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May 20 2010

Draw Muhammad Day…

I support the efforts of Draw Muhammad Day. I took a few minutes and made a quick drawing and posted it to Facebook…and that was going to be the extent of my participation.

Fortunately, our local religion reporter made a blog post and she couldn’t have managed to misrepresent the subject more, if she’d tried.

I took the opportunity to correct her…and I was sufficiently irritated that I thought I’d copy that correction here. As next Sunday’s show is cancelled, consider it a replacement rant.

“Again, I thought this would fizzle out, but apparently it’s become all the rage to make a spectacle out of demeaning Muslims.”

How does this demean Muslims? Be careful you don’t break your back while trying to twist this issue to portray the Muslims as the victims…

The fact is that some Muslims have repeatedly demonstrated remarkable and violent hypocrisy when it comes to free speech. They demand that their views be respected by everyone else in society – and anyone who offends them may well suffer a violent response.

“If it’s true that the Prophet Muhammad is not drawn or depicted by Muslim artists based on Islamic beliefs, why revel in ignorance? In other words, if it were considered heathen-like behavior to draw Jesus, would that be tolerated with the same level of revelry – or is there something else at work?”

Of course it would be tolerated. What sort of journalist doesn’t grasp the basics of free speech and expression?

There is no right to not be offended. There is no right to impose your ignorance, fears and superstitions on the rest of society.

Why do you think this is happening? If there had never been a gross over-reaction to cartoons, do you think anyone would have organized people to draw Muhammad?

Do you really suspect that the individuals drawing and encouraging others to draw Muhammad are simply cruel-minded bigots poking a stick at the poor Muslims?

This is not only about free speech, it’s valid social commentary and a serious issue. There are people who travel with bodyguards and live under constant threat of violence or death for exercising basic freedoms that we should all support. People like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie and Lars Vilks.

What a staggeringly myopic perspective one must have to shrug this off as someone else demeaning Muslims.

Muslims, on this subject, have demeaned themselves.

51 comments

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  1. 1
    Petr Kudláček

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the way most people took advantage of this day. The majority of the atheist youtubers out there that took part in this event ended up drawing very reasonable, neutral and thus probably more accurate portrails of Muhammed. I noticed that PZ Myers and you followed in a similar fashion and I am glad. There were few very cheesy ones with the typical terrorist theme but they faded into the background.And thanks to Pakistans ridiculous reaction to this event and the banning of facebook and youtube this day actually got mainstream attention.I also welcome the number of muslim groups that decided to protest against this without the use of voilence or threats. That's what is supposed to happen. Civilized criticism and/or ridicule and an appropriate response.Keep it coming!

  2. 2
    Jeremy S.

    It's crazy how many people don't understand what this protest is about. Some are calling it nothing more than racism. Thanks for posting this.

  3. 3
    Leisha Camden

    Also, there cannot possibly be a right for followers of one religion – any religion – to impose the rules of that religion on others who do not adhere to it. Whatever crazy rules Muslims or Jews or Christians make up for themselves and choose to live by, I don't care – I'm not a Muslim or a Jew or a Christian, so why on earth should these rules dictate my behavior?? That's something that no one has ever been able to explain to me.Very good post. If there is any response from the journalist, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd be interested in reading that.

  4. 4
    Matt D.

    The blog author responded…and I posted again. (I won't keep cross posting these, but I'm more than a little irritated by the ignorance expressed. Fortunately, I support her right to have an opinion without threatening violence.)"but it is more rare to see this kind of gleeful vilification of Christianity from anyone but some atheists."And that's why I said that you were being myopic on this subject.First, it's not vilification. Second, you don't see this sort of action in response to Christians because there aren't Christians publicly rioting and attempting to kill anyone who draws a comic about Jesus.Go to YouTube and do a search for "Lars Vilks attacked full clip". Then find ANY similar incident with respect to another religion and I'll support the same sort of response we're supporting with Draw Muhammad day. Seriously…he was lecturing at a university and within a few seconds of starting a film with imagery that the "moderate Muslims" in the room found offensive, well…watch the clip.No wonder they think they have a right to react violently to things they find offensive, they've not only got religious doctrine on their side, they've managed to get the very people who should be championing free speech to portray them as victims.While you're at YouTube, look up "Tim Minchin Pope Song". The sentiment expressed in that song is the exact sentiment I have in this situation…if you find it more offensive that people would draw Muhammad to shed light on the problem of the reaction for doing so, then you're part of the problem.

  5. 5
    Patrick

    Funny, some American Muslim students are going around putting boxing gloves on the sick figures and adding "Ali" to the name. I guess not everyone's so offended after all.Muslims should not be exempt from the same kind of criticism all religions deserve. Ayyam Hirsi Ali has written extensively on this topic.

  6. 6
    UncleRobertBlogsDotCom

    I Participatedhttp://s551.photobucket.com/albums/ii477/unclerobert/?action=view&current=Muhammad.jpg

  7. 7
    Thomas

    Great post, Matt. It's amazing that one group can effectively say "follow the rules of my religion or die", and the guy who responds "nuh uh" is seen as the bigot.

