Why I’m not going to draw Mohammed


Because I don’t want to die.

It has become commonplace to hear about people being violently attacked and even targeted for murder for drawing (usually poorly done) cartoons of the Muslim prophet. The Jyllands-Posten cartoon “controversy”, the recent South Park episode that had Matt and Trey receiving death threats… Just look at the most recent case of the cartoonist Vilks, who was attacked at a lecture on free speech and has money on his head:


An al-Qaeda front organisation then offered $US100,000 ($A110,730) to anyone who murdered Vilks – with an extra $US50,000 ($A55,365) if his throat was slit – and $US50,000 ($A55,365) for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.

I personally support Draw Mohammed Day and the various secular student groups that have been partaking so far. I think it’s incredibly important that we support the freedom of speech and not give religious extremists a free pass. Religious rules apply to members of that religion, and forcing those rules on outsiders with violence and murder is not acceptable. It is as if Jews sent death threats to anyone who ate pork products.

But at the same time, I’m going to be a hypocrit and still my pen. Sorry, but I think age 22 is a little too young to die. I’m not in the business of becoming a martyr – and now that my blog has had attention from Boobquake (which already walked the line of annoying Muslims), I’m not going to line up for the firing squad. Of course, calling out Muslim extrimists for being fucking insane about these cartoons probably doesn’t put me in the good.

Oh well. I’ll be ambiguous and leave you with what may or may not be Mohammed. The world will never know:

O>-<

(Via Pharyngula)

Comments

  1. Rob says

    For me, the freedom of speech is a freedom worth dying for.Here is Muhammed the profit. / 00 | `-=-`”I am Muhammed the profit and I am a homosexual.”

  2. DHB says

    I am an atheist who lives by the negative version of The Golden Rule: Do NOT do unto others that which you do NOT want done to you. I think it’s better than the other, more widely-known positive version. Anyway…As a US citizen and a non-Muslim, covered by the First Amendment and not restricted by the Koran, I have all the right in the World to draw a picture of Muhammad doing whatever I think I might like to imagine Muhammad doing, however, I wouldn’t want a Muslim to draw a picture of my sister or mother or any other female member of my family getting screwed by a horse. That would offend me, therefore, I will keep whatever sketches I make (if I ever were to do so) of their prophet private.No sense in throwing Coleman fuel on the fire, y’know?

  3. says

    I think we should form crack squads of atheist bodyguards to protect all our high-profile bloggers and youtubers from fanatics. (Flying around in balloons wearing capes, goggles and katanas. Or something.)More seriously, I understand your point, and I hate that the point exists. We shouldn’t have to be afraid.

  4. Shush388 says

    I would like to feel free to poke a sharp stick into a wasp nest and I while I resent the curtailed freedom imposed on me by the wasps, I feel that discretion is sometimes the better part of valour and I refrain for my own good. One day, perhaps using more oblique methods, the wasps will be calmed or even eradicated, but not by me alone and not using such foolhardy, inflammatory and tokenist methods.

  5. says

    That’s not Mohamed! THIS:~O:-(=is Mohamed!I personally think secular humanists everywhere should issue an ultimatum to religious nutjobs: the ridicule will continue until the killing stops.

  6. says

    When people not just get offended by a drawing, but not only threaten other’s lives but actually resort to murder, then I think we are ethically obligated to ridicule that mentality.This is not about picking on Muslims or any religion, but rather telling them that we won’t stand for any infringement on the freedom of speech. @DHBHonestly, I’m not sure I would care if someone drew a picture of a family member doing anything (and why only female members?). And the picture that started this particular insanity was a badly drawn picture of the head of Mohammed on the body of a dog – no raping of people by animals. The point is that (many, not all) Sunni Muslims think 1) it is inherently disrespectful for ANYONE to portray Mohammed AT ALL and 2) Non-Muslims should be required to follow Muslims rules so Muslims don’t get offended and 3) death threats, fatwas, violence and riots result from an a person drawing a goddamn picture. The difference is DHB, is that you’re not rioting and murdering people over a drawing.That is what’s being protested, and I think drawing more pictures is a perfectly legitimate form of protesting. No idea, ever, deserves respect. Those Muslims who demand that their ideas (religious beliefs) not be criticised and that non-Muslims ought not transgress the doctrines of Islam are wrong. They’re wrong and they need to be told in as many as possible to stop. There’s on one right way to protest idiocy, both conciliatory and in-your-face “offensive” measures are necessary, and everything in between. The same goes for Catholics and Scientologists and Mormons. No one has the right to not be offended. Fucking get over yourself.

  7. says

    What they don’t tell you is that in Mohammed actually looks like Neil Diamond. That’s why they don’t want you depicting him. So be careful if you own 1974’s Serenade album, you might be f*cked.

  8. sbh says

    You know, I actually don’t care about Islam’s prohibition on representing the prophet Mohammad one way or the other; I don’t draw, so it doesn’t really affect me. I do care about their other prohibitions, however–their prohibition on establishing a reliable text of the Qu’ran, for example, and their objections to writing books about the historical Mohammad–a very different figure from the (mostly fictional) prophet Mohammad you read about in comparative religion courses and the like. As long as Western historians (so-called) continue genuflecting to Islamic fairy-tales medieval history cannot be written in any meaningful sense, and that, I think, is a shame. And that’s why I do intend to take part (in some way) in Everybody Draw Mohammad Day. It’s an empty gesture, but sometimes empty gestures are the only ones worth making.On the other hand, Jen McCreight, I’m with you on your decision. I don’t want you to die either–and I think you’re going to really enjoy Washington. Seriously, good luck.

