On Draw Muhammad Day

Today is “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.”

The day was declared in the aftermath of Comedy Central’s censoring of a recent South Park. The Prophet Muhammad, showing off his fire powers Muhammad, who had appeared in 2001 in the episode “Super Best Friends” was depicted wearing a bear suit; Sunni Muslims find depictions of the Prophet offensive, and editorial cartoons in Denmark resulted in death threats to the artists by extremists.

I’m in large agreement with Sam Harris’ perspective on Islam in general — caving into the demands of extremists and engaging in censorship to mollify the extremists only emboldens them and will be counterproductive to the liberalism and modernization of the religion. Harris writes not of South Park, though; he tackles another controversy, the Dutch film Fitna.

My artistic skills, nil as they are, prevent me from drawing anything that could even potentially be taken for the Prophet Muhammad. I did, however, post on Twitter a Tweet, with a Muhammad smiley that I snurched from here. They have a large collection of Muhammad emoticons, though they get somewhat silly and stupid the further down the list you go.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

3 thoughts on “On Draw Muhammad Day

  1. The bigger question is WHY ????….why at the first instance initiate an act which has intimate feelings by another group…Im positive there are numerous subjects available in the world which can prove freedom of speech and liberty….JEWS all over the world react to denial of holocaust ..a stance which is accepted by the world…so why not apply similar format for muslims…what really is intended to be achieved from this act or where the quality of life will improve…in actual it will fuel anti west sentiments and make the task of mopderate muslims difficult in containing militancy….

    1. Mahmud, Matt Welch explains very well why “Draw Muhammad Day” is important:

      [W]e are doing it as a simple declaration that depiction and caricaturization is within the bounds of acceptable discourse, that nobody owns the images of historical figures, and that free-speech backsliding in the West ultimately threatens all of us much more than isolated acts of semi-suicidal bravado from the pathologically aggrieved.

      And, more honestly? Telling an artist they can’t do something is a very bad thing, because all it does is make an artist want to do it more. It’s human nature. Not necessarily a good reason, but a reason nonetheless.

      Art is a conversation between the artist and the audience. If the response of the audience to the art is a death threat, as Revolution Islam suggested to the South Park creators, as Muslims have in reaction to the Danish editorial cartoons, then, frankly, the conversation can’t go anywhere because it’s not a conversation. No one has the right to not be offended, but the way to fight offensive speech isn’t to threaten the speaker, it’s to make more speech.

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