  8. 8
    Patrick

    Islamophobic much?[from Juan Cole's Informed Comment]Cartoon of Irish Catholic neighborhoods festooned with banners showing a crown on a bible– celebrating the victory on 12 July 1690 of Protestant King William of Orange over his Catholic rival as king, James II, at the Battle of the Boyne near Belfast. It was such provocations by Protestants that kicked off decades of Troubles in Northern Ireland that left nearly 4000 dead and led to several major bombings of London.[...]Buddha with girls in bikini: In Sri Lanka this spring “Buddhist extremists attacked the offices of Sirasa Media, who in cooperation with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau was organizing the tour for Akon . . . an American pop singer of Senegalese extraction. The protesters were offended by Akon’s latest video “Sexy Chick,” which shows bikini-clad women dancing at a pool party, while in the background stands a statue of the Buddha.”[Cole:]"Me, I think when you know people have died in violence over some piece of thoughtlessness, it is the height of irresponsibility to repeat it for no good reason."

  9. 9
    Sparrowhawk

    Yeah, basically everything I'm reading on facebook/blogs so far in opposition to this is "waaaa you're being mean!".If not for the ridiculous and/or violent over-reactions around the world to people breaking this religious taboo, I wouldn't have given two shits about drawing Muhammad or even whether or not it's okay.I understand how it is interpreted as offensive to intentionally do something that upsets a group of people, but that's sort of the point isn't it? Being offended or upset does NOT mean you have the right to intimidate others into not offending you. Non-Muslims didn't start this effort because they felt like being jerks. This is a direct consequence of the abhorrent behavior of a noticeable portion of people, who happen to be adherents of a certain religion.

  10. 10
    Guillaume

    I am getting really tired of people trying to excuse, or even worse justify, the violence of Islamists and the hysterical reactions against the cartoons of Mohammed. What angered me the most (but did not surprised me), was the reaction of other faiths… who said they understood the anger. I suspect they envy the shameless, obscene way the Muslims display their fanaticism.

  11. 11
    Wouter Rosario

    Excellent rebuttal.

  12. 12
    DavidCT

    I support the exercise the right of free expression that is ours by law. We don't want Christian superstitions being dictated to us so why should we feel differently about respecting the superstitions Muslims. That superstition mandates honor killing, stoning to death for minor sexual infractions, killing of apostates and non-beleivers who do not convert or pay a tax. The cowardly reaction to many in the media has only made demands of these deluded people all the more outrageous. Faith is a danger to a free society and should always be given the respect it deserves – NONE AT ALL!!!

  13. 13
    Nordel

    Fucking A.

  14. 14
    J S Brown

    After viewing some of the submissions for the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!” group on Facebook, I found myself dissatisfied with many of the participants. Instead of drawing an innocuous image, many have made deliberate attempts to be insulting. It’s unfortunate because the point of all of this will be lost among the hatred, ignorance, and idiocy. But hey… I'm glad they're free to do it.

  15. 15
    Wired For Sound

    My religion teaches that it is blasphemy for men to wear turbans. Therefore, out of respect for my religion, no man should wear a turban. To do so is in violation of my God's commandments.

  16. 16
    ThatAtheistChick

    Excellent as always, Matt. Here's my "Draw Muhammad Day" video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjnWjrIEfL0&playnext_from=TL&videos=lIFwSfv2hf8

  17. 17
    Tristan D. Vick

    Before the 12th century Muslim art frequently portrayed pictoral images of the Prophet Mohammad. I really don't see what has got all their panties tied up in a knot.Aniconism seems to be a runaway effect of fundamentalism by those who venerate the ideal persona of the figure over the actual historical figure.To suggest Mohammad was a child rapist for consummating his marriage with a pre-pubescent 9 year old girl could get you killed in radical Islamic states. And yet they think that showing a picture of the man they venerate would so dishonor him they forgot to consider he was without honor in the first place.I don't see how this is any different than the idol worship they so fear. In fact, I would say by their wild zealotry and over reactions to simple cartoon drawings they have become completely intoxicated by the myth of idolatry that they, in turn, have neglected to see they have been worshiping paper idols all along.Poor blinkered lot, I pity them.

  18. 18
    Martin

    J. S. Brown: Like the Statesman blogger, you are spectacularly missing the point. Now matter how intentionally offensive, disgusting, and insulting the very worst of those drawings may be, they cannot be even 1/10,000th as offensive as the fact Muslims kill people for this kind of thing. It's just like Tim Minchin's foul-mouthed "Pope Song": if you're more offended by his bad language than the fact the Vatican has systematically engaged in the coverup of child sexual abuse for decades, then you're part of the problem. Likewise, if you're more offended by insulting Mohammed drawings than by, say, the brutal murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh.This is the point of this whole exercise. I can draw Mohammed as a pile of shit with a beard. And you are free to be more offended by it than anything in your whole life. What you do not have is the right to murder me for it. And you should not expect "respect" from me if you think you can murder me or anyone simply for offending you.

