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Since today is apparently "Draw Mohammed Day", conceived as an expression of the right of free speech in our society, as a response to that tiny minority of muslims worldwide (and essentially negligible minority of muslims in the United States), I would like to participate, by drawing the Prophet SAW as I understand him, in words:

To me, the Prophet SAW is a beacon. The Prophet SAW is the embodiment of an ideal to which I personally and spiritually aspire. I do not recognize my Prophet SAW in the hateful, derisive caricatures labeled "mohammed" or the insults or the historical lies told of him. The Prophet SAW did not forcibly convert anyone to Islam by the sword; he did not have enmity for Jews or Christians; he did not preach a hateful creed or seek to subjugate women. In fact he stood for the opposite of all these things, and brought the same message of God to the human race as was brought by his predecessors, to banish the darkness of unbeliief and tribalism.

I do not see any drawings of my Prophet SAW today. All I see are reflected fears and ignorance of people expressing their own ugliness and calling it by a name. But a name is all they have.

By all means, draw Muhammad today if you so choose. You don't need my consent, and in fact you have my support. But as you set out to defend free speech by engaging in hate, understand that you are only caricaturing yourself. And my Prophet SAW is beyond your comprehension.

Related: A stirring defense of free speech by Nick Gillespie at Reason magazine. If only the West really had such a commitment to free speech as Nick seems to imagine! But with hijab bans sweeping Europe, it's clear that such commitment to so-called Enlightenment values is a hypocrisy of the highest order.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has blocked most of the Internet today in response to Draw Muhammad Day. I disagree with this. I think that it's better to let people see ugliness and hypocrisy rather than pretend it doesn't exist.

Originally posted to Aziz Poonawalla's Amazing Dkos Diary on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:30 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    City of Brass: principled pragmatism at the maghrib of one age, the fajr of another

    by azizhp on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:30:20 AM PDT

  •  Drawing is picture is hate. (15+ / 0-)

    Drawing a cariacature picture of a deity is hate, now?

    Ugh.

    That statement represents everything that's fucked up about the cancer that religion has spread throughout the world's cultures.

    Catholic Church: Example of Religion thats TOO BIG TO FAIL

    by Detroit Mark on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:34:54 AM PDT

    •  Yep (5+ / 0-)

      Drawing a stick figure and writing "Mohammed" is apparently hate.

      :-) <---- Mohammed</p>

      Proud supporter of nuclear power!

      by zegota on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:40:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny.... (0+ / 0-)

        It's not a picture of hate putting the crucifix in a jar of piss.  It's not hate depicting Mary (the mother) as a whore.  It's not hate, well the intelligent among you get the point.

        But drawing Mohammed is a picture of 'hate'.

        Not sure what is worse, the hypocritical double standard that it's ok to insult Christians rather than Muslims... or the patronizing lower standards of civilized behavior, apparently b/c muslims can't reach the lowest bar of maturity and tolerance.

        What do I know... I was assigned to foreign Muslim, Buddhist, Confusian countries and counselled Americans not to start dinners w/ Christian prayers out of deference to our hosts.

        "Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand" -- Homer Simpson

        by USAFguy on Thu May 20, 2010 at 07:37:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For Muslims... (0+ / 0-)

          ...it is hate to put a crucifix in a jar of piss; it is hate to depict Mariam umm Isa (pbuh) as a whore.  The real problem is not the "hypocritical double standard that it's ok to insult Christians rather than Muslims," but that most Christians don't speak up against the hate and insults made against their religion; they would rather meekly submit to the hate and insults because "free speech" is more important to them than their own religious beliefs.  Don't blame us Muslims because we take our religion seriously and make it a fundamental aspect of our lives.  Until Christians begin to take religion as seriously as Muslim do, Christians have only themselves to blame.

          Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

          by JDsg on Fri May 21, 2010 at 12:35:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  interesting rebuttal... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Drawback

            neglecting to address the rabid fervor of muslims to issue a fatwa to kill the offenders to islam via drawing/ridiculing mohammed.  Nice way to avoid the higher standards of civil behavior of Christians who collectively resent those 'hate acts', but turn the other cheek while you endorse the barbaric, tribal, primative reactions of the muslim killers of those who offend muslims like you.

            Keep reaching for that lowest bar, you'll never reach it.

            "Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand" -- Homer Simpson

            by USAFguy on Fri May 21, 2010 at 04:45:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh... (0+ / 0-)

              ...we Muslims see fatawa coming out of the mouths of Christian preachers urging death upon others often enough (e.g., here and here); the only difference is that Christians call the fatawa by a different name.

              Yes, "higher standards of civil behavior of Christians."  Is that what you call it?  I'll have to remember that one for the future.  In the meantime, we're not interested in stooping to your level.

              Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

              by JDsg on Fri May 21, 2010 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Haha (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Captain C

            " because "free speech" is more important to them than their own religious beliefs"

            Actually, free speech is more important to me than your religious beliefs. You're perfectly welcome to value religion over free speech, and not draw any depictions of a certain man. Requiring me to do so is silly. Respecting everyone's religion so as not to offend would be not only ridiculous, it would be impossible, as many of them contradict each other.

            Proud supporter of nuclear power!

            by zegota on Fri May 21, 2010 at 10:35:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

              Respecting everyone's religion so as not to offend would be not only ridiculous, it would be impossible, as many of them contradict each other.

              Just because religion A <> religion B because the beliefs may be contradictory to each other is, quite frankly, irrelevant.  To the followers of either religion, it would be like, "Who cares whether our religion is contradictory to another religion?  We're concerned about our religion."  Respecting everyone's religion so as not to offend may very well be impossible, but it's an admirable and worthy goal to strive for.  

