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May 24 2010

An Islamic response to drawing Mohammed

Via Rationalists: Some Muslims decided that the best response to everybody drawing Mohammed was to start an “everyone draw the holocaust” day.

Which is dumb. It’s not even that offensive (says the token Jew on the blogging team). I mean sure, it’s in poor taste, but considering that it’s an attempt to shock and horrify, I think it falls far short. The thing is, there is no specific religious injunction against drawing murdered Jews.

In fact, here’s how stupid it is: Jews themselves have certainly done more to draw attention to the holocaust than Muslims are doing now. There’s a holocaust museum founded by Jews in the United States. There’s another one in Israel. There has been great literature based on the holocaust, and many excellent movies, even comedies even comedies*. Yes, really! Tons of famous photographs, and several Choose Your Own Adventure books for crying out loud.

The point is, Jews aren’t trying to stop you from showing scenes from the Holocaust. As an attempt to respond in kind, it’s an utter flop. It isn’t breaking a religious taboo. At worst, it’s just being kind of a dick.

Now arguably, you could say that those of us who chose to draw Mohammed were also dicks. But so what? Isn’t that kind of the point? We don’t contest anyone’s right to be a dick. We support their free speech. We just think they’re wrong.

* The struck out link is a clip from “The Great Dictator” starring Charlie Chaplin. Since it was correctly pointed out that Chaplin was making fun of Nazis before the holocaust occurred, I’ve added an alternate (and equally hilarious) clip from the original “Producers” by Mel Brooks. This link is more appropriate anyway — Chaplin, while attacked with rumors that he was Jewish, was baptised and probably agnostic. Mel Brooks, on the other hand, was and is a big old loud and proud Jew.

36 comments

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  1. 1
    Ing

    I approve of them doing this…maybe when they see the zero reaction from the rest of the world they'll start to realize how off the handle they are.

  2. 2
    Spoondoggle

    I wonder how many death threats they'll receive in response to this… I wonder if it'll reach 3.No matter their intent though, it seems like it can only be a good thing – seeing cartoons mocking genocide compared with cartoons mocking a guy with a beard… perhaps the moderates will start to see how shattered the psyches of the rest are.(And anything that reminds us of the horrors of history stand as a warning to never repeat them, no matter how they present it.)

  3. 3
    kisarita

    Although it falls short also a specifically anti semitic gesture, as an image with special significance to Jews. If they wanted to create a true parallel they would have drawn pictures of Jesus. Oh, wait, Christians would not find that insulting, they do it all the time themselves. And Michelangelo beat them long ago to Moses and David.

  4. 4
    skepticmatt

    Another good holocaust movie is God on Trial it originally aired on Masterpiece Contemporary and didn’t get a lot of press, but it’s a very good movie and if you want to watch it for free online, you can do so here.

  5. 5
    Bulletproofheeb

    You know who's going to get offended? All of the 6 million blacks, gypsies, homosexuals and political dissidents who's people were also killed but not specifically "victimized" by Everybody Draw the Holocaust Day. If they're going to pick a historical event they should really learn about it before parading it about to be controversial.

  6. 6
    Ben

    It doesn't make a bit of sense. The Holocaust is an event considered (not only by Jews) abominable and obscene. So… is Mohammed likewise abominable and obscene?Someone didn't do very well on the analogies portion of the SAT.

  7. 7
    paavo happonen

    the great dictator doesn't really belong in that list..it was made before the war and chaplin himself said if he had known of the holocaust the film would have been greatly differentanything sarah silverman has ever done however…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6E9sJ6B-u8

  8. 8
    eimerian

    What troubles me is the Holocaust-denialism angle on this.This is NOT just merely "Ok they made fun of our prophet, now we make fun of a something that offends them." which would be stupid but I could at least understand where they are coming from.The point in "everyone draw the holocaust" day obviously is to question whether the Shoah actually happened.Quote from the groups description: "We are here to reflect about the foundational myth of the secular cult."Myth? Really?

  9. 9
    Gerusz

    This is just like the "revenge cartoon" in the second part of "Cartoon Wars" in South Park. Childish, petty, ineffective. Also, pathetic.