  19. 19
    Frits

    Ok I feel the need to contribute a little bit,I am not against the 'draw Mohammed day'in the slightest' especially seeing why the day was instituted. I am feeling slightly uncomfortable with the vehement anti-muslim sentiments in this thread. I am not a big fan of Islam at all, and maybe because I live in a country which has much larger islamic minority then you have in the US. I have seen how polarizing muslims vs non-muslims works out, and it ain't pretty. Right now there is a pretty hostile feel amongst a lot of the right wing of my country (the netherlands) They do say things like 'All muslims are the same bad people'which in consequence makes the islamic community go more isolated and more susceptible to radical islamic ideologies. Not only because of their religion but because the whole thing has a strong racial undercurrent (muslims in the netherlands are mainly immigrants). Now that doesn't mean that criticizing Islam in any way, or that the islamic knee-jerk reaction to criticism is in any way warranted. It does mean that if you are not careful about this subject you run the very real risk of making it racial rather then religious.Also I'd like to make some comments on Ayaan Hirschi Ali who has become the darling of the american anti-Islam movement. I can understand and support the idea that she should be able to have the right to free speech and I think it is terrible she needs protection. However, I've had quite a bit experience with her, since she used to be a member of parliament here. An what I can say is that she as a MOP was not a heroine or a darling. She was extremely hostile vs the Islam, which with her history is understandable. She did also try to get specific anti-islamic legislation through, whilst at the same time trying to ingratiate herself with the Christian Right over here. We do have freedom of religion and she was proposing that that was all fine and dandy, except that muslims shouldn't be allowed to enjoy that freedom of religion. I (and many dutch people with me) have a mainly negative view about Ayaan Hirschi Ali because of this.The fact that she was expelled from the netherlands is rather embarrassing, especially since many people seem to think it was because of her views. It was not. At the time we had a Minister of immigartion Rita Verdonk. Rita also known as Iron Rita was very much a right winger who agreed with Ali on islam generally. However Rita found out that Ali had lied on her immigration form and therefore accoring to the rules she'd lose dutch citizenship. This was typical of Iron Rita who is a cold hearted 'rules are rules' bitch with no qualms of using anyone for her political gain.just something I think you should know

  20. 20
    fahreh

    Ok i am a muslim n want to say something here. Can i? Bcz of restriction of characters I will write in parts.The theme i got from the blog and by all comments by various people, is that its not about making a sketch of anyone. You guyz are actually angry on the group of people who believe the force their point of view. Believe me i am with you guyz here.I would lik to go point by point:(Why do you think this is happening? If there had never been a gross over-reaction to cartoons, do you think anyone would have organized people to draw Muhammad?)Exactly i agree here. How many muslims in this world living? There is a bunch of people whoc thinks that they can force people to do what they want. I request to all of you. I feel ashamed that those people (may b few thousand in whole world)have become the main image of ISLAM in world. Please those people does no represent what islam says. Please dont make a image of islam based on few thousand people act of stupidity.I wish if that have been discussed on 1st stage on a cup of cofee. But few people threat others and here we go again. I can see that in ur anger("follow the rules of my religion or die")2. This is not Islam. Can u all do me a favour? Watch a movie named "The Message". Just watch it for the sake a movie. U will know. That finatic group has made difficult in this world which is a big society for us muslims to show what we think. When we say anything people consider us liers.

  21. 21
    fahreh

    cont..In Islamic teaching we have been told that "Killing a single man is like killing a man kind". I as a muslim strongly believe on this. But those uneducated people have been brainwashed to do their evil acts. Please understand this. That fenatic people is not what Islam is. Hate those people. Curse them. Show ur anger to them. But not to any religion or any personaility of any religion.(After viewing some of the submissions for the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!” group on Facebook, I found myself dissatisfied with many of the participants. Instead of drawing an innocuous image, many have made deliberate attempts to be insulting. It’s unfortunate because the point of all of this will be lost among the hatred, ignorance, and idiocy)3. Exactly. You want to draw a character. Then y only negetive ones? Simply it shows just the anger of urs. U r angry on whom and u r bringing a respected personaility of one religion which has no concern with all this. That Prophet PBUh didnt come here to threat u guyz. He didnt attack on that lectuere in that university.(To suggest Mohammad was a child rapist for consummating his marriage with a pre-pubescent 9 year old girl)4. Pal u r totally wrong here. Just bcz of ur anger, u r quoting something from the history out of the context. U have no knowledge of the background of it.

  22. 22
    Martin

    Just a quick word from your sponsor: Faheem is welcome here to state his views, and those of you who wish to disagree with him, please stay on message and away from nastiness and flamethrowing, okay? I'll be monitoring this discussion closely and will wield the Loving Mallet of Correction as I deem fit. We now return you to your regularly scheduled comment thread.