  9. says

    First, you Jen have already done your bit, take five. Let Westergaard into the throat-cutting line ahead of you. Second, I’m more or less with DHB. That we have a right to do something doesn’t make it wise or expedient. As a hopefully intellectual-type atheist I would tell an Ayatollah to his face that there is no God and consequently Mohammed is not his prophet, but I wouldn’t draw a cartoon of Mohammed as a pig. That’s infantile, and does not reflect well on our side. A cartoon of Mohammed as a political leader, discussing tactics with Abu Bakr and the lads, would be a different matter, see final paragraph. Third, the Danish ruckus was started not by atheists or secularists, of which there were plenty in Denmark, but by fundi Christians. It was continued here in Norway by the same kind, one being from my city, I met his wife. We don’t want to be associated with them. Trust me on this. And then there are the Danish xenophobes and Aryanists, who are very strong. They want to do ethnic cleansing. The atmosphere for both Muslims and any people of colour is not pleasant in Denmark any more. Again, we don’t want to be associated with them. Fourth and perhaps most importantly, all these people are running the Leninist method of “the worse it is, the better”. You remember, the revolutionary does terrorism so that the State will “show its true face” and engage in violent repression, which will then be a recruiting-sergeant for the revolution. Works every time. The Danish editors etc. were trying to provoke violent reactions in order to serve their own agenda; the more the Muslims carry on, the better they like it. In the short run it sells newspapers, in the long run it will build public support for forced “repatriation” of Danish citizens and so on and so forth. Another comparison might be Milosevic, who knew perfectly well what would happen when he made his 1989 speech and welcomed it. All you freedom of speech people are here being “useful idiots” for some very sinister characters. Of course there are assholes on the Muslim side too, they need and feed off one another, like Bush and Bin Laden. I like SBH’s point, though. I shall not participate in Everyone Draw Mohammed Day, but if we can have an Everybody Do Medieval History Day, then I’m in.

  10. says

    Jen,Like previous posters have said: you’ve done your part. I’ll be taking part, bolstered by the facts that hundreds of us in my city of Tallahassee will be doing it, and that we’re all relatively obscure people. (Name links to the Facebook group.) Of course, we’ll be watching our own backs, and each others.I want violent extremism to lose a foothold that day.

  11. dj357 says

    While I understand your retiscence in wanting not to invoke death threats from the Muslims you have already annoyed, I find it hard to believe that you are only willing to stand up for what is right up to as far as it would involve hypothetical threats upon your person. I share your concerns that I would not want to have my life ended at 23 simply for expressing my view upon the insanity and inanity that is Islam and its proponents. However, in being of sound enough mind to even question the veracity of Islams claims in the first place, you have already put yourself in the line of fire. Having brought Boobquake about, you have already kicked the sleeping dog of Muslim hatred. To back down now would only betray the commitment you have to the truth and what is right. I totally respect your right to refrain from comment or action, and I hope I am not seen to be accusing you of cowardice, but to say, in essence, “I will make fun of this Imam because he’s insane, completely wrong, and his views are dangerous to the health and sanity of the world, and my comments will bear no real weight on the issue BUT I wouldn’t dare do the same should my comments be likely to illicit a threat of violence” is to say, to the Muslim world, that if you make enough threats, people will shut up and stop questioning your version of the truth. By not taking every opportunity to stand up to threats of violence we are encouraging them and we are giving them free-reign to continue their abuses.With all due respect, if you do not stand against these threats, you are both undoing all the great work Boobquake has done for skeptical and rational thought and simultaneously undermining the values upon which they stand.To the other commentators who say that while we have every right to depict Mohammed however we wish, it is not tactful or reasonable to do so in a deliberately offensive way: yes, you’re right. But you fail to include in your reasoning the fact that even mild mannered depictions of the ‘prophet’ result in death threats, and while it is distasteful to poke the wasps nest with intent, the wasps have threatened us with fatal violence for simply having a picnic in their vicinity and, unlike real wasps, they are not likely to simply leave us alone. Muslims who threaten violence need to be shown, through force of will alone, that no one will stand for their cowardice and idiocy when they dare to threaten our lives and inflict harm upon people with their fear tactics.

  12. says

    What I find offensive is that you say you don’t want to die because you’re 22. Let me tell you my friend, the prospect of shuffling off this mortal coil does not become a rosier prospect as one gets older. Hmmmm… this comes off as a rant as against being funny and I intended it to be funny. Meh? I’ll try again. I fully support your not getting killed. There, I think that’s a bit better.http://laughinginpurgatory.blo

  13. hn says

    I was thinking about forming “The Institute for Blaspheming”, which would focus on ridiculing all religions and religious people (equally).We could disguise it as art, but basically it’s some hedonistic atheist trolling of religions. All that respect kinda got to their heads…

  14. says

    As someone who can’t draw at all, the best I could do would be a stick figure. Something tells me that wouldn’t be worth much rage.