  10. 10
    Strangelove

    My reaction is the usual one: if you have to invoke the holocaust to make your argument you've already lost.

  11. 11
    aMulliganStew

    Dumb, maybe; but it's a helluva lot better that threatening death. And it is an attempt to get people to look at things from their side. You are right in that is misses the mark, but let's not overlook that fact that someone over there is making an effort.

  12. 12
    BeamStalk

    I am so utterly offended that I wanna go and ki… wait, no I am not offended nor do I even want to harm or yell at anyone over this.

  13. 13
    AZ Superman01

    I'm not sure if this is an attempt to deny the holocaust, or an attempt to showcase Nazis as an "evil atheist regime."What would be interesting to see is a mix of the two: Cartoons depicting "evil atheists" plotting to fake the genocide… for whatever reason. But I don't expect anyone to be that creative.

  14. 14
    March Hare

    I have no doubt some Christian will take offence on behalf of the Jews and call this a hate crime or anti-Semitic (which Christianity and Islam fundamentally are!) and call for arrests or protests, probably on Fox.

  15. 15
    ThatAtheistChick

    @Strangelove You took the words out of my mouth, man. The fact that invoking the Holocaust is the best they can do, is laughable.

  16. 16
    grammar king

    More than just the holocaust denial aspect of this (watch Germany btw, Holocaust denial is illegal there and I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to get themselves arrested for a persecution angle), I'm surprised that they seem to be describing the Holocaust as an 'atheist myth'. What's atheist about it?

  17. 17
    Joshua

    There's a minimally valid point here. The European laws against Holocaust denial are a restriction on free speech.That said, there are two obvious differences: First, no one is threatening to kill Holocaust deniers. Second, it isn't at all clear how the Holocaust is connected. This person must think that draw Muhammad day came from the grand controlling Zionist Jew conspiracy. Of course, we have much better things to do with our time. Now pardon me, I've got to go manipulate gold prices a bit more.

  18. 18
    Afterthought_btw

    Grammar king I assume it's an atheist myth, because it is a myth made up about atheists?I find myself agreeing with everyone above, but also find it odd that they are claiming 'The difference is that you draw Lies about Muhammad and we draw Truth about you.'So merely drawing Muhammad is a lie? O.oI suspect this has been set up by someone who has been told DMD was all about insulting Muhammad, rather than protecting our own freedom of speech.Can't be too surprised that they didn't actually do any research judging by the rest of the claims.

  19. 19
    DavidCT

    Why single out the Jews? Maybe the muslims should try to draw a picture of a typical atheist. Oh- nobody knows what one looks like. See that would be exactly like a picture of Mo.

  20. 20
    Afterthought_btw

    Joshua, as an Englishman – lumping all of Europe together like that makes me cringe.As far as I know, Germany is the only European country to forbid holocaust denial.Whilst I disagree with it, I'm sure everyone would also agree that it is a little different to religious prohibitions such as drawing Muhammad.

  21. 21
    tracieh

    It's funny because it makes no sense whatsoever. As has been pointed out–the Holocaust is not sacred, and anyone may depict it. What makes them think drawing the Holocaust is offensive? I guess if you made jokes in your depiction? But even then…1. Nobody cares if you do it, you just look like a dullard.and2. As someone else asked…why "Jews"? Did the Jews secretly organize Draw Mohammed Day? Do they think atheists care if one religion insults another? WTF? Haha! Too stupid.Epic FAIL and way to make yourselves look ridiculous. The point of DMD seems to have sailed straight over their heads with plenty of room to spare!

  22. 22
    Robert Morane

    You all seem to be missing the point, which is to attack something that is taboo in the West: the Jews. The point is to create the same indignation in the West as the attack at Muhammad is creating in their cultures. Attacking Jesus Christ wouldn't work, because our countries are secular, and the West, apart from the US, is highly non religious. The Jews are pretty much all they've got! Remember that in many countries in Europe, revisionism is a crime and is punishable by jail time. So the logic is, if in spite of free speech we criminalize all criticism of the Holocaust, then the Holocaut must be pretty taboo (which it is).

