Japanese Artist Facing Racism Charge for Cartoon of Muslim Refugee

Not even Japan is immune from charges of racism when it comes to Muslims.

A Japanese political cartoonist is facing charges of racism and copyright infringement for posting a manga (political cartoon) on Facebook of a Syrian girl at a refugee camp in Lebanon. The artist, Toshiko Hasumi, stands by her work and refuses to apologize.

The illustration is based on a photo taken by Canadian documentary photographer Jonathan Hyams. Hasumi has since taken down the cartoon at the request of Hyams, because it has caused him negative attention.

As reported in an article in The Japan Times, what has infuriated Leftist activists is a bubble caption that reads:

“’I want to live a safe and clean life, have a gourmet meal, go out freely, wear pretty things and luxuriate. I want to live my life the way I want without a care in the world — all at the expense of someone else.

I have an idea. Why don’t I become a refugee?’”

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Hasumi defended her cartoon, according to the article:

“Hasumi rejected accusations it was racist, claiming she did not seek to denigrate Syrians, she told The Japan Times.

Instead, she said, it was meant to ridicule economic migrants ‘pursing a safer, more comfortable life in a foreign land under the guise of pitiable asylum seekers.’”

Even Change.org got involved, circulating a petition that garnered 10,000 signatures demanding the manga be taken down. Facebook refused to do so, saying it did not violate community guidelines. As in the U.S., immigration is a hot-button issue in Japan, as reported in BBC News:

“Japan has pledged to contribute $810m to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has refused to take in any of those displaced by the conflict in those countries. Japan accepted only 11 of 5,000 potential asylum seekers last year. Japan is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world, and immigration is hugely controversial despite the country’s declining and ageing population.”

The immigration issue has been a Left-wing media focus for Republican candidates seeking the party’s nomination. Donald Trump, in addition to his comments concerning illegal immigrants entering from Mexico, has spoken out against accepting any Syrian refugees. Ben Carson is also opposed to admitting Syrian refugees and has instead proposed the U.S. financially contribute to help resettle refugees in the Middle East.

The U.S. faces a far greater threat of terrorists infiltrating the country than Japan does. The probability of ISIS or Al-Qaeda sending terrorists here under the guise of refugees is high. It’s a national security issue, not a racism issue.

Even an artist in Japan knows this.

Follow James on Twitter @NY_2_Carolina

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