  15. says

    even mild mannered depictions of the ‘prophet’ result in death threats really? Can you source that? I know that most Muslims would disapprove of say a drawing of Mohammed judging a dispute, but it’s news to me that they would want to kill the person who did it. Are you saying perhaps that it was wrong to draw Mohammed as a pig, but that this having been done, it would now be wrong to back down and cry uncle? If so I get that, but I think it’s sad, and among other things it means that the malicious pokers of the nests are setting the agenda and manipulating the rest of us. It’s like a gung-ho officer in Vietnam, who starts a rumble and then the grunts had to follow him or frag him. Maybe we should get a time machine, and go back and frag these Danish fundie troublemakers before they did the cartoons, so that the branch universe stays peaceful without us having to kow-tow to death threateners.

  16. says

    Let me tell you my friend, the prospect of shuffling off this mortal coil does not become a rosier prospect as one gets older.Maybe it does as you get older still. Marcus Aurelius, however, would point out that the woman who dies at 22 and the woman who dies at 92 are losing precisely the same thing, namely the present moment, which is all they have to lose. We may feel now that if we died tomorrow, it would be a waste, but after it happens, we shall not exist to harbour that sentiment, and so will not be in a position to complain. The animal fear of death is another thing, which is is the philosopher’s business to overcome.

  17. dj357 says

    South Park in 2001, was a simple depiction of Mohammed as a superhero with the power of fire. Mild-mannered at the least. And yes, you may know many Muslims who aren’t that pushed about depictions of Mohammed, but this is a reaction to those who threaten violence to anyone expressing their right to free speech. This issue is not one of tact. It does not matter whether I depict Mohammed in a favourable or disfavourable light or what my motivations for that depiction are. It only matters that no one has any right to threaten the life of another solely because of an expression of free speech on their part. It is claimed quite often that Mohammed was a paedophile. I am unsure if this is a fact or not, but no one has the right to threaten my life based on my expressing that claim, whether baseless or founded in truth.

  18. broggly says

    I don’t remember any hubbub about that depiction. Their latest Muhammad joke, of course, is about how now people are worried about even positive depictions of Muhammad as they previously showed.

  19. stupid me in india says

    I have a prediction to make here : In the future ( 5-10 years down the line ) , China will be the only country safe from Islamic nut jobs, for one simple reason, they can give it as good as they get. No namby-pamby wrist braces, they can bring on the pain … In India appeasing religious ( read Islamic ) groups has reached such levels that Muslims aren’t even governed by the same law, yup you read it right , which governs the rest of the citizens. They can basically do what they want ( not really, they can interpret their holy books as it suits them ). Marry, marry again, divorce minus the alimony, don’t put their kids through secular schools ( Madrassas are OK ), 24 kids from 4 wives ( no problem ) …. the list goes on. In India, political parties that support laws that discriminate on the basis of religious identity are called “secular”, while those that want to implement common laws independent of religious identity are called “communal”.Arrrrggghhhh….. why was I born with a brain that can think… :( … I wish I could just swallow all the lies around me and not stay awake all night thinking.

  20. says

    Suppose you have a dog that bites your hand whenever you’re holding meat. You want to change the dog’s behaviour. Is covering your whole body in meat going to be successful? He’ll probably be less likely to bite your hand…

  21. says

    Okay, thanks for the heads-up. I didn’t see the South Park thing, and am surprised that it was mild (I saw only the war-with-Canada movie on which to base an expectation). Agree that no one has a right to threaten your life, though I think that a concomitant duty to due diligence on the part of the claimant of paedophila might be a neat idea. I’ll take the was-he-or-wasn’t-he debate with you if you like, with absence of murder guaranteed. :-)

  22. broggly says

    If I do draw a picture of Muhammad, I’d draw him passing around shovels and explaining his tactic of digging a defensive trench/moat (which apparently was not commonly used in Arabia, and so was independently invented by Muhammad which was smart of him whatever you think)

  23. says

    I think this whole “do not depict the prophet” thing has been blown out of proportion. It sounds more like it was supposed to be a guard against idolizing the prophet and, because it’s inane, it backfired. Proscriptions against not eating pork arose because up until very recently pork was incredibly bad for. Not depicting the prophet seems more like a way of keeping people from worshiping him and making shitty made-for-tv movies chronicling his “life” like they do with other Abrahamic religious figures – that is Jesus, Noah, Moses, Joseph, etc. But maybe I’m wrong.

