Secularists including Richard Dawkins have rallied to support a university society which was advised to take down a cartoon image of Jesus and Muhammad from the webpage advertising a social event.

University College London's Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society posted the title page from a comic book, Jesus and Mo, Volume 2: Transubstantiated, by a pseudonymous British cartoonist called Mohammed Jones, on Facebook last week. On Tuesday the society was advised by University College London's student union that it would be "prudent" to take it down, following complaints from other students, the identity of whom remains confidential, a spokesman said. The union's advice prompted an online petition to "Defend freedom of expression at University College London", criticising "attempts to censor" the society.

By Thursday morning it had garnered nearly 3,000 signatures, including that of Richard Dawkins, who also left a comment stating: "Jesus and Mo cartoons are wonderfully funny and true. They could offend only those actively seeking to be offended – which says it all."

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