Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day !

Welcome to the first annual "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" event. 
Ever since the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who dared to make a movie critical of Islam, ever since the death threats against Mohammed-drawing Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, which have led to his forced retirement, and ever since the censoring of Muhammad-drawing Matt Stone and Trey Parker (of South Park fame) by the craven execs at Comedy Central, well, something had to be done. 

Somebody came up with the idea of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.   Hit the link. 

The idea behind it?  Solidarity.  Plus, if everybody draws Mohammed, they probably won't kill us all. 

Well, the only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. 

Here's my pic.  It's a fairly reverent depiction of Mohammed's trip to Jerusalem, the trip he made on the back of a flying horse that had the face of an angel. 

Attacking iconoclasts (meant here in its literal meaning) has been a constant throughout human history. It's one of the great dividing lines, like laughter and face-to-face copulation, that separates man from beast. Indeed, I'm betting it was a fundamental element of even pre-human history. Can we doubt seriously that some gang of Neanderthals didn't crush the skulls of others who decorated cave walls in "offensive" ways? In the 20th and 21st centuries alone, all sorts of human expression have led to brutality and murder. The ground of Europe and Asia and all the continents with the (possible) exception of Antarctica is fertilized with the blood and bones of martyrs who have done nothing more than make tangible their thoughts in words, music, and pictures. Yet even in a country like ours that threatens consenting adults for making dirty movies with effective life sentences, or in European countries where speech codes imprison malefactors for "hate speech," there is a massive gulf between "mere" censorship and death threats, between the answering of "bad" speech not with more speech but with the blade, the bullet, or the bomb.

This amateurish image was created by Islamic imams and depicts Mohammed as a pedophile. They have defiled their own tradition. There comes a point in any society's existence where it must ultimately, to paraphrase Martin Luther (who himself was more than happy to see opponents put to death), dig in its heels and say here we stand, we will do no other. We don't need to be perfectly consistent philosophically or historically or theologically to assert what is special and unique not just about the United States, with its bizarre and wonderful articulation of the First Amendment, but the greater classical liberal project comprising not just the "West" (whatever that is) but human beings in whatever town, country, or planet they inhabit. And at the heart of the liberal project is ultimately a recognition that individuals, for no other reason than that they exist, have rights to continue to exist. Embedded in all that is the right to expression. No one has a right to an audience or even to a sympathetic hearing, much less an engaged audience. But no one should be beaten or killed or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind or praying to one god as opposed to the other or none at all or getting on with the small business of living their life in peaceful fashion. If we cannot or will not defend that principle with a full throat, then we deserve to choke on whatever jihadists of all stripes can force down our throats.

This is not about U.S. foreign policy, or trade policy, or aid to Israel or Egypt, or the creation of a Palestinian homeland. This is about the right to have the conversations that might inform all that and more. We live in a time of paradox: Never before have so many been so empowered to speak their own minds, to produce and consume whatever form of expression when they want, where they want. The impact on those seeking to regulate and control thought is as predictable as it is depressing and, ultimately, ineffective: Whether they are governments or corporations or religious or ideological groups, they want to stamp out the ability of people to say and think for themselves.

Our Draw Mohammed contest is not a frivolous exercise of hip, ironic, hoolarious sacrilege toward a minority religion in the United States (though even that deserves all the protection that the most serioso political commentary commands). It's a defense of what is at the core of a society that is painfully incompetent at delivering on its promise of freedom, tolerance, and equal rights. It's a rebuttal to the notion that we should go limp in the clinches precisely because bullies and bastards can punch or blow us up.

Well said.  Hope you like the picture. 


The Whited Sepulchre said...

And yes, I know that there are lots and lots of ways to spell Mohammed's name.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

This was just wrong.

Sweating Pony said...

Browncoat Libertarian said...

Funny thing about the South Park episode is that it turns out Muhammad wasn't even in the freaking bear costume in the first place, so these idiot Muslims are getting their magic panties in a wad for nothing. Oh, wait, the magic undergarments belong to another group of wackos.

Nick Rowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Rowe said...

Here's my entry

Not as good as yours, but I don't claim to be an artist. First time using Adobe Illustrator.