  24. Watoosh says

    I hate to say this but you just lost a lot of my respect. Not because you choose not to draw Muhammad – since most people on earth aren’t going to do it anyway – but because you fail to see what this event is all about.One of the reasons why Christianity and Islam have stayed so strong is the martyrdom meme. Devout Christians and Muslims aren’t afraid to die for their beliefs, which is why Christianity and Islam can never be eradicated by force (nor would that be ethical, of course). Thus, even though as atheists we tend not to believe in an afterlife, if self-interest is all that we humanists have, what chance do we have in preserving our values and freedom from anonymous fearless extremists in the face of death? Don’t get me wrong – I love life too, I’m 22 as well and I would like to live a really prosperous and long life, but I’m also a humanist and I strongly believe the rights and freedom of the human race come before my own well-being. Of course I’m not in any risk of getting killed by anyone, but I’d like to think I would stand by these principles (especially) as a public figure as well.I also detect some hubris in your thinking. You do have a fair amount followers, but don’t think you’re so special that jihadists would pay any attention to you. South Park has millions of viewers and their death threats came from half a dozen kooks who aren’t even taken seriously by other Muslims. And in Vilks’ case (bear in mind that he’s also way more well-known than you; this is not an insult but the fact of the matter) what the extremist Muslims really objected to was his outright insulting drawing and his provocative lecture – dogs, homosexuality and prophets don’t go together too well in their minds. Besides, nobody has to draw Muhammed in a negative light, a stick figure or a positive depiction is just as welcome. For example Matt Dillahunty from the Atheist Experience recently drew a stick figure live on the show. If you think that’s going to get him in trouble, you’re not thinking rationally.It’s your choice, but it’s also my choice to criticize your (albeit self-admitted) hypocrisy. If you claim to support the cause but choose not to participate out of cowardice, you don’t really support the cause at all – this is ALL about not being intimidated by extremists, not just constructive criticism or simply having fun (although they may be secondary goals).I don’t want to come across as a pompous dick, although I probably already do. In the microcosm this really isn’t the massive life-or-death issue it’s made out to be, but in the larger picture things like this really matter. Please reconsider your values and motives and what kind of example you’re setting to others.

  25. says

    In India, political parties that support laws that discriminate on the basis of religious identity are called “secular”, while those that want to implement common laws independent of religious identity are called “communal”.Surely that’s the other way round? Typo? “Communalism” in India means inter-faith rioting.

  26. says

    Jen, I’m with the others. You’ve done your part.To anyone who gets all uppity that you’ve back down at the point of physical threats: Fuck That Noise™. You’re free to draw Mohammed or not. It’s entirely your call.That said – I do wish more people would engage in Draw Mohammed Day. Those who threaten our lives with violence are the last people we should be allowing to control our actions.I’m also annoyed with DHB and those who agree with him (her?). Keeping the display private entirely defeats the point. Much of the power of religion comes in the form of demands for a hypocritical ‘respect’. Note that the demand of religion isn’t to be genuinely respected, because even religion knows that the mind at its core cannot be coerced. No; the demand of religion in general and Islam in particular is that all should profess respect, regardless of what they truly think.Keeping our thought-crimes private is a concession we can’t afford to make – at least, not as a long-term strategy. This kind of concession only emboldens an ideology. We should be working to exhaust Islam to the point that it has no option left but compromise. Emboldening it just extends the conflict to the detriment of all.Make no mistake; all religions are simultaneously a threat to the Enlightenment as well as threatened by the Enlightenment.At the moment, no other religion is as significant a threat to the Enlightenment as Islam. But the upside is that at the moment, no other religion is as threatened by the Enlightenment as Islam in its current form. The fanatics of contemporary Islam are lashing out at expressions of Enlightenment values for a reason. They know that if they don’t crush the Enlightenment, then their ideology will fall.Clearly, I’m of the opinion that time is on our side. If the Enlightenment can weather the storm, Islam will be forced into a double-bind; compromise, or retire into irrelevance. All other religions have faced this bind in the past, and have chosen to live through adaptation. Islam too will be forced to weather this test in time. But not yet.The problem is that every concession we make just emboldens Islam and its fanatics to greater acts of violence – both physically and ideologically. The fewer concessions we make, the sooner Islam will exhaust itself.If Islam wasn’t making such a problem of itself, I’d dismiss Draw Mohammed day as just a jerkish thing to be doing. But that’s not the case. It is important to flex our capacity for this kind of expression precisely because the fanatics of Islam are attempting to take that capacity from us.Islam has an appetite for controlling thought and deed, a hunger to murder the Enlightenment. Feeding such appetites only strengthens the beast and grows its hunger. To the contrary; Islam needs to be starved to death. The sooner, the better.

  27. says

    Sheesh. But what if you killed someone and slit their throat for drawing a picture of your sister? And what if people said that yeah, maybe it was rude to draw a picture of your sister fucking a horse, but your response was CRAZY and you are denying freedom speech, so in order to stand up to your bullying and murderous response, we will all draw a picture of your sister to show you that you cannot kill people like that. What’s more, Muslims don’t want ANY pictures drawn of Muhammad, whether of him fucking a horse or picking daisies. So I applaud this peaceful and rational response of Draw Muhammad Day. Do you get it now?