  23. 23
    Pauk

    Here's my drawing: http://tumblr.com/xgga8d89qI couldn't find a photo, so I had to do it from memory.

  24. 24
    wizzzz

    My friends the reason why most of the muslims and specially people in Pakistan are offended by this act is because muslims do not draw picture of Prophets. It does not matter if the picture is being in good faith or bad. WIkipedia has posted pictures of the prophet pbuh, there is nothing wrong with those pictures, in most of them he is preaching something. But the main point here is that muslim don't like to draw any of the prophets, be it jesus or moses or noah ! When hollywood movies are made on moses and jesus muslims dont like them either. If somebody draws something offensive about jesus muslims are offended. Muslims believe in all prophets, while mohammad SAW being the last. Yes they are serious about their religon. but why is it considered so bad ? Does Christianity support the current western culture? Was sleeping around considered a good thing during old times? NO! no religon support things that are happening in the west, and a good christian over there will only be a good Christian if he is able to follow his religon throughly and if someone says something against god or his prophet in front of him he will be offended. We muslims are just a bit closer to our religon, christianity came 610 years before islam, may be in the 610 years most muslims will also not care about such things, but right now they do and therefore should be respected! Thanks!!!

  25. 25
    wizzzz

    Cont. i do agree that violence is not an answer, but then just stop messing with muslims feelings. Have you ever heard that a muslim community has decided to draw pictures of buddha to offend monks? or to offend Hindus by making fun of their half elephant half monkey gods? no ! Let the religons be alone! And dont let me even get started on freedom of speech after banning hijab in europe… Roaming around naked is not offensive but covering your body is ? which religon does not support modesty of women ? .. I think if pakistan banned facebook there is nothing wrong with it.! Its just like when some movies are banned is some countries, and to muslims its banned because its offensive to our beliefs. I think porn should also be banned since its mostly accessed by the under aged. and no banning porn would not mean we are fundamentalists or terrorists… how many opposition groups are there against gay marriage in america and all over the world? does supporting it makes one liberal and not supporting makes one radical ? No ! no religion has ever allowed gay culture!!! those supporting and practicing are just less religious!! I plead the west to stop such activities.. Because it just promoting hatred. Right now may be alot of muslims hate the US for wars against killing innocent muslims in the region, but i have never ever met a single person during my stay in Kansas City who was rude to me . The local church even allowed us to pray and hold events. I was and still am impressed. And was happy to see many natives that were against the war that US has started. Lets not do stuff that will ignite hatred among the common men!

  26. 26
    Martin

    Wizzzz: i do agree that violence is not an answer, but then just stop messing with muslims feelings.Wizzzz, here is where you miss the boat. Muslims' feelings are their own problem. When you say "if you don't want violence then don't hurt their feelings," you're blaming the victims. It's like saying, "I agree that rape is bad, but then just stop wearing short skirts." My feelings are horribly offended when I see Christian fundamentalists in America undermining education, or oppressing gays and lesbians. But I don't respond to these things with violence against Christians, because I'm a rational, moral man who considers violence irrational and immoral. I'd rather wage my wars on the battlefield of ideas and information.No one, and I mean no one — Christian, Muslim, atheist — is born with some kind of birthright ensuring them that they get to go through life expecting nobody anywhere to say or do anything at all that offends them at any time. The world is full of people who are not like you, who believe different things and have different ideas and tastes. No one has to please you or cater to you.If Muslims do not believe in drawing pictures of prophets, then that's their privilege. But I am not a Muslim, and therefore I am under no obligation to follow their rules. Muslims simply do not have the right to inflict violence on non-Muslims for failing to follow the rules of Islam. I am not Muslim, Islam's rules do not apply to me, and that is that.I admire your statement "Lets not do stuff that will ignite hatred among the common men!" But what non-Muslims want is more than platitudes. The Muslim world really has to address the culture of violence that, whether you like it or not, has come to be identified with Islam. Fix that, and 98% of the mistrust and fear and hatred the Islamic world sees directed towards it from the West will evaporate. We can talk all you want about 9/11 and the Iraq War and bad American foreign policy alienating the Arab world. But it's still the case that nothing justified 9/11, nothing justified the murder of Theo van Gogh, nothing justifies the recent attempted Times Square bombing, and nothing justifies trying to kill cartoonists for drawing stupid cartoons. Muslims cannot demand respect from the West for their beliefs until acts of radical Islamist violence are firmly dealt with by Muslims.For the record, I lived in Dubai as a child and have known and interacted with peace-loving Muslims on their own turf. And I can say (in those days at least) you could not have found a friendlier and more delightful group of people to spend time with. I'm sure that today, the peace-loving Muslims are still the majority, and I wish more Americans could get to know them as I have. If America sees peaceful Muslims doing more to stamp out the perpetrators of violence, I'm sure this can happen.

