*BAGHDAD (AP) — The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town — not realizing he’s fired it backward at his leader. The “Looney Tunes”-style cartoon targeting the Islamic State group comes after its militants have swept across large swaths of Syria and Iraq, declaring their own self-styled caliphate while conducting mass shootings of their prisoners. The group cheers its advances and beheadings in slickly produced Internet videos.
In response, television networks across the Middle East have begun airing cartoons and comedy programs using satire to criticize the group and its claims of representing Islam. And while not directly confronting the group’s battlefield gains, the shows challenge the legitimacy of its claims and chip away at the fear some have that the Islamic militants are unstoppable.
“These people are not a true representation of Islam and so by mocking them, it is a way to show that we are against them,” said Nabil Assaf, one of the producers and writers of Lebanon’s “Ktir Salbe Show,” which has challenged the group. “Of course it’s a sensitive issue, but this is one way to reject extremism and make it so the people are not afraid.”*