CAIRO — A popular Japanese cartoon is sparking off outcries in the Muslim world where some fear it could fuel a backlash not seen since European papers carried cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and a Dutch lawmaker released a controversial film earlier this year.
Shueisha Inc, a Japanese publisher involved in the production of the cartoon ‘‘JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" and its animation version, suspended sales of some of the original comics and the DVD series Thursday, but said the material was not intended to be offensive.
At issue is a 90-second segment from "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure," which depicts Dio Brando, a villain, picking up a Quran from a bookshelf and apparently examining it as he orders the execution of the hero and his friends.
The animated movie is based on the wildly popular comic book by Hirohiko Araki, which has been carried in Shonen Jump, a weekly magazine, from 1987 to 2003. The cartoon series' pirated version with Arabic subtitles has been distributed on websites since March 2007.