  27. 27
    Lukas

    @FaheemThanks for your comments. You seem to be a bit more level-headed than some and so you're not the kind I really have a problem with. A few remarks on your post:Please those people does no represent what islam says. Please dont make a image of islam based on few thousand people act of stupidity.I am well aware that the fanatics do not represent all muslims. I have spoken several times with a muslims in my local area and while I disagree with him on the existence of god, he seems otherwise quite reasonable, calm and civilized.I will not allow the actions of some to color my view of the whole.This is not IslamI can't help but think that you should be telling this to the fundamentalists, not us. It comes quite close to a "no true scotsman" argument. At the end of the day, they call themselves muslims. It's not my place to tell them that they're not.Someone mentioned about banning facebook up there. Pal, It was all done due to double standard of their polices. We made few groups few weeks back and those were all closed …Where is then ours freedom of speechFreedom of speech does not extend to using privately owned outlets. I agree that this sometimes leads to unfair treatment, but there is no freedom of speech when posting on a site owned by someone else.So thats what one group which is largest one requesting to not to do that draw thingy bcz it hurts someone feeling. We are asking that, not saying that we will kill you. So what u say about this?See, this is something else. If a person were to politely ask me to not do something because it would make them uncomfortable, I would most likely respect that (within reason). Unfortunately, it only takes one idiot to ruin a party. Once some people have begun the threats and violence, respect becomes impossible.

  28. 28
    Ing

    "Just a quick word from your sponsor: Faheem is welcome here to state his views, and those of you who wish to disagree with him, please stay on message and away from nastiness and flamethrowing, okay? I'll be monitoring this discussion closely and will wield the Loving Mallet of Correction as I deem fit. We now return you to your regularly scheduled comment thread."I can't respond to him cause I can't slog through the 3 part LOLcat response.

  29. 29
    Martin

    Come on, Ing. English isn't his first language and you know it. I suspect his English is a lot better than our Arabic (or whatever he speaks).

  30. 30
    Ing

    "Have you ever heard that a muslim community has decided to draw pictures of buddha to offend monks?"I have heard Muslim newspapers having contests on mocking the holocaust. "No ! no religion has ever allowed gay culture"You know, for preaching about how we have to be tolerant and respect you, you in one sentence just whizzed any respect I'd have for your stupid religion. You're entitled to free speech and your own opinions, but not your own facts. Bitching about being so marginalized then in the same breath bashing another minority is beneath contempt. For reference I'm going to do a belated Mohammad, but mostly because I want to do a awesome depiction using the head engulfed in flames trope Muslims used for drawing him. "I think if pakistan banned facebook there is nothing wrong with it.! Its just like when some movies are banned is some countries, and to muslims its banned because its offensive to our beliefs"what amazing hypocrisy! Europe is wrong for banning the Muslim garb because Europeans find it offensive to women, but the Muslims are free to ban anything that might offend their beliefs. I am trying to think of the nicest way to say it, but…to heck with your beliefs. The problem is that you ban everything that might be offensive. You're so afraid of being contradicted, or offended, or even to have another POV represented that you ban. You block out the rest of the world because you're so terrified of it. No what you need is not to be coddled and not offended, you NEED to be offended. You need to have your beliefs challenged just like everyone else in the world's are. You need to see the complaints people have, you need to see other philosophies and points of view. What you don't need is to be cloistered inside your little censorship shell. Is Islam so weak it can't stand in the face of art or literature? Is the prophet so weak that he needs his followers to slaughter people due to offending him? No one even says WHY depicting the prophet is so offensive to Muslims, why it is so wrong apparently. All you say is that it's offensive. Do you know why? What do you care about what we even think? Isn't the fact that the prophet will judge us and we're not in his favor enough? The problem isn't that you're offended, the problem is that you're terrified of the idea that people disagree. The arab world was once the shining beacon of hope for civilization, and because of fundamentalist Islam it was lapped by the west who at the time were wallowing in their own plague infested filth. This philosophy has done more harm to your culture than any offensive picture we do could.

  31. 31
    JT

    Respect has to be earned. It's not an intrinsic attribute to be given.Christianity has about 2010 years of antirespect to account for, and counting, before its out of the red. Islam is just doing a good job lately of racking up the respect debt faster, lately.I do believe this whole drawing-Mohammad thing requires mockery as an antidote.

  32. 32
    Ing

    "Come on, Ing. English isn't his first language and you know it. I suspect his English is a lot better than our Arabic (or whatever he speaks)."I was referring to the odd decision to truncate it with txt spk and u an all thse words while still using 3 posts. Either be brief or be verbose, don't try to split the difference.