  28. cobolhacker says

    I wouldn’t worry about it. If anything, I would try to be even more of a ‘blasphemer’. Boobquake was brilliant, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a guy ;) These are people who have an arbitrary and constantly changing definition of ‘offended’, don’t like to be subjected to it, which to me says they ought to be offended more until they finally accept reality.If I did something that got these Jihadist types so rilled up that they put a bounty on me, I’d have a party. With lots of booze, too. My attitude on people like that is, “yeah, so you want to kill me, whatever.” It’s not like I want to die, but it’s going to happen sooner or later and if these jerks actually show up to speed up the process then so be it. At least you get to die for something you believe in which is better than 99% of the people out there. You might even prevail.In life, you can choose to be like those timid undergrads squealing and taking pictures or you can choose to be like those security folks. Dunno about you, but if I saw I guy attack a lecturer in a school, I’d be down there giving the assailant a beating.”I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”- Voltaire

  29. stupid me in india says

    The Indian definition of secularism should be a part of Orwells Newspeak. It means exactly the opposite of what everyone expects it to mean. In the West, being secular would broadly mean that any and every decision made would not take peoples religious beliefs and sentiments into account. Rational thought and a sense of fairness can be employed.In India being secular means taking everyones religious beliefs into account before taking decisions. If no decision can be reached allow the heads of religious organizations a free hand to do as they wish. If the courts declared verdicts that might be opposed to peoples beliefs pass laws to overturn court verdicts. Indian secularism is best expressed by enacting laws to appease the sentiments of various religious groups. If you wish to have a uniform set of laws for everyone, you are deemed anit-secular.

  30. Demitri says

    butbutbut…If you don’t draw Mohammed, then the terrorists win!Naw, you’ve done the sane world a big favor just by pointing out that doing so will pose a great threat to your own personal safety. Radical Muslims should have their own petty, violent nature highlighted at every opportunity. And thankfully, they provide plenty of such opportunities.On a related note:http://www.jesusandmo.net/2006

  31. Guest says

    You’re prepared to die? So why don’t you put up your name and address up so everybody can see? No, you won’t because you’re just a little coward obviously? Little coward robbie robbie put your name up boy so we can all see just how brave you are… Otherwise keep your mouth shut and don’t insult the prophet, man, I’m telling you because Allah has no mercy for those who do so..

  32. Guest says

    Jen. 22 is indeed a very young age to die. Let me give you an advice how to avoid that and to live a long life. Very simple advice: respect other people and their religion, stop this stupid insulting against the muslims, show some respect and they will show you some respect. how can we ever respect you when the only way of you contributing to the relationship is insulting our holy prophet whom we love. it will only cause a war because our ummah can not ever accept such blasphemy. Our feelings are not so corrupted (insha’allah they never will be) that there would be no aggressive reaction to see a disbeliever conduct obscenities of the holiest of holiest, the prophet Mohammad (SAAW). Have you no feelings to understand what such insults cause in a human being. Then indeed the western is truly tugged away from its original purposes to choose a way of humiliation over civilization.

  33. Guest says

    what a irresponsiple approach demitri, russian? I can see how you hate muslims, don’t you? Because of moscow bombings, because of Kaukasia, because of your hurt pride? You veil that all with the embroidered words “Freedom of speech”, those three cursed words that give an excuse for every insult and caveman behaviour in the west today. Very poor attempt my russian peer, may your compatriots understand peaceful goals of the chechenian nation.

  34. Guest says

    “the ridicule will continue until the killing stops.” Is that for you a constructive way to illustrate the future of human kind. Muslims hold out brighter prospects for the future as a result of our trust in Allah’s eternal guidance. “the killing stops when the ridicule stops”, a logical and ethical deduction based on the presumption that ridicule is wrong as opposed to the concept of respect (in the wider context enlarged to mutual respect). This would result in worldwide peace , because the intercultural defence mechanism would become purposeless, naturally decreasing the polemic consumptions. Yours truly, Ucodex (abbr.)

  35. says

    No chance Muslim bed-wetting types! I burst my pimples at you and call you request a silly thing; you tiny brained wipers of other peoples’ bottoms!I unclog my nose in Mohammed’s direction, sons of window dressers! I wave my private parts at your aunties, you cheesy-leather, second-hand, electric donkey bottom biters!You don’t frighten us, Muslim pig dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you, your so-called “Prophet,” you and all your silly Muslim I-m-a-a-m-i-t-e-s!I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your Allah was a hamster and your Mohammed smelt of elderberries.Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…No-one should take themselves so seriously.Grow up. You sound like a whiny teenager.

  36. Demitri says

    Respect demanded by means of violence is not respect worth giving. If radical Muslims want respect they should join the 21st century; I mean, who else these days communicates their angst through beheadings and stonings and shootings and bombings and etc. etc. etc. apart from the vitriolic dimwits who ascribe to fundamentalist Islam?

  37. Watoosh says

    What has Islam provided us with to garner even a spoonful of respect from me? I generally respect people and their right to believe whatever they want to (for example I would never enter a mosque just to mess with the worshipers), but I have zero respect for stupid beliefs and will not back away from criticizing or even ridiculing them. You need to understand this too: no matter how deeply you believe certain doctrines or scriptures, they are not you and they deserve no respect without earning it.Besides, like I said earlier, this isn’t about insulting the prophet Muhammad – nobody is forced to draw obscene pictures of him, it can just as well be a neutral stick figure or even a positive depiction. The only people to whom this day is directed are the people who would take away our right to free expression and inflict violence to us because of this – not rank-and-file Muslims who.we know are generally decent people.I can understand if you’re offended by negative depictions of Muhammad, and you’re free to peacefully protest, speak against and boycott the artist but you cannot take away their right to free expression nor can you lash out violently (and I’m not implying that you would, I’m speaking in general). However, anyone who’s offended because someone drew a stick figure with the name Muhammad over it really is a butthurt little bitch and deserves ridicule.

