Sometimes A Poll Is A Slippery Thing

Religion is a dicey subject for humor: just ask Arswendo Atmowiloto, editor of the now defunct Jakarta newspaper Monitor. The tabloid had asked readers to vote for Indonesia's most "admirable public figures." More than 600 names were sent in on 33,900 postcards. President Suharto led with 5,003 votes, and a variety of government officials, pop stars and even Saddam Hussein filled out the top nine slots. Arswendo finished 10th, just ahead of the Prophet Muhammad. Monitor reporters had warned their boss to leave Islam's founder off the list, and now Arswendo is paying for his lack of caution. The editor has...

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