  33. 33
    wizzzz

    I have heard Muslim newspapers having contests on mocking the holocaust.No i have not heard about such a news paper. About blowing up statues of budha in Afghanistan, well the west did perform a military operation over there killing thousands of innocent people. Europe is wrong for banning the Muslim garb because Europeans find it offensive to women, but the Muslims are free to ban anything that might offend their beliefs. Europeans find it offensive to Muslim women?. I think nobody is enforcing Muslim women to wear the garb and neither are the Muslims enforcing or even asking non Muslims women to wear it. A culture that talks about freedom of speech to the extend that they can make of anyone or anything but you have a problem with how people dress up?Who is more hypocrite i will leave that judgement to you!And about banning something in a particular country i just cannot understand the problem with that! I mean a lot of things are allowed in Amsterdam but are not allowed in most of the other western/European countries. It makes Amsterdam the most liberal and rest of the countries fundamentalist? No one even says WHY depicting the prophet is so offensive to Muslims, why it is so wrong apparently. All you say is that it's offensive. Do you know why?It is offensive because we still follow and respect our religion, further it is not allowed in Islam to make pictures of living object or objects that were once alive. Drawing of scenery and other stuff is allowed. But since the depictions are being made by non Muslims but the fact that they are making fun of our beloved prophet and publishing it over the is offensive. Whatever you people think is up to you and it is because of the events and your personal understanding of the subject. I Assume it is mainly driven by media campaigns. Besides the banning of Facebook was not a violent act. Most of the people who were supporting the ban of Facebook were the literate people. And it was banned after continuously reporting to Facebook the page as abusive. The idea was to cut down revenue Facebook generates from this part of the world. The only reason i have posted here is because if i can make one person understand that it is offensive and it will result in nothing but hatred between the common people. Even after the war in Iraq/Afghanistan and the operation in Pakistan people generally dont hate general western public. Because people believe that whatever is happening it is happening because of the corruption in our own system and biased policies of the western leaders. World peace is only possible if we as general public respect each others beliefs so that tomorrow when our children become the leaders they handle things differently. Thank You and sorry is i have offended any one in this thread. Yes English is not my first language. My First language is Urdu :)

  34. 34
    Martin

    Ing: Well, I'm considering the possibility that many of those words he honestly didn't know how to spell, being a non-native speaker.Wizzzz: You haven't offended any of us, and you're welcome here to speak your mind. But just to make it clear: We do understand that the drawings are offensive to Muslims. But — and this is the important point — if it were not for the fact that there have been numerous instances of Muslims making violent threats, and in some cases carrying out those threats with deadly results, then there never would have been a "Draw Mohammed" Day. The point is not simply to be offensive to Muslims, but to make a stand against some members of your faith who feel they are justified in violent reactions. There are those in the Islamic world who think they can silence and control the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims through threats of violence, and we aim to show them that they don't have the right to do that. Remember, as much as those drawings may offend you or any other Muslim, the very worst one of the bunch never killed anyone. Knives, guns and bombs wielded in anger do.

  35. 35
    Mark B

    Wizzz: "Besides the banning of Facebook was not a violent act."But it was coercive, in that it is a resource available to any adult in the world (with internet access) who is interested, but now Pakistanis, even those who might not agree with the fundamentalists, cannot access it. That's a use of force in my book.

  36. 36
    Afterthought_btw

    As a European (Englishman), could someone please tell me why so many people are getting away with wearing the Burkha if it is illegal?I think that it is absolutely disgraceful that these Muslims are getting away with so flagrantly breaking the law.Wizzzz – the Burkha is NOT banned here. In the recent general election, in fact, two parties had in their manifestos that they would ban the Burkha – one that they would ban it completely, and the other that they would ban it in public places.Neither party gained a single seat at the general election.You are speaking nonsense.

  37. 37
    Lukas

    @whizzzzAbout blowing up statues of budha in Afghanistan, well the west did perform a military operation over there killing thousands of innocent people.Two things:1) As the link shows, the destruction of the statues took place long before the invasion of Afghanistan.Are you referring to some other military operation?2) Regardless of timing, your comment makes no sense. Are you seriously suggesting that the correct response to a foreign attack is to destroy one of your own, priceless, irreplaceable monuments?It's like saying that in response to 9-11, America should have demolished the Empire State building as well. That'll show those terrorists.Europe is wrong for banning the Muslim garb because Europeans find it offensive to women, but the Muslims are free to ban anything that might offend their beliefs…Who is more hypocrite i will leave that judgement to you!I'll agree that the European rules are hypocritical. How does that change the fact that the Pakistani banning of Facebook is a restriction of freedom?It sounds like you're saying that it's not bad simply because Pakistan is very open about its totalitarian tendencies.It makes Amsterdam the most liberal and rest of the countries fundamentalist? The word "Fundamentalist" has a clear meaning, referring to religious extremists, especially those with scriptural literalist views.Being conservative does not necessarily mean that you're a fundamentalist. Small point perhaps, but still.It is offensive because we still follow and respect our religion, further it is not allowed in Islam to make pictures of living object or objects that were once alive. Drawing of scenery and other stuff is allowed.Again, why?What exactly is the reason for this rule? What do you hope to accomplish by following it?Most of the people who were supporting the ban of Facebook were the literate people … The idea was to cut down revenue Facebook generates from this part of the world. Again, couldn't this have been done through a voluntary boycott? Why the need for such heavy-handed measures?Why is it so important that NO ONE in Pakistan (not just those who are offended) be able to view those pages?