  38. Demitri says

    I see you’ve already taken the liberty of disagreeing with me, something you’re permitted to do per the same exact freedom of speech/press that you seem to take for granted. You know, the freedom that is so often used by radical Muslims to hold up signs that say “exterminate those who insult Islam”. But I thank you for not wishing death to me, at the very least.You seem to misunderstand what freedom of speech and protest-by-mocker actually mean. Freedom of speech is not merely an excuse for insults for the sake of insults, but it’s the notion that if preserving one entity’s ability to express what they will is less important than preserving another entity’s ability to silence the first by forceful means, the result is tantamount to despotism. Mockery is (in some cases) just a means to defend freedom of speech by challenging those who want it gone to show their true colors and act on their barbaric threats of violence, or to grow up and join the rest of humanity in the 21st century. Turning the other cheek and demonstrating resilience to insults is a hallmark of maturity and wisdom in modern civilization, . But if your mind is stuck in the dark ages, you will never understand why that is. Organizations, ideologies, governments and religions that require suppressing any communication that they deem unsavory are relics of humanity’s ignorant past.Also, I am not Russian. I live in California.

  39. sbh says

    Okay, ucodexabbr, you’ve had your fun, pretending to be Muslim and all that, but nobody’s buying it. Now why don’t you go away like a good little troll and let the adults converse.

  40. cobolhacker says

    Or just be insulted and get over it.You know, you could always just turn the other cheek and let it slide (gosh, that sounded Christian!) Maybe even appreciate the humour in it, because no religion is perfect and sometimes it takes a couple of pranksters to point out the flaws in one’s faith. Then you can make some adjustments.As soon as you blindly accept dogmatic beliefs in anything, the closer you’re going get to hating those who disagree. Faith isn’t the problem, it’s religion. Religion is like nitrous oxide in the engine of hatred.

  41. Guest says

    My fun? The only ones who seem to have fun are you people here bragging about how you’re going to to draw Mohammad, and when the first dissident opinion emerges, well, well, well, isn’t that surprising: you start crying. So typical pf you to play intellectual just as long as the discussion remains unmarked (i.e. expected answers for expected initials). But isn’t that just a little bit boring. For all I know, I’ve been following this blog for some time know and all I can see is the same boring bull**** everywhere “Mohammad this Mohammad that, Muslims dumb Muslims idiot BLAH BLAH BLAH”. All you can do is repeat the same old jargon just like a bunch of mongoloids in a mental institution, in order to feel safe and have a safe argument and a safe and “sane” response. The irony of it is that there’s nothing sane about being that withdrawn.

  42. Murray says

    Your imaginary god and his pedophile prophet can lick my ball sack sir.You are free to believe whatever nonsense you like, but you are not allowed to impose that nonsense on anyone else. Furthermore, your religion is laughably stupid (at best), and dangerous to our species (at worst). As humankind outgrows its superstitions, Islam will join the ranks of all other dead religions. That is, unless the brain-dead jihadists blow us all up first. Either way, I take comfort in the fact that you and your kind are a dying breed.@->-<— (Muhammad pleasuring himself with a sharp stick).

  43. Guest says

    Turn the other Cheek? Where’d you learn that? In “Be a good puppy” Course 2? Appreciate sick twisted humour of portraying one’s enemies’ icons as humiliated, dehumanized and degraded creatures? It’s a case of western propaganda against muslims, not of expressing freedom of speech. Propaganda means an emerging war. When someone is starting a war against you you have to act quickly and aggressively. To turn the other cheek means you’re going to lose it. We have to react to every possible threat because they’re all emblematic signs of an evolving persecution, that cannot be accepted.

  44. Guest says

    Turn the other Cheek? Where’d you learn that? In “Be a good puppy” Course 2? Appreciate sick twisted humour of portraying one’s enemies’ icons as humiliated, dehumanized and degraded creatures? It’s a case of western propaganda against muslims, not of expressing freedom of speech. Propaganda means an emerging war. When someone is starting a war against you you have to act quickly and aggressively. To turn the other cheek means you’re going to lose it. We have to react to every possible threat because they’re all emblematic signs of an evolving persecution, that cannot be accepted.

  45. Demitri says

    Because not getting all cranky and violent when someone insults you or what you believe in is a sign of maturity.Expressing your disgust for something nonviolently is fine, and the world will actually listen to you if you call attention to the ways in which it is disgusting, but when you turn to violence you’ve only demonstrated that you have the emotional temperance of a 5-year-old who’s had his favorite toy taken away.Radical Muslims have their heads stuck in the era where mankind thought the best way to convince people of something was to threaten them with horrible death if they don’t believe it.

  46. Drew says

    I’m considering participating in this. Thank you for bringing it up, I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise.

  47. salomontrismosin says

    I think that Jen, as well as pretty much everyone else, is missing two points here: The iconoclastic rule in Islam (1) was intended as a prohibition against idolatry, and (2) it was never rigorously enforced throughout history.The rule prohibits against religious art turning into idols, it is “idolatry” that is prohibited, not the drawing of religious figures. There are miniatures of Muhammed, as well as other prophets, dating from as early as 14th century. The idea is to make sure that Muhammed does not turn into an idol.It is only the 20th century (maybe the 19th as well) interpretation that “all art” should be shunned.Now, instead of learning about the history of Islam, the Western intellectuals (read: You guys posting here) prefer to take the easier road: “Our culture is a culture of rationality and free speech. This is the common denominator for all people, and it is where the world needs to go towards.” However, you could easily win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world, had you chosen to present them with pictures of Mohammed from the Muslim history itself.

