Bosch Fawstin is an Eisner-nominated cartoonist and winner of the 2015 ‘Draw Prophet Muhammad’ contest, in Texas. His most current work is The Infidel featuring Pigman.
Will you tell me a little about yourself and give me some information for our readers who might not be familiar with you or your work?
I was born into a Muslim-Albanian family in the Bronx, New York, and I was raised as a Muslim. Alhough we often hear the term “moderate Muslims” today, as if merely not waging jihad makes you a “moderate”, we simply thought of ourselves as Muslim. Growing up, I became acutely aware of how bad my home life was when I saw how my friends lived. Also, school taught us that Hitler was evil, while my family thought the opposite. The first time I remember drawing something that made an impression was when I was five years old. I drew a horse, and my teacher was very impressed. And when my classmates began asking me to draw them things, I knew I was pretty good at it. So while all kids draw, I was a little more focused on it, trying to get better. And I was self-motivated, as I received no encouragement from my family. I also liked reading, especially superhero comic books. And my love of comic books, of stories, of heroes and superheroes has never left me. Today, I write and draw cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels, and while it hasn’t been easy to make a consistent living out of it, I’ve found a way to push through, despite obstacles, such as my industry pretending I don’t exist.
The Garland attack, for which I won The Mohammad cartoon contest, was completely ignored by my industry, by its publications, and by most of those in it. The worst example was a free speech publication called “Defender”, with an issue focused on “Cartoonists Under Fire”, where I wasn’t mentioned, even though I was literally under fire. And to make matters worse, it’s published by a group called The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, of which I was a years-long card-carrying member of. I called them out and ended my membership after they exposed themselves as being far more interested in pushing leftist politics than they are in defending free speech. I don’t mean to bitch about all of this, as I’m well aware of the path I’ve chosen in my work, but the cowardice of my industry, which is dominated by stories of good vs. evil, is breathtaking.
My comic book, The Infidel, featuring Pigman, takes on Islam, Jihad, PC, and its enablers on the left and right. There is no other comic book that does that. Marvel and DC Comics, instead of having their superheroes take on today’s enemies the way they took on yesterday’s enemies, publish Muslim superheroes, while completely ignoring the ONLY reason we began to discuss Islam, which is Jihad. If they published German superheroes in World War Two, while completely ignoring the war going on, it would have been considered treasonous. But today’s culture is so corrupt that it can’t imagine that there’s anything wrong with major comic book publishers pushing Islamic propaganda during wartime. The only other cartoonist who came close to taking on jihad is Frank Miller whose work most inspired me to become a cartoonist. Unfortunately, he felt the need to say in interviews that he didn’t “know Squat about Islam”. How one can take on the Islamic enemy in a story without studying Islam is beyond me, and that lack of seriousness and lack of commitment to the truth about what we’re facing makes it forgettable.
Why and when did you become a recovering Muslim?
I began to hate going home. My father was brutal. He had it in for me. I picked up that he was worried about me being an artist, which wasn’t manly according to him. And by the time I was about 14, I became so embarrassed of being Muslim that when a girl at school asked me if I was Muslim or Catholic, I lied and told her I was Catholic. I never lie. I just knew enough about Islam to be ashamed to be part of it. Not long after, especially when I started thinking seriously about morality, and when I read a lot of books, I left Islam. I told my family at a certain point, and while it didn’t go well, at least they didn’t kill me. So they were moderate after all. And it was only after 9/11 that I had the desire to read the Koran, and study Islam, which I did as if my life depended on it, because I knew I would respond to the atrocity with my art.
You have recently been suspended again on Twitter. Do you believe there is a world wide drive to shut down all criticism of Islam?
Yeah, Twitter said that it was my reply to someone who took exception to my criticism of Marvel’s Islamic propaganda comic (a comic which completely avoids dealing with the reason we talk about Islam – Jihad) that got me banned. Here’s the text of my Tweet: “@LoriHyrup While devout Muslims commit death and destruction in the name of Islam on a daily basis. And Marvel completely ignores that. Keep cheerleading for evil.” That’s a ban-worthy tweet only to Muslims or idiots who know nothing about Islam. I’m banned from Twitter while Muslims who’ve threatened me, as well as terrorist groups, have Twitter accounts. I’ve tried to appeal it a number of times, with no success, and they emailed me that my account is permanently banned.
As for your question, yes, criticism of Islam is not only the third-rail of politics, but the West has become so corrupted by politics, particularly self-destructive leftist politics, that it’s the third-rail of any kind of discussion anywhere at anytime. Muslims, leftists, and even conservatives and libertarians have all done their part to make Islam critics appear to be the worst of the worst in today’s society, even worse than terrorists. And that’s not an exaggeration, because it’s obvious that most people can live with the death and destruction being done in the name of Islam. They can live with the Islamic enemy remaining undefeated, which is absolutely unacceptable 17 years after 9/11. But people have shown that they cannot live with anyone who dares to shatter their illusions about Islam by simply telling the damning truth about it. Let me add that I set up a Pigman Twitter account a while back, and it’s still active. When they banned me, I lost 14,000 followers, which does hurt me, as I still struggle to get my art and ideas out into our leftist-dominated culture. So if people can follow me @truePIGMAN I think you’ll all appreciate my tweets.
Do you believe Islam can be reformed?
No. Evil can’t be reformed. Islam is beyond redemption – from its warlord prophet to the millions of lives violently ended because of it, to its fundamental dehumanization of women, of non-Muslims, etc. When I hear “Can Islam be reformed?” I hear “Can Nazism be reformed?” No one asked that question in World War Two, but Islam is a religion, and so people get very stupid about religion, and think that, no matter what a religious espouses, that religion deserves protections. As for those who claim, angrily and defensively, that “Islam is Not a religion!” it is a religion. While religious people think it’s important to strip Islam of its religious identity, in order to protect religion, I think it’s important to tell the truth about Islam, in order for our governments to act on that truth, and protect human beings, not religion.
Those savages who flew planes into The Twin Towers committed both an act of war and an act of faith. No secular ideology can get its followers to fly planes into buildings. The question to me is, can the West be reformed? Can we stop talking up Islam with lies and start arguing for why the West is Best? Can we defeat our enemies as we once did? Can we stop putting self-loathing cowards in positions of power? Can we once again be a proud of the West?
Can you tell me about the upcoming Draw Muhammad cartoon event that has been organized?
If you’re referring to the announcement that Geert Wilders made the other day then, yes. He asked me if I wanted to judge a new Mohammad cartoon contest with him, and I instantly said yes. I’ve never been to Europe before and I had no plans to visit any time soon, but what a great reason to finally visit Europe. For freedom. For free speech. For defying evil. I cannot wait.