  23. 23
    Kevin

    "2. As someone else asked…why "Jews"? Did the Jews secretly organize Draw Mohammed Day? Do they think atheists care if one religion insults another? WTF? Haha! Too stupid."I was similarly confused at first and then I saw the Facebook page. "From the tens of millions massacred by the Atheist Soviet regime"Its the Expelled like propaganda that atheism is a cause for genocide. That DMD is somehow going to get a ball rolling that will lead to the persecution of Muslims and that they should be perceived as the victim. Epic fail indeed.

  24. 24
    Guillaume

    Are they equating Mohammed with six millions of innocent victims? Is Mohammad like those Jews, but also homosexuals who were murdered by Nazis? So Mohammad shares something with them, anyway there is certainly an analogy the Muslim fundies are making here.

  25. 25
    Wired For Sound

    Equivocating something silly and harmless (drawing a picture of Mohammed) with something horrifying, brutal, and real (The Holocaust) is just the type of pathetic and morally bankrupt response you would expect from brainwashed religious zealots.

  26. 26
    Ing

    "You all seem to be missing the point, which is to attack something that is taboo in the West: the Jews. The point is to create the same indignation in the West as the attack at Muhammad is creating in their cultures. Attacking Jesus Christ wouldn't work, because our countries are secular, and the West, apart from the US, is highly non religious. The Jews are pretty much all they've got! Remember that in many countries in Europe, revisionism is a crime and is punishable by jail time. So the logic is, if in spite of free speech we criminalize all criticism of the Holocaust, then the Holocaut must be pretty taboo (which it is)."The Jews have well insulated themselves from any mocking with a shield of self deprecating humor. When it comes to that the jews are like the Borg, Attacking them like this will only make them stronger!

  27. 27
    Joshua

    Afterthought, yes sorry for just saying European. I should have been more specific. (Incidentally Germany isn't the only country with such laws. Austria, Belgium, France, Israel and Poland have such laws.)

  28. 28
    I Am The Scum

    During the height of the "Everybody Draw Muhammed" controversy, I would often take a peek at the discussion section of said Facebook page. The phrase "9/11" was brought up a few times. None of it was ever very constructive. When it was a non-Muslim raising the issue, it was to somehow tarnish all Muslims with the actions of the hijackers. When it was a Muslim pointing out the attacks, it was sometimes to point out that those guys were not "true Muslims."But there was an interesting phenomenon in this regard, which ties into this topic. More often than you would think, a Muslim would attempt to distract from their perceived fanatical association by deflecting the issue and blaming someone else for the atrocity. Yup, 9/11 was actually done by the Jews.

  29. 29
    George From NY

    "We are here to reflect about the foundational myth of the secular cult."Myth? Really?The dirty little not-so-secret secret of Holocaust Deniers is that they know full well that it happened – they just don't think it went far enough.They're not looking for evidence; they're looking for an encore.

  30. 30
    Ing

    @GeorgeYup, every skin head seems to have the opinion "The holocaust never happened…AND IT WAS TOTALLY BITCHIN!"

