to be included in the segment.
Another significant point that was omitted was my view that, while most Muslims are relatively harmless, there are still aspects of Islam that are detrimental to even more passive Mulsims: the casual misogyny, anti-Semitism, and the idea that everyone outside the clan is, essentially, worthless. I was brought up surrounded by all of this.
Some less significant, but genuinely funny things were omitted. For example, when I was discussing the Islamization of the West by Muslims and Islamophiles — e.g., DC Comics featuring JLA/99 and Nightrunner — Aasif humorously tried to correct me, saying, “You mean Islamicizing.” And I replied, “No, Islamization.” He repeated, “Islamicizing?” I answered “Islamization.” This went on a few times until Aasif said, as if conceding, “Oh, Islamicizing, yeah, right, that’s the Muslim exercise,” to which I quipped, “Five times a day.” And then he said, “Ohhhh, Islamophobic humor.” I immediately dismissed this as “Islamophonia,” because fear of Islam is not irrational. And we had a little back-and-forth on that as well.
One unfortunate omission was something that was silly, but fun. They quoted my term, “IslamiCrap,” which I used in my post about Nightrunner. Aasif said only, “IslamiCrap.” And I replied, “Yeah, that’s right, ‘Islam means peace,’ the Muslim Batman, IslamiCrap.” And he responded, “How about Islami$#!+?” and I said, “No, IslamiCrap.” To which he responded, “How about IslamiDooDoo?” And I held my ground, “No, IslamiCrap,” saying it rolls off the tongue better. Perfectly silly, fun. Too bad it was left out.
Another thing you don’t see in the aired segment is Aasif conducting part of the interview in his superhero suit, which you see at the end of the aired segment. During that part of the sit-down interview, he asked me what I thought about him and his suit and, echoing Howard Roark’s response to a similar question from Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead, I said, “I don’t.” The premise of that part of the segment, the producer told me on set, was that Aasif wanted to be a superhero and I, by ruling out the possibility of a Muslim superhero, was ruining his chances. So we had a back-and-forth during which I said that, if he was willing to go after Jihadists, then that was fine with me, and he agreed to do so. Fairly funny stuff, not as good as some of the other omitted material.
Perhaps the funniest bit that was omitted from the aired segment was Aasif and I, supposedly traveling to my “psteudio” in a car. The premise was that, because of the nature of my work, I would take precautions with respect to who could come to my studio and I would not let visitors learn its location. So, like Batman did in the 1960?s TV show, we put a blindfold on Aasif. The difference being that here, Aasif was actually doing the driving, while blindfolded, getting directions from me, sitting in the passenger seat next to him.
To their credit, the editors did not take advantage of two instances where I misspoke. In one instance, when speaking about the English Batman, I mentioned London and England interchangeably, as if both were cities. In another, I was referring to Pigman’s super strength and I said, as a throwaway, that he’s as strong as 40 men, or 20 jihadists, when I meant the converse (i.e., I meant jihadists were weaker than the average man, not stronger). But in any event, that could have worked to Pigman’s benefit, to make him seem even tougher.
One final thing that shows how they really tried to make me look bad, down to the last detail: they gave Aasif both our rations of pre-camera make-up. :-)
As funny as this is, the conviction in this guy is amazing, and telling of how judgemental we all can be. Now, it should be noted that Mr Fawstin comes from a family of muslims, but sounds as if he witnessed the crazy side of it.
There is no question that there are crazy Muslims out there. Those who feel that their hatred is justified by their beliefs. But equally there are crazy Christians, crazy Jews, crazy Blacks, crazy Asians who all feel they are justified for their beliefs. Clearly, crazy doesn't prejudice. It welcomes people from all walks of life. To judge an entire group of people by a few is just as ignorant as those who hold such beliefs.It should also be acknowledged that religion does seem to facilitate the crazy, but that is something that perhaps merits a separate discussion.
Anyway, thanks to the Daily Show for conduncting this interview, as such bigotry needs to be addressed, and what better way than by way of comedy!
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