Satire and the Sacred: From Mohammed to Mormon Underwear

Main Library

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The City Library will host author Victor S. Navasky and Professor Daniel C. Peterson for a panel discussion moderated by editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley, in partnership with the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, as part of its annual convention.

The recent election featuring a Mormon Republican presidential candidate was catnip to some cartoonists. On their way to taking comic swipes at Mitt Romney, many cartoonists were quick to lampoon subjects sacred to many Mormons, such as the temple garment and baptism for the dead.

The infamous Danish cartoons of Mohammed inflamed much of the Islamic world and sparked an ongoing debate among cartoonists: Are there circumstances where cartoonists have a responsibility to curb their satiric instincts? Is poking a religion with a sharp cartoon, even if deserved, worth provoking mobs to murder?

A distinguished panel will look at these questions and examine specific cartoons to determine where, or if, there is a line that satire shouldn’t cross when it comes to deeply held religious beliefs.

Victor Navasky: Past editor of The Nation and The New York Times Magazine. Winner of the National Book Award for Naming Names, (about the McCarthy-era Hollywood blacklist) and in 2013 published The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power. Currently Chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review.

Daniel Peterson: Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU. Author of several books and numerous articles on Islam and Mormonism, including the 2007 biography Muhammad: Prophet of God.

Pat Bagley: Staff cartoonist at The Salt Lake Tribune. Served an LDS mission in a third world country long before Broadway popularized such things.

Location: Main Library Auditorium

Contact Information: (801) 524-8200