Why Did a Swiss Newspaper Link SCOTUS Abortion Law to Muslims?

Published June 28th, 2022 - 06:01 GMT
abortion muslims cartoon
SCOTUS has overturned an old federal law that had allowed abortions since 1973. (Le temps)
The Supreme Court of the United States overturned a previous law issued in 1973.

Since the conservative-majority Supreme Court of the United States overturned abortion laws last Friday, the world has been reacting to the increasingly less liberal face of the United States, including hundreds of articles discussing the decision, in addition to a Swiss cartoon published in Le temps.


The cartoon published by Le temps on Friday, only hours after the Supreme Court of the United State decision, depicted several men dressed in traditional Afghan attire that has long been associated with conservative Muslims, particularly after the rise and fall of the Taliban group several times in the span of three decades. 

The men seem to represent the conservative ideology increasingly adopted in the Supreme Court of the United States while one of them holds a paper reading in French "end of the right to abortion".

Translation: "But? What do Muslims have to do with this? It's a super Christian country and the majority of decision-makers were old white men. What do Muslims have to do with this?"

As soon as the cartoon was published, online backlash against the newspaper started by many commentators who condemned their attempt to link the killing of abortion rights in the United States to Muslims, especially since none of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are Muslims.

Some online people accused Le temps of utilizing Islamophobia to express opposition to the new rule while normalizing offending Muslim-majority nations.

Moreover, some Pashtun (natives in parts of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) commentators expressed their shock that their traditional clothes were portrayed in an artwork meant to condemn growing conservative policies talent mostly by white American men, who make up the majority of the Supreme Court the United States' justices.

Translation: "The link is that it is old bigots are making the rules when it comes to women's freedoms and what they choose to do with their bodies with no regard to women's opinions. Just like the Taliban".

While some social media suggested that the link was meant to associate the decision with the Taliban and their misogynistic policies, others argued that limiting examples of ideologies that repress women's rights in the "Oriental world" and Muslim-majority countries "seeks to present a perfectionist representation of Western societies". 

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