The cartoonist, formally of Bangladesh and now resident in Norway, is seeking election as a councillor in the Frogn municipality.
In 2017 we reported upon Arifur Rahman’s dissatisfaction after a cartoon exhibition in Drøbak was vandalised, apparently by an asylum seeker who took offence at religious imagery. This piqued his interest in local politics and has led to his candidature in the forthcoming elections, set for September 9th.
Rahman will stand on behalf of the Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV) in the Frogn municipality. He is especially interested in freedom of expression, equal rights, education and environmental issues.
“If I may compare society to a boat and say I want to sail in it on a long voyage, but I find some leak below deck then I have to fix it immediately, otherwise my ignorance may be the reason for the entire boat sinking.Arifur Rahman
So I want to do something for society. I want to contribute to our having a better society.”
In 2007 Rahman was imprisoned for six months by Islamic fundamentalists. With the assistance of the ICORN network he relocated to Norway in 2010 and shortly thereafter founded the ToonsMag platform for cartoonists worldwide. He was one of several displaced cartoonists with whom we caught up during the ICORN and PEN International Writers in Prison Committee conference “At Home Everywhere” in Rotterdam, Netherlands earlier this year.
We commend Arifur Rahman for his continuing commitment to the principles of free speech and democratic rights and consider him an exemplary case of the contribution that cartoonists can make to wider society.