  48. Watoosh says

    I call bullshit – that’s not the general reaction of critics of Islam at all, and I suspect you know it and are just trying to provoke and project as much as you can. Of course some juvenile contrarians, bigots and even racists have joined this cause, but that’s to be expected in any provocative situation. (Fuck them anyway.) What you’ve done is either cherry-picked some stupid comments by these people (I’d actually like to see them if you’re not too lazy to actually back up your claims) and ignored the real sentiment of the majority, willingly misinterpreted comments critical of Islam or just made shit up. My money is on the second option.I criticize and sometimes mock Islam as a religion, philosophy and foundation for a society and I question Muhammad’s authority as a moral guide and leader (based on hadithic anecdotes decreed by Islamic scholars to be reliable). What I do NOT do is mock Muslims or use any derogatory terms that I wouldn’t use with Christians or people of other faiths to describe them (which are at worst “deluded”, “infected with a dangerous meme”, “people with a serious mental block” or “intellectually lazy”).

  49. Watoosh says

    I started writing this post thinking that your history lesson was completely irrelevant, but now I kind of see your point, so this reply is more of an antithesis turned to synthesis than a rebuttal.I know that alongside Europe, China and India the “Islamic world” (forgive me for painting with a brush the size of Rhode Island) wasn’t all that bad – sure, by todays standards many of their other practices (outside their tolerance for art and science) would be considered outdated, but nobody was exactly a progressive lib back then. What matters is that today there are violent extremists who respond to criticism with violence, and there are cowardly media publications who kowtow to the threats of these people.I do think that the “bronze-age myths” and “beliefs of desert nomad tribes” type of rhetoric is sometimes very inaccurate, but I’m not too opposed to it because it brings the point home. The same applies here: what you call “taking the easier road” I call common sense – it may be lazy, but mainstream stunts are never that culturally sensitive and there’s not much individual people can do about it. (Btw, I’m not at all opposed to presenting Muslim depictions of Mo – it’s actually a great idea – I just think it should be incorporated into the bigger picture) The world is not black and white, but on some independent issues it behooves oneself to draw a very simplistic line in the sand: “Either you’re for free speech or you’re against it.” Doesn’t matter if the extremists whose influence is in question follow a 3000 or 30 year old dogma, doesn’t matter what the historical context is*, it’s still wrong.Correct me if I’m misrepresenting you, but the approach you seem to be advocating for “winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world” is “Look Muslims! You used to be able to depict Muhammad in art, so why won’t you do it now? Break away from your 20th century neo-fundamentalist doctrines and return to classical Islam!” If this is what you’re saying, I have to strongly disagree. That may be a good way to secure some kind of small victory, but the core of this battle isn’t about Muhammad, it’s about the foundations of peaceful secular societies like free speech. I’d rather have Muslims follow whatever internal prohibitions they freely choose to and respect the rights of others (even dissenting Muslims) not to do so, instead of tucking the underlying problem under the rug by appealing to old cultural habits as a superior authority. By real objective standards, the Western world continues to change for the better and I really want Muslims to embrace secularism as well. Maybe that makes me a cultural imperialist but so be it, I feel I’m entitled to it and I don’t want to have that discussion here.By the way, one can’t help but observe the irony associated with trying to prevent Muhammad from being idolized. Even if Muslims used to properly understand the idea behind the iconoclastic rule, nowadays the concept has indeed been mangled and flipped on its head. “Our prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is definitely not a god, but you must revere him, insert kind words after his name every time you utter it, read hadiths about his life and his super-duper wise words which are divinely inspired and you are simply not allowed to draw him!” I don’t think this is how many moderate Muslims think, but a significant amount of Muslims in the Middle-East seem to share this sentiment and a very loud minority are willing to commit acts of violence to enforce it.*I’m not saying it’s alright to ignore other viewpoints, but in this case unless the cultural context outweighs the importance of free speech in matters of public interest (and not just in the Islamic world), it’s not worth discussing.

  50. sanity says

    what, can allah not see who who wrote the comment, without help from the internet? the man doesn’t want to put his name down because he is afraid of mad murderous muslims, not an imaginary god.

  51. says

    over a thousand years of allah’s guidance through his prophet mohamed and you’ve reached as far as murderous barbarism. my ideas and beliefs which are fare saner and more rational are ridiculed everyday somewhere in the world but i dont see the need to threaten you or your whole sorry tribe with death. where is the muslim voice crying for sanity. you feel your god/prophet is insulted – get over it like everybody else.

  52. says

    of course i don’t really care if you post a picture or not but i suggest that it may be a good idea to post them on any islamic site that allows anonymous postings of pictures. that way nobody gets killed but the message is delivered. i am going to post a photograph of mohamed. i havent got it yet but i will as soon as i find a suitable paedophilia website.

