by Jamison Ashley
Bosch Fawstin is an Eisner Award nominated cartoonist who’s currently writing and drawing a graphic novel that he’s serializing in digital comic book form called “The Infidel, featuring Pigman”. The Infidel is a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins. Chapters 1, 2 & 3 are now available as digital comic books on Kindle and ComiXology.
In May of 2015, Fawstin won the AFDI Mohammad Cartoon Contest. Not long after he was announced the winner at the contest event in Garland, Texas, jihadists attacked. If they had their way, many there that night might not be alive today, but a policeman shot dead the would-be mass murderers. The attack brought great attention to Fawstin’s work, both good and bad, but despite continued threats, he continues writing and drawing. Here’s an illustrative John Stossel interview with Fawstin soon after that terrible tragedy in Garland, TX.
Below is the contest winning drawing.
Warning: Content May Be Upsetting, Proceed With Caution
Many websites & TV shows aren’t showing my prize-winning Mohammad cartoon in their reports. Help fix that by sharing. pic.twitter.com/ghegMe8i2h
— Bosch Fawstin (@BoschFawstin) May 6, 2015
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization. They were declared a terrorist organisation by the European Court of Justice in July of 2017. Hamas also has a Twitter account with around 75,000 followers. Their Twitter profile links to the website of their terrorist organization which is responsible for the murder of hundreds of people and advocate for Jewish genocide. Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV also has several Twitter accounts. Both are globally recognized terrorist organizations, but Hamas and Hezbollah are only but a few of the many Islamic terrorist organizations and supporters who are active on Twitter.
Providing services to them – as Twitter does, may be illegal. And while Twitter apparently shows no evidence of having any problem with terrorists on their platform, it does appear to have a problem with anyone who criticizes them.
This is demonstrated by the fact that cartoonist and critic of Islam, Bosch Fawstin, was recently suspended by Twitter on January 1, 2018. From his Facebook page, Fawstin posted the following:
“I challenged Twitter’s decision to suspend me, through their channels, and they just told me in an email that their decision stands, that my account will not be restored because they claim my account “was found to be violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter rules against hateful conduct.” They went on to say that “It is against our rules to promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”
So I replied with this:
You have suspended my account without Any proof of your claim that I have violated your rules. You write that it is against your “rules to promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people”, and yet you don’t cite any tweets of mine where I’m guilty of that, because I’ve never done that.”
While Twitter suspended Bosch’s account, it continued to allow plenty of provocative users to continue tweeting from the other side of the argument. Canary Mission has compiled a long list of calls to murder Jewish people along with endorsements of Hitler by student members of hate groups like SJP on Twitter. But, instead of suspending those who espouse such open bigotry, Twitter at one point even suspended Canary Mission. Could it be that Twitter generally sides with groups like the SPLC, a left-of-center advocacy group?
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that compiles an annual list of hate groups operating in the U.S., added Bosch Fawstin to its 2016 report. He drew their ire by drawing the winning entry in the “Prophet Muhammad Drawing Contest” in Garland, Texas, where two gunmen were killed Sunday in a foiled attack. The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which sponsored the competition, is already included on the list. Heidi Beirich of the SPLC described Fawstin’s work as “virulently ugly” and “hate views.” The artist, who was raised as a Muslim, but is now an outspoken critic of Islam, responded, “So they want to put a cartoonist on there who doesn’t act out violently? Go for it.” Fawstin, creator of the “anti-jihad superhero” Pigman, also vowed to continue his work despite fears for his safety: “I understand the threat, but I’m not going to be cowed by it. I still intend to go up there and I still intend to speak out.” [via Reuters]
It should be noted that the SPLC has also made other curious additions to their list of hate groups, including several creators of Christian tract literature, the Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and a large number of conservative Christian organizations. They even included U.S. Presidential nominee Dr. Ben Carson on their list in 2014. By listing Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim and a critic of Islam who was targeted in the very first ISIS attack in America, they only added to his notoriety.
But while Dr. Ben Carson has never had his Twitter account suspended, Twitter chooses to silence those like Fawstin who combat anti-Semitism. In the meantime they continue to allow Twitter accounts to remain active that frequently call for the extermination of Jews?
When Fawstin received a suspension email from Twitter on New Year’s Day, he noted that they gave no specific reason for the suspension, except that they accused him of violating their policies against “hateful conduct”. Fawstin replied to Twitter and asked them to present their specific reasons for the suspension, and for them to cite any tweets that they determined were “hateful”. They responded, ignoring his request for evidence, and notified him that his suspension was “final” and that his account “would not be restored”.
Fortunately, after some more back and forth with Twitter, and a deletion of his last Twitter reply, the platform administrators reversed their suspension 48 hours later. The final email to Fawstin read:
We’ve unsuspended your account; sorry for the inconvenience. Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follow and following numbers to return to normal.
Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.
Please do not respond to this email as replies will not be monitored.
Even though Twitter ended up reversing my suspension, which sparked this video, it calls out their hypocrisy on free expression https://t.co/u5POpRIFAp
— Bosch Fawstin (@BoschFawstin) January 4, 2018
If you have a Twitter account, let @TwitterSupport know how you feel about globally recognized terrorist groups being welcome on Twitter, but not comic book creators who are also critics of Islamic-related terrorism.