  38. 38
    Ing

    "No i have not heard about such a news paper. About blowing up statues of budha in Afghanistan, well the west did perform a military operation over there killing thousands of innocent people. "Great, so since Muslims did 9-11 I'm allowed to do lesser crimes to Muslims? Good that's my excuse for drawing the prophet as the rear end of a donkey, Muslims preform terrorist acts.

  39. 39
    Ing

    "Thank You and sorry is i have offended any one in this thread. Yes English is not my first language"You don't have to NOT offend anyone, you just have to accept being offended back. That's the point!

  40. 40
    Tom Foss

    First, Faheem, I want to thank you for dropping by and engaging in a civil manner. We often decry the silence of moderate religious people–Muslim, Christian, or otherwise–regarding the actions and claims of vocal, violent extremists, so it's always nice to have a moderate breaking that silence, even if we'd all like to see more public outcry. It does mean that if you are not careful about this subject you run the very real risk of making it racial rather then religious.Agreed. We should remember that believers of any religion come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and nationalities. I generally think (or hope) you'll find that this community of atheists is more concerned with the specific claims of religions and actions of believers than with where those believers come from or what they look like. This is not Islam.Here's the problem, Faheem, and it's a problem you share with moderate Christians: we're on the outside. We have no grounds to say "the people who belong to Group A are true Muslims/Christians, and the people who belong to Group B are not true Muslims/Christians." All we have to go on is what each group says about themselves. You say that the violent extremists "[are] not Islam," and that's a fine position to take. But I bet if we asked them, they'd say that you and other moderate Muslims are "not Islam," and that they have the true interpretation of scripture. We hear the same from Christians all the time–liberal believers claim that the right-wing nuts are wrong, and the right-wing nuts say the same about the liberal believers. It's certainly useful to remind outsiders that the extremists don't speak for or represent everyone, but what moderate believers of any religion need to do is remind the extremists of that point. The only reason that outsiders might get the impression that all Muslims or all Christians are violent theocratic xenophobes is because the moderates and liberals aren't vocal enough in their disapproval of the extremists. Pal u r totally wrong here. Just bcz of ur anger, u r quoting something from the history out of the context. U have no knowledge of the background of it.This is another claim that we often hear from religious believers regarding specific religious stories (for instance, many Christians will justify the Bible's endorsement of slavery by saying that it was a different time or a different context). Please feel free to explain the context or where we're mistaken, but I don't know if there's any context that would justify to us the consummation of marriage with a 9- or 10-year-old child.

  41. 41
    Lukas

    This is important enough to bear repeating:You don't have to NOT offend anyone, you just have to accept being offended back. That's the point!

  42. 42
    J S Brown

    @Martin I know that's a favorite phrase of yours, but I haven't "spectacularly missed the point." Clearly murder is far more offensive than words or images. I didn't say otherwise. It's ridiculous to suggest that I can't object to anyone's actions until it's as offensive as murder.I expressed my dissatisfaction with some of the participants. Many of the examples I saw on Facebook went beyond simply showing that people have the freedom to depict the Islamic prophet. A simple stick figure labeled "Muhammad" would suffice, though free expression allows anyone to draw anything. I understand this. My point is that it isn't necessary to go as far as many people did to make the point.It seems, to me, that an event was / is in danger of being hijacked by Islamophobes and racists who use it as an opportunity to attack Islam. If that is the message the extremist Muslims take from this, the intention will have been lost.

  43. 43
    Martin

    But JS, another point about the whole free speech thing is that when someone says, "I think you've gone as far as you need to go to make your point, you don't need to go any farther," you can still keep going. Naturally, you're also free to dislike what they do and condemn it. You have the appropriate response to not liking something, which is expressing your disapproval. Violence is not the appropriate response. If Islamists didn't have such a reputation for over-the-top violence, it's possible the drawings wouldn't be so offensive as they are.

  44. 44
    J S Brown

    @Martin I think it's actually the same point. Yes! -they can all go as far as they choose with it. I certainly hope I haven't alluded to limiting anyone's freedom in that way. If so, it wasn't my intention.

  45. 45
    Ing

    It seems, to me, that an event was / is in danger of being hijacked by Islamophobes and racists who use it as an opportunity to attack Islam. If that is the message the extremist Muslims take from this, the intention will have been lost."I've given up on trying to think we can show a kind accepting west to the Muslim world. It seems like that if they take offense to a cartoon than the nicest of criticisms are seen as attacks. it's not about the cartoons ANYTHING against Islam is going to be viewed at the same level as baby rape to some. It may be me revealing some 'bigotry' or 'racism' but i'm kind of tired of the western world apologizing to the muslims for our way of life. We're the ones who have to go out of our way to let them know we respect THEIR traditions. We can't openly call the Burkas out for their mysoginist subtext. WE have to be multi-cultural. Meanwhile the arab world is amongst the most intolerant, unacceptable governments and nations we have. Why do WE have to be careful with our free speech while they call western women whores and sluts and slur us as agents of Satan. Fuck that. If they want to be civil the net has to be up for both serve and return.

