Friday, May 21, 2010

Defence of Draw Muhammad Day

I found this online at http://thesunbreak.com/2010/05/20/an-atheists-defense-of-everybody-draw-mohammed-day and I really like it. Over the past couple of days I have read too many "liberal" folk who think the whole idea of "Draw Muhammad Day" is offensive to Muslims, and I suppose it is and if it hadn't been for the murder and the violence I probably would have ignored the whole thing. Unfortunately with the poor excuse of some pictures drawn in Denmark, simpletons world-wide decided to riot in the name of Islam. This was the best defence they had? "You hurt my feelings so I'm going to burn a building down"? Pathetic. And I am supposed to take people like this seriously? I don't think so. Any of the currently popular religious sects that call for violence should probably be banned. That is, of course, frustration speaking. Frustration at the creeps who hide behind the skirts of their "faith" so they can wreck stuff.

Also, just as an observation, I have tried going to the site where I submitted my drawing, and I can't get it to open. I'm sure that there are those who will say this is some sort of supernatural thing while I think it is a technological thing so out of curiousity I went over to the FaceBook site to look around (I am not registered on FaceBook, but one can still look). There were a few cartoons I liked, and the expected bigots are bounding all over the place (you can't keep a good bigot down, although I believe that a weighted net and about twenty feet of water ought to do the trick) as expected, but it is like the fellow below says, "I support free speech. Even speech I don't like. Especially speech I don't like." Anyway:

An Atheist's Defense of "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day"
By rootwinterguard

Posted on behalf of Mike Gillis, Board member of Seattle Atheists. "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" was an idea conceived by Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris who jokingly floated the idea in reaction to South Park's debacle with portraying Mohammed in an episode of the animated series.


I support "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Why? Because I support free speech. Even speech I don't like. Especially speech I don't like.

Just the same way I'd support "Everybody Eat a Hamburger Day," if it were Hindus using threats of violence against people who ate beef.

In a free society, free speech means having the right to say exactly what someone doesn't want to hear. If you don't like what someone has to say, you need to answer with your own free speech. Violence and the threat of it is not free speech. It is the admission that you have a losing argument in favor of your position. Nothing justifies violence to chill free speech, not one having their religious sensibilities offended. Nothing.

If some religious person drew an offensive cartoon or wrote an offensive op-ed about atheists, it would be insane and morally reprehensible for me to kill the person who wrote or drew it. It would be wrong for me to cut off their head, shoot them eight times and stab them through the heart. It would be wrong for me to set embassies on fire and beat people up.

It would be wrong for me to chant for their deaths and call upon other atheists to kill them for being offensive. It would be wrong for me to imply a death threat to the writer or cartoonist and then post pictures of the above beheaded murder victim on my website. It would be wrong for me to break into the writer or cartoonist's house with an axe and try to kill them in front of their grandchild. Ever. No matter how much I was offended. No matter how bad the cartoons or op-ed was.

And it would be insane for anyone on the outside of this--especially liberal-minded people who claim to support the right to free speech--to be more offended by the cartoons than by my threats of violence, or the actual execution of said violence. It would be insane for well-meaning liberal folks to take the side of militant fundamentalists' violence enforcement of their blasphemy laws against people who aren't even a part of their religion. Yet, this is exactly what we've done with Islam.

We wouldn't tolerate this violence or the threats if the Catholics or Mormons or Scientologists were doing it in response to having their religion mocked in a cartoon. In fact, they all have been. Part of living in our society means that your culture will have to integrate into a few ways. We want your language, your sense of humor, your food, your clothing, your historical narrative, and your music. We want all of the things that other immigrant groups have brought to add to and enrich American culture.

But there are some basic principles we won't compromise on, freedom of speech and expression being the big one. The proper answer to speech you don't like is more speech. Not violence. Not because you're offended. I'm offended to the core by what various religious people say all the time. That doesn't give me the right to use law or violence to silence them. It burdens me with the responsibility of responding with words, not fists, blades, bullets, or threats.

You will occasionally be offended by what you hear people say here. And things you say will inevitably offend someone else. That's the price of admission. We're not allowed to kill or threaten people because we don't like what they say. Period.

We don't let Pat Robertson do it. And we won't let you.

And to my well-meaning liberal friends that seem to believe that blasphemy is a worse crime than murder, battery, arson, or inciting violence: Ask yourself if you'd feel the same way if the Pope had called upon Catholics to kill cartoonists for depicting Jesus in an offensive way.

I support "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" not to be pointlessly provocative or to single anyone out for being mocked. In fact, I believe the very opposite. Islam, like every other religion, isn't immune to mockery or criticism. And no one should try to make themselves immune through death threats.

I'm participating because the point still needs to be made that religious sensibilities don't give someone license to use violence or the threat of it.

*****

Well said.

Anyway... Humouroceros

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