  31. 31
    tracieh

    Thanks Kevin.I'm still confused though. If the point is that atheists killed the Jews (which is sounds like they're saying?) why would we care if someone mocked the event? I mean, making fun of Crusade victims, I wouldn't think would offend the Crusaders…? They're just stupid.Um, Robert:>You all seem to be missing the point, which is to attack something that is taboo in the West: the Jews.Jews aren't taboo in the West. We have them living here. Also, if you think we don't make jokes about them, you're living in a bubble. As Ing points out, some of the people who mock Jews the heaviest, ARE other Jews–such as Mel Brookes and Woody Allen, and any number of Jewish standups…? Did you see the Seinfeld episode where he made out during Shindler's List in the theatre? When did Jews become "taboo"?>The point is to create the same indignation in the West as the attack at Muhammad is creating in their cultures.Impossible. See, in the U.S. we just aren't motivated to kill people over drawings–of anything.>Attacking Jesus Christ wouldn't work, because our countries are secular,Tell that to the Christian nation crowd. Additionally, maybe the Muslims can take a clue from Christians here. If Piss Christ didn't get anyone killed, what's up their asses?>apart from the US, is highly non religiousPlease see my post on the letter to North Ireland's Culture Minister above this one.>The Jews are pretty much all they've got!Then they've got NOTHING. And that's the point. There is no sacred cow to equate with the lunacy they show with regard to drawing Mohammed. That's why this is a FAIL. All they've "got" can't touch their idiotic over-reactions to mocking their religion.>So the logic is, if in spite of free speech we criminalize all criticism of the Holocaust,"We" do? According to you, the US is the only non "highly religious" Western nation–and we don't give a shit if someone mocks the holocaust. We will say they're a dick–perhaps call for a resignation if they're a public figure…but riot in the streets and kill people over it? Unlikely. I can't help what "laws" exist elsewhere. We have dumbass laws in the US as well on occasion; but even a law against slandering the holocaust isn't meant to stop street violence from angry Jews who are murderously bent on silencing deniers. Again: Muslims–take a clue from the Jews here and settle down.>then the Holocaut must be pretty taboo (which it is).Uh, not, it's not. And you haven't demonstrated it is. I even know some "oven" jokes myself. I don't repeat them because I think they're in poor taste–not because I'm afraid Jews will murder me. That's the difference.

  32. 32
    George From NY

    Robert,There are a lot of Muslims who harbor the classic anti-Semitic view of Jews (esp in the West) as being a sinister, string-pulling cabal.So when they reply to drawings of Big Mo with, "Oh yeah? Well we're going to make Holocaust cartoons!" what they're actually doing – or so they think – is challenging these nefarious Zionist puppeteers to show their hand by stopping such images from appearing.There is also the related bigot-trope that our view of the Holocaust as a genuine historical event, sui generis horror and cautionary example of omega-point racism is a delusion; a kind of mass-hypnosis orchestrated by, you guessed it, Jews/Zionists to immunize themselves from scrutiny and criticism.This is such fathomless stupidity that I had trouble even writing that last sentence – but people believe it. And to them, Holocaust-mocking and anti-Semitic caricature in general serves the cause of truth as liberating iconoclasm.

  33. 33
    Gafoor

    Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits(Hindus) were forced out of their homes by occupiers infiltrating from Pakistan. Pakistan continues to export terror into India. We all know how many Americans, Israelis, British and other nationals were brutally killed by Pakistani militants in the Mumbai attacks of 26/11. [Pakistan denies that the attackers of 26/11 mumbai were Pakistani or that they were muslims, even after one of the captured terrorists confessed. Even after India was willing to hand over the tapes of their Pakistani handlers to a neutral country, and even after a Pakistani news agency spoke to the captured terrorist's parents in Faridkot, Pakistan. Isn't this denial, similar to the denial of the holocaust? Isn't this denial similar to the denial that the perpetrators of 9/11 were muslim? Muslims have a talent for making themselves look stupid globaly. We are Stupid!! Inshallah!! Allah hu Akbar!!! burn!! Kill!!! yalayayaallaaa hu hu]Muslims are the only community in the world that have conflicts with Hindus(in India), Buddhists (Buddha statues in Afghanistan, and Bali incidents), Christians (since centuries all over the world), Jews (decreed by the prophet, currently in Palestine), Sikhs (In Punjab), Communists (In Xingxhang province of China by Uighurs), Atheists (Draw muhammad day, Van Gogh), Cartoonists, Fashion designers, Internet portals, News agencies, intelligence agencies…whoa…the list is endless. Why is the rest of the world putting up with the Shit called islam?PS: I don't know if muslims had problems with eskimos …can anybody cite a reference pls.

  34. 34
    6cstd

    I went to the Holocaust Museum when it first opened in Skokie. We even got to meet and talk to someone who was actually in the concentration camp as a child. It is disturbing to imagine what kind of pictures they could draw…maybe it would give them pause for thought.

  35. 35
    George From NY

    Gafoor,Eskimos love Islam.After all, Mohammad was the Seal of the Prophets.THANK YOU! Internet audiences are the best. Try the chicken. Good night!

  36. 36
    George From NY

    6cstd,Such a meeting might not even make a dent.You have to personally experience H-deniers, as I unfortunately have, to realize how unhinged they are.

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