  53. says

    its exactly this sort of stupidity that is eliciting all the ridicule. nobody objects to your laughably nonsensical beliefs. what we object to is your notion that drawing a picture of a long dead semi-mythical figure is worse than killing people or threatening to kill them. your religion deserves no respect and you can only be respected if people think you’re worthy of it. show us something to respect instead of threats.

  54. proud_muslim says

    u may be a atheist, remember, u r hurting the feelings of a million musilms…May be u will be happi if someone cartoons ur mother sleeping with ur friend or ur father sleeping with ur wife/sis…Pls post a pic for that too! im dying to c…

  55. says

    You only say that because bullying and inspiring fear is a key character of the religion of peace. .Cthulu Crackpipe to you, too.

  56. zack says

    If you are going to use your freedom of speech, at least get the spelling right, you muppet. PROPHET!

  57. Derp says

    I cannot believe that a mature adult would support a ‘holiday’ such as this.Yes, I understand that freedom of speech is important and a religion has no right to force their ideals onto others, but other than offending Muslims, there is literally NO REASON to draw Muhammad.People say that Draw Muhammad Day is all about freedom of speech and being able to draw whoever or whatever you want, BUT THAT IT NOT TRUE. The only reason ANYONE has to draw Muhammad is to offend and anger Muslims.Why is it that we can’t have at least the smallest amount of maturity, RESPECT and tact and just not draw that ONE person out of the thousands of millions. It is simply rude, disrespectful and, above all else, it is unnecessary.

  58. Valhar2000 says

    The only reason ANYONE has to draw Muhammad is to offend and anger Muslims.Yep, that’s right. Anger and offend them, in the hopes that they will eventually realize how ridiculous that programmed reaction is, and endeavor to correct it. A vain hope? Perhaps.

  59. says

    I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT OFFENSIVE DRAWINGS I agree that offensive drawings to Muslims, for example Muhammad drawn with his head on a pig, wouldn’t help anything, it would only stir up anger. It is dumb to do. Though that DOES NOT deserve death threats, being thrown in jail, or something like that. I’m talking about people just drawing Muhammad without anything offensive. Just a guy standing there with a beard and a turban to represent what he may have looked like back in those days. Why would someone even get angry at someone who isn’t Muslim drawing that? It is not their religion so they don’t think it is a sin.It is just a picture. :) :P

  60. says

    My most honest opinion of Mohammed is that he was originally a relatively normal man for his age – except for the fact that he suffered from a mild or latent form of schizophrenia.When Mohammed’s his uncle and first wife died in the same year, not only did Mohammed become stricken with grief, stress and depression, but his emotional and mental support network had been ripped out from under him (clarification: Mohammed was raised by his Uncle – it was the only father figure he’d ever really known).I think this would justifiably have triggered his condition into an active yet intermittent and otherwise high-functioning form of schizophrenia. He lost the ability to consistently distinguish reality from fantasy. And his fantasies would naturally have taken on the tone and character of his uncles’ religious instruction and hopes for his community. (Mohammed’s father wanted a uniting religious ideology for the local Arab world at the time because he felt it would put an end to inter-tribal conflict and corruption). Without a support network or a restraining hand these fantasies this drove Mohammed down a path of religious delusion.Because Mohammed existed at a time and place where the local culture was in need of a uniting religious ideology (Mohammed’s uncle had a point), and given Mohammed’s familiarity with religious ideology given his uncle’s tutelage, it is unsurprising that he enjoyed success as a religious preacher – particularly given the stirring imagery his mind would assemble for him on account of his mental condition.As time wore on Mohammed enjoyed many military victories and amassed much wealth and power (a fifth of all the spoils of war in the name of Islam went to Mohammed). His ideology became the law of his land… And then it didn’t matter that he had lost touch with reality. His word was law. There was nothing to correct or constrain him (well, almost nothing – Satanic Verses, anyone?).His merest whim was interpreted as the Will of God. And everyone went along with it – because they all believed it to be true, and so to everyone there, it really was.As time moved on he lost touch of his Uncle’s original vision and lost himself in the self-aggrandizing business of empire building and ideological domination. But by lack of foresight he failed to sufficiently allow for some form of succession after his death – and so now we are left with the many-faceted fractures to which Mohammed’s legacy has been reduced; the Sunnis, Shias, and any other self-declrared mulla with some financial backing and a piece of scripture that can be twisted to serve their own political agenda.Which then brings us to the current situation. We still have millions of people who are lost to an indoctrinated belief in the inspiringly mad fever-dreams of a thousand-years-dead schizophrenic empire-builder… And some of them, seeking to reduce the cognitive dissonance their position holds when measured against reality, resort to taunting cowardly threats to those who disagree with them. They deliver these taunts online and anonymously. Of course.I’ll have you know that I am not a coward.My name really is Daniel Schealler. I live in New Zealand.I do not fear you, Guest.I pity you.Every second you spend under the trance of your ideology is a second of clear-headed thought that you will never get back.I hope you wake up soon – because every second is precious.All the best.

  61. says

    The point is that it doesn’t matter how badly you might hurt my feelings.The point is that, no matter how badly my feelings are hurt by you, and no matter how many people’s feelings are hurt by you, this would not justify violence or the threat of violence against you.

Leave a Reply