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Apr. 26 2010 - 6:29 pm | 3,300 views | 1 recommendation | 17 comments

National ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed’ Day

A Seattle cartoonist  has declared May 20th as Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Cartoonist Molly Norris is asking everyone to submit to Islam…I mean submit cartoons of any religious figure at all  to Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor (CACAH).

Ms. Norris is dedicating the day to South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who were threatened for attempting to show Mohammed in an episode that the Comedy Channel chose to censor. To incite the creative jihadist in all of us, Ms. Norris  has helpfully drawn a cartoon of various depictions of the Prophet  Mohammed (peace be upon him). Mohammed is portrayed as a coffee cup,  a domino,  a spool of thread, etc. Personally, if I were the type to behead blaspheming infidels, I would be more offended by the scene of Mohammed in a bear suit that Comedy Central censored from South Park.

Previously, your fearless Uncommon Defense correspondent risked the connective tissue between his head and shoulders by comparing the Prophet Mohammed to a pomegranate, which seemed like an appropriate Biblical fruit. Well, I actually specified he wasn’t a pomegranate, but reading comprehension is not a jihadi strong point.


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  1. collapse expand

    Dear Mr. Peck,
    I only drew a cartoon for my blog, a fictional ‘poster’ called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” I never meant for it to become something ‘real’. The thing went viral!!! Here is my statement:

    Statement:

    I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a fictional ’poster’ entitled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” with a nonexistent group’s name — Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor — drawn on the cartoon. It was in specific response to the recent censoring of a South Park episode, a desire to bring home the importance of the first amendment. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any ’group’. This particular cartoon has struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for.

    Personally I can feel afraid of Muslims because I really have no idea if in their hearts they hate non-Muslims. There are so many interpretations of the religion that I hear told — sometimes it is a very extreme translation (that’s the scary part, the radicals that believe that Westerners should die), then at other times it sounds more peaceful.

    I hope for the sake of this country that moderate Muslims will speak out with everyone else against any violent members of that or any other religion. That way I would know that there is a difference. Maybe this cartoon I made, this fictional poster of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” had such a wildfire effect because it is finally time for Muslims and non-Muslims to understand one another more.

    I am going back to the drawing table now!

    Thanks,
    Molly
    http://www.mollynorris.com/

    • collapse expand

      Personally I can feel afraid of Muslims because I really have no idea if in their hearts they hate non-Muslims.

      Now I understand how you could have drawn such an ignorant and disrespectful cartoon.

      Muslims are people just like everybody else.

      There are so many interpretations of the religion that I hear told — sometimes it is a very extreme translation (that’s the scary part, the radicals that believe that Westerners should die), then at other times it sounds more peaceful.

      Much like, oh I don’t know, Christians?

      Maybe this cartoon I made, this fictional poster of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” had such a wildfire effect because it is finally time for Muslims and non-Muslims to understand one another more.

      In my opinion (as a lapsed Catholic who knows a little about Islam) you cartoon is actually regressive. It promotes understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims as much as “Everybody Wear Blackface Day!” promotes racial understanding. As much as “Everybody Dress Like a Zombie for an Easter Parade!” would promote understanding in a Chrisian minority country. As much as “Everybody Tell Blonde Jokes Day!” would promote understanding about gender inequality.

      Your cartoon is disrespectful and offensive. It posits that the real problem is Muslims’ expectation that others will allow them to practice their religion in peace without openly mocking their beliefs. That is, their expectation that they be treated like human beings.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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        I’m sorry, I missed something in your post.

        Many religions say terrible, rude, hateful things about the rest of the world, and we’re supposed to stand respectfully and say nothing?

        Gentle mockery is the most sincere bridge I can think of to build. Silence is acceptance. I don’t care if the Pope himself says something stupid. I’m going to call him on it. I’m going to make fun of it. And in general, I’m going to make sure that these leaders understand that they need to lead by example, not by “respect” or force.

        We do no less for our elected officials. If they can’t take a joke, they can crawl back to wherever they came from.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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          Just in an American context; it does not build understanding when the dominant group (non-Muslims) mocks a minority (Muslims). All it does is reinforce that position of dominance.

          You can call out extremists all you like. But doing so does not require you to essentially spit on the beliefs of Muslims everywhere. Calling the Pope out for saying something stupid does not require you to tear a page out of the Bible and wipe your ass with it. Criticizing some Muslim extremists (who aren’t even religious leaders) does not require you to draw a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed.

          “Respect” is not the same thing as force. That you equate the two is telling. You do not lose anything by treating others as your equal. In fact, treating others with respect is a far surer route to building understanding than mockery.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Mr. Peck, I have to ask why you are promoting such bigoted ignorance. Why is being able to draw Mohammed important to you?

    You may say this is about humour. Would you find it funny if the punch line to a joke was to burn the American flag? And, when Americans protested, and a few tea partiers made death threats to the humourist, the response was to declare “Everybody Burn an American Flag Day!”

    You may want to protect freedom of speech. But what is it that you communicate with the image of Mohammed that cannot be communicated some other way? What reason is there for anyone to draw Mohammed, except to expressly deride and demean Muslims?

    This cartoon promotes intolerance. It demands that Muslims accept that non-Muslim Americans will never respect, accept, or make the slightest effort to understand them.

    In my opinion, “freedom of speech” loses its meaning when interpreted as freedom to wantonly insult, purely for the sake of insulting.

    • collapse expand

      Marissaao… “freedom of speech loses it’s meaning when…. Who are you to define when freedom of speech loses it’s meaning? Thought and speech police like you try to diminish our freedoms. Our’s is a nation where people are allowed to say or draw whatever they want, regardless of who it offends.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        First of all, keep in mind that I was merely stating my opinion.

        Secondly, “freedom of speech” – historically, politically, and legally – exists as a right for a specific purpose. That is, to access the Truth through lively debate. If speech does not serve this purpose, then it does not need to be protected – this is why obscenity laws are allowed. On the other hand, freedom of the press is especially valued because it goes directly to the purpose of freedom of speech: public debate over the issues of the day.

        Insulting someone for the mere sake of insulting them does not further either a personal or society quest for truth. Hence, such expression has little value under the right to freedom of speech. Claiming a right to insult someone, merely in order to offend them, cheapens the right. And it’s not far from claiming that freedom of speech protects a right to bully and verbally abuse someone.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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      Forgive me for quoting religion, but the Biblical commandment says “thou shalt not murder”, not “thou shalt respect, accept and make an effort to understand Muslims.” There is a hierarchy of values, and death threats rank a bit higher than cultural sensitivity.

      Freedom of speech is the right to insult. If this is not the case, then you obviously believe it’s appropriate to ban or threaten stand-up comedians and political cartoonists. All humor has a bit of insult or mockery.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        As I responded to leonkelly,
        “freedom of speech” – historically, politically, and legally – exists as a right for a specific purpose. That is, to access the Truth through lively debate. If speech does not serve this purpose, then it does not need to be protected – this is why obscenity laws are allowed. On the other hand, freedom of the press is especially valued because it goes directly to the purpose of freedom of speech: public debate over the issues of the day.

        What is the purpose of drawing Mohammed in this case? To be deliberately offensive to all Muslims, in response to a couple of fanatics. Unlike political cartoons, it does not foster discussion and debate. Unlike stand-up comedy, it does not tell a story about the world, or present a way of understanding life. Of course insults with a purpose that is related to the rationale for protecting speech are protected. But this is an insult just for the sake of being insulting.

        To go back to my analogy, imagine a scenario: Some French comedy show does a sketch that involves an American flag getting lit on fire. Upon hearing of this, Ann Coulter declares that the USA should invade and conquer France. In response to Ann Coulter’s comments, someone suggests a “Burn the US Flag Day!” and the idea goes viral and catches on, and all the cool political people participate in flag burnings.

        Would you not be offended? Would you not wonder what the American people had done to be targets of such disrespect? How anyone could conclude that Coulter’s comments were representative of Americans? How they could fail to recognize the significance of the flag to American citizens? Could they have not made the same point just by giving Coulter the finger? Did they have to go so far as to desecrate a symbol that all Americans hold dear?

        Moreover, why does everyone seem to think that the statements of private individuals have any bearing at all on their ability to exercise their rights? It’s not like the fanatics who made the threats are in a position to influence policy. And it’s a crime to make threats against another person. So why the urgency?

        I have a hard time getting behind the whole “we have to stand up for our freedoms” thing, because those freedoms are not, in reality, threatened. Any more than France would be in danger of invasion if Ann Coulter suggested it.

        This strikes me as an issue, not of free speech, but of the ability of the majority to continue to marginalize an unpopular minority.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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          You seem to believe that free speech must justify itself by proving that it “accesses the truth through lively debate.” Ms. Norris or South Park’s creators don’t have to justify their cartoons. It is up to you justify that they should be banned. You say these cartoons are insulting? I say they are satirical political commentary on the vital issues of religious fundamentalism and the right of free speech.

          This is why censorship and obscenity laws always end looking ridiculous. What is pornography to one man is culture to another. Ms. Norris did not threaten Muslims with violence. She did not say Muslims are stupid or violent. She mocked their beliefs, and Muslims are equally to mock hers or mine without fear of murder.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            The thing is, I don’t think the cartoons should be banned, and I’ve let myself be diverted from the point that I wanted to make.

            I’m wondering why it is so important to some people that they be able to draw Mohammed. I’m wondering, why the lack of self-regulation in the interest of tolerance and respect. The reason many seem to give, is that they simply have a right to make such a drawing.

            Which to me raises the question… when, in most American’s lives, do they feel the need to express themselve with a drawing of Mohammed the prophet of Islam? How does refraining from drawing him impinge on people’s lives? Knowing that any graphic depiction of Mohammed is an affront to Muslim beliefs, I can think of no reason to, except as a deliberate jab at Muslims.

            So then I ask, why is this worth standing up for? Why not arrest the guys who made the threats and be done with it?

            This doesn’t even have anything to do with the content of speech, it’s purely about form. It has nothing to do with expressing an idea.

            It’s really more akin to claiming a right to open a slaughterhouse and beef-processing plant in the middle of a Hindu community. Yeah, freedom of contract, of mobility, and of association would say you have the right to do so. But why would you be that much of a jerk?

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    This is a great idea, hopefully we can extend it into various mock-other-religions days until ALL of them are covered.

  4. collapse expand

    I find the comments section very very interesting….and rather depressing. Most commentators have no sense of what “freedom of speech” means, but even worse, most of them seem to have no sense of irony. But the internet will set us free..maybe.

  5. collapse expand

    Marissaao,

    May I suggest a good reason for drawing Mohammed could possibly be political satire to show how Muslim extremists so readily expressed their “freedom of speech” by murdering over three thousand Americans almost ten years ago. It is these same extremists who pose threats to those who do it.

    While I am not going to be sketching Mohammed any time soon, I think that most Americans forget very easily what happened when these extremists let our country know how they feel about us. Maybe they are trying to bring light to this?

    The conversation we are having is reason enough for such cartoonists to express their beliefs.

  6. collapse expand

    http://muhammadgangbang.com is holding a contest for the best mohammed drawing.

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    About Me

    I'm a writer in the not-so-sunny Northwest. My work has appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, Wired.com, the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Defense and the Military Times magazines.

    I like to blog about national security and foreign affairs, though I'll write about any topic on which I have a strong opinion (which is most anything). I'm a bit of a contrarian, which drives people crazy. That's a good thing.

    Tips? Comments? Contact me at uncommondefense@gmail.com

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