  46. 46
    Frits

    It seems, to me, that an event was / is in danger of being hijacked by Islamophobes and racists who use it as an opportunity to attack Islam. If that is the message the extremist Muslims take from this, the intention will have been lost."I've given up on trying to think we can show a kind accepting west to the Muslim world. It seems like that if they take offense to a cartoon than the nicest of criticisms are seen as attacks. it's not about the cartoons ANYTHING against Islam is going to be viewed at the same level as baby rape to some. It may be me revealing some 'bigotry' or 'racism' but i'm kind of tired of the western world apologizing to the muslims for our way of life. We're the ones who have to go out of our way to let them know we respect THEIR traditions. We can't openly call the Burkas out for their mysoginist subtext. WE have to be multi-cultural. Meanwhile the arab world is amongst the most intolerant, unacceptable governments and nations we have. Why do WE have to be careful with our free speech while they call western women whores and sluts and slur us as agents of Satan. Fuck that. If they want to be civil the net has to be up for both serve and return.Ing though I can understand the sentiment and I share it tbh, I think that's just too simplistic a way of looking at it. apart from the arabian peninsula most arab nations have secular dictorships in place. These worry about islamists too. The regimes are generally corrupt and political opposition is kept to a minimum. The islamist movements are an attractive opposition movement since it harangues the state for it's unfairness and corruption whilst appealing to religion and piety to replace to make things better. Then there is the the fact that the leaders of those countries can and do use religious fervour against outsiders (i.e. the west) as a distraction of their own failings. This is not to say that we shouldn't be able to criticize them, but tbh you won't be able to that effectively unless you understand the underlying mechanisms. Now I am not an expert on these social workings by any means, I have read enough on the subject, to realize that it is very complex matter, that simply have no simple solution. I'm not saying we shouldn't do anything about it, I think we should choose our battles with care to make sure they actually have a positive rather then a negative effect

  47. 47
    ProteusIQ

    Why are we so workout! If Atheism is true the "Drawing Muhammad Day …" is as Dawkin's say "at bottom, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference" which is absurd.If Atheism is true then, no big deal, Atheist and Theist are just "nothing but blind pitiless indifference" Dawkin's Self-Deluded Logic Dawkin Discussion site is no different to same Islamic militant " You write anything to do with Dawkin, The Muhammand of some Atheist" You are out! Banned.I hope you guys allow free thinking :)

  48. 48
    Ing

    "Why are we so workout! If Atheism is true the "Drawing Muhammad Day …" is as Dawkin's say "at bottom, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference" which is absurd.If Atheism is true then, no big deal, Atheist and Theist are just "nothing but blind pitiless indifference"Dawkin's Self-Deluded LogicDawkin Discussion site is no different to same Islamic militant " You write anything to do with Dawkin, The Muhammand of some Atheist" You are out! Banned.I hope you guys allow free thinking :)"Once again in English?

  49. 49
    Sparrowhawk

    I think Proteus is trying to say that if we're right about not believing in god, then Draw Mohammed Day amounts to nothing anyway? I'm not really sure what he means by "if Atheism is true" though. I'm not sure how the rejection of a claim based on lack of evidence can be "true" or not, but I think he means if there's really no god.Also, I think Proteus is missing the point. This doesn't have to do with whether or not god exists or religious doctrines are true or not. This has to do with whether or not certain adherents of a religion have a right to dictate to non-adherents what they can and cannoy say about their religion.As for his comments about the Dawkins boards, I think he's trying to say that theists get banned/censored there, which I highly doubt.

  50. 50
    Kazim

    As for his comments about the Dawkins boards, I think he's trying to say that theists get banned/censored there, which I highly doubt.I believe it. Some boards and blogs are free-for-all debates for just about anyone who wants to join and isn't moderated for any specific reason. This blog and Ray Comfort's (to his credit, I think) are such places.On the other hand, many boards just don't want to foster that kind of troll-happy environment. They set themselves up as a discussion among like minded people, and they keep it on that footing. Another blog I visit frequently, Daily Kos, explicitly says that they are a liberal site and would rather foster a community of like-minded individuals than a shouting match.I don't mind that. Both types of environments are interesting to me, but it depends on my mood. I don't feel that board moderation in any way constitutes a free speech violation; message boards and communities are more like private clubs than public squares, and it's at the discretion of the administrators to decide what kind of place they want. If Dawkins or the moderator over there wants a place where only atheists can chat, then so be it.

  51. 51
    Ian

    I thought, though, that Jeff was going to draw Mohammad along with RPG stats, so we could battle against him. I must confess I was disappointed that this never ended up happening :-(

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