A Japanese toon that angered Muslims for its depiction of the Koran is reportedly being pulled from distribution by publisher Shueisha and toon house Another Push Pin Planning.
An episode of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure,” based on a Shueisha comic by Hirohiko Araki that ran from 1987 to 2003, shows the villain reading the Koran as he orders the execution of the hero and his pals.
Shueisha said in a statement that the original manga did not depict the Koran, but that APPP staffers had copied a passage from the Islamic holy book for the toon in a misguided attempt to add realism.
The scene did not arouse the anger of Muslim fans until a pirated version, from a six-episode DVD subtitled “Starship Crusdaders” released by APPP in 2001, was posted on the Internet.
Sheikh Abdul Hamid Al-Atrash, chairman of the Fatwa Committee at Cairo’s Al-Azhar U. was quoted by Kyodo News as complaining that the scene “depicts Muslims as terrorists” and is “an insult to the religion.”
Shueisha and APPP are withdrawing the DVD and original comic from the shelves, even thought the latter does not depict the Koran. They are vetting the comic and toon for further references that might be considered offensive to Islam.