Thanks to Gina L., who tips us that this is floating around on ImageShack. Could that weak tea really be the medicine that’s too strong for 25 American newspapers to swallow?

Yup, probably. Your quote of the day from the E&P link:

Content also includes what Shearer described as “a sex joke a little stronger than we normally see.”

Wyson said some client papers hesitated to run a sex joke and others won’t publish any Muslim-related humor, whether pro or con. “They just don’t want to touch that,” she said.

I can’t believe the almost genteel “gettin’ some” gag in the last panel might be the oh-so-risque sex joke they’re talking about here, but we’ll have to wait until next week’s strip to find out, I guess. Exit question: Who wants to bet that “Fatima Struggle” and “God willing” were originally “Fatima Jihad” and “Insh’allah” before someone in his syndicate pulled Berke Breathed aside and had a word with him?

Update (Bryan): In the story of the two spiked Opus comic strips, we see the creep of dhimmitude over the US media.

Yeah, that probably sounded overly dramatic. Sorry, this stuff makes me a little gloomy — we need Ernie Pyle but we keep getting Robert Fisk. Here’s a little more from that E&P link:

Shearer told E&P that WPWG checked with a couple of Islamic experts to see if the “Opus” strips might be offensive, and they said the comics were OK. But he understands why some papers might still be wary.

The WPWG checked with “Islamic experts.” Do they do the same when a comic strip might offend, say, someone who’s not a Muslim? No, at least not to my knowledge. It’s not hard to make the connection here: The Danish cartoonists are still living in hiding. The publishers of Opus don’t want to do that. So they trot down to the “Islamic expert” to get his it stamped halal.

At least a subsection of the press in the US is self-censoring (again) out of fear of offending Muslims, hoping to prevent another cartoon jihad or at least keep themselves out of the way when another one erupts. They wouldn’t similarly self-censor for any other group, to the point of taking a couple of cartoon strips down to the local preacher or rabbi for approval as they did with the Islamic experts, because no one thinks the preachers or rabbis are going to spark a full-blown riot over any cartoons. Many people, like Chris Hedges and Andrew Sullivan, like to ride the “Christianist” threat to generate traffic or a best-seller, but even they don’t really believe it.

Which gets us back to the big fact of the day: Terrorism works.

It takes a real coward to spike something as innocuous as this. And as Mark Levin might say, and another thing: Doonesbury has been running a series of strips about a terrorist following a US soldier home from Iraq “if we cut and ran” for the past several days. As one character even says, the terrorist is a “profiler’s dream,” which evidently means he looks Arab and says he’s a terrorist and says “death to you” if you annoy him. Start reading the series here and work your way forward.

Differences: Doonesbury is making an obviously anti-war point, and hasn’t caused a stir at all, while Opus isn’t making any particular point (beyond the flippancy of some granola-brained hippies I suppose) but is being spiked in some newspapers. Both have about an equal chance of offending Muslims, I’d say, or even that Doonesbury has a slight edge there.

Similarities: Both strips are aggressively unfunny. Man, the comics are lame these days.