Readers were confused and angry that “Opus” comic strips with a Muslim theme did not appear in the Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 Sunday print editions. The strips, created by Berkeley Breathed, were distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group and published on washingtonpost.com.
Most of the controversy involved the Aug. 26 strip, which showed regular character and spiritual seeker Lola Granola in her version of a burqa, declaring that she has become a “radical Islamist. Hot new fad on the planet.” Her boyfriend, the piggish super-patriot Steve Dallas, is horrified. She tells him he “won’t be getting a girlfriend obsessed with Western crud” or one “who resists a man’s rightful place.” Steve, with a leer and then a concerned look, asks: “Anything else I won’t be getting?” Lola answers: “God willing.”
Executive Editor Len Downie decided to kill the strip because he felt the language and depiction of Muslim female dress could be offensive. He consulted with other editors, one of whom talked to a Muslim staff member, who believed the strip was problematic. [more]