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What were they thinking?

You are looking at an illustration that is donning the current cover of the New Yorker magazine. The illustration depicts presidential hopeful Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and his wife as a terrorist.

The illustration on the issue, titled The Politics Of Fear, depicts Mr Obama wearing sandals, robe and a turban, and his wife Michelle dressed in camouflage and combat boots, with an assault rifle strapped over her shoulder. The setting is the the White House's Oval Office with the couple doing a fist tap in front of a fireplace in which an American flag is burning. Over the fire hangs a portrait of Osama bin Laden.

Is this really funny and more importantly is this really necessary? At what point do we draw the line with satire and blatant lack of reasoning? The response to this image is inevitable - it is going to spark rage amongst many stakeholder groups and continue to cloud the hopefuls' campaign.

In a statement, the magazine said the cover "combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are, the burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall? All of them echo one attack or another.

Right......does this make it okay then?

To be brutally honest, as much as I can try to see the funny side of things, I cannot help but feel slightly unsettled by some of the connotations that this images drums up. It is great that intelligent, political journals like New York Magazine have supported Barack at some point in his campaign but are they really supporting him for the right reasons?

Images like this should really make us question what are the ethos and reasons for their support and more importantly - at what cost?

Let's marinade on this for a moment!

Adeoye Omotayo

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