              My original point was that many Christians have basically rolled over and played dead when other people have mocked or ridiculed their religion because they bought into the notion that "free speech" takes precedence over their own religious beliefs. Most Muslims don't buy into that notion, and we frequently call out people who mock or insult us.  That irritates a lot of non-Muslims, especially Westerners, but we don't care as we answer to a Higher Authority.  From our perspective, far better for the others to repent from the errors of their ways now than not to have the chance later on. Thoughts, speech and deeds have consequences, in both this world and the next.  I don't expect everyone to agree with me, theologically or philosophically, but the better world in the here and now is when people don't try to deliberately mock and insult other people's beliefs.

              Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

              by JDsg on Sat May 22, 2010 at 09:05:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  By some coincidence, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Detroit Mark, JesseCW, spyguy999

      the picture in the ad appearing right above the Tip Jar at the moment is of Sandra Bullock in the movie The Blind Side.

      I'll take that as some kind of omen. Plus, she's pretty cute!

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:41:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course drawings can be hate speech (0+ / 0-)

      The Nazis were famous for their anti-Semitic caricatures -- does anyone seriously want to argue that this was not hate?  "Draw Mohammed Day" is clearly intended as an attack on Muslims and as such it too is promoting hate speech.  

      BUT...

      Hate speech is protected speech, which is why I can go downtown right now and buy a copy of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" from Nation of Islam street vendors.  "Draw Mohammed Day" is similarly a vile but legally unassailable exercise of freedom of expression.  

  •  What's to be gained by this diary? (5+ / 0-)

    I can only speak for myself. I didn't know it was "Draw Mohammed Day."  I thought it was just Thursday, i.e. Bad DKos Diary Day.  I have no interest in drawing anything unless I can win a scholarship like in those TV ads, but if you're looking for support for the proposition that drawing someone else's devotional figures or options is hateful, you are looking in the wrong place.

    This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

    by Rich in PA on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:42:08 AM PDT

  •  There is no "ugliness" or "hypocrisy" in (14+ / 0-)

    simply refusing to be bound by someone elses superstitions.

    Whether it's a Piss Christ, or a drawing of The Prophet, or refusing to throw a pinch of salt over ones shoulder after spilling some.

    We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. Dwight Eisenhower

    by JesseCW on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:42:13 AM PDT

    •  eh there's something unseemly.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, JDsg

      ....about the spectacle of a bunch of westerners engaging in "draw mohammed day" in the name of "free speech."  A little too close to Ahmadinejad's "Holocaust Conference" and "academic freedom" and free speech principles, to me.

      Would we really smile upon this if they were doing it to the Star of David or some other symbol important to people who are a religious minority in North America and Europe, or would we look at it as a barely concealed appeal to prejudice?

      They have the right, of course, but this isn't quite the same as someone throwing a fit over "The Last Temptation" or other provocative pieces of art.  

      Policy, Peace and Progress Before Party

      by Alec82 on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:51:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and "beyond my comprehension", eh? (0+ / 0-)

    What can the diarist know about somebody else's comprehension?

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:43:07 AM PDT

  •  Muhammad's never done anything to me (4+ / 0-)

    Why should I caricature him? Why show disrespect to the world's muslims if their religion hasn't done anything to me?  It simply isn't important enough to mock a religion just for the hell of it. If the pope hadn't participated in protecting priests who committed child abuse, I wouldn't criticize him, either. I don't share anyone's religion, but I have enough respect for people's beliefs that, unless they've done something I find objectionable, I don't mock their spirituality. I see no purpose in mockery for mockery's sake.

    I'll reserve the right to mock the bad behavior of supposed religious leaders and followers, though.  That's a whole different kettle of fish.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Thu May 20, 2010 at 11:43:44 AM PDT

  •  Ok here's mohammed (7+ / 0-)

        \.  
        /. (
         
         
    Best I can do with this medium.    I'm  willing to draw JC,  krishna or god herself  to be fair.

  •  "I think that it's better to let people see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GillesDeleuze, The Drawback

    ugliness and hypocrisy rather than pretend it doesn't exist."

    That's the ugliness and hypocrisy: the censorship.

  •  I can't (0+ / 0-)

    Any sort of graven image is against my country's religion.

    Interesting repetitive geometric figures, anyone?

    I know, I know, they are all over here, because of our strong Abrahamic prohibition against representational art.

  •  SAW=Sallalahu aleyhi wasallam (peace be upon him) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, JDsg

    … for those not familiar with Muslim conventions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Ligature at Unicode codepoint U+FDFA: ﷺ

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:28:29 PM PDT

  •  Best one I ever saw was this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Drawback

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:40:10 PM PDT

  •  For what it's worth, I was researching (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, JesseCW, louisprandtl

    Islamic dress for a paper for the Society of Creative Anachronism, and stumbled across a number of ancient Persian and Mughal paintings which DO show the Prophet--but with his face either not present or with a veil over it, hiding it completely. They were all done by Muslims.

    I was researching the topic because one of my SCA personas lives in Egypt in the late 12th and early 13 the century. I wanted to get it right, so I have extensively--as extensively as I could relying on English texts--the history and culture of the time. WHy did I chosoe that persona (a person I portray when the SCA--a medieval re-creation group which also does a lot of work with schools--gets together? I bellydance,a nd fell in love with Moorish Spain when I was twelve and read  Washington Irving's Tales From the Alhambra for the first time.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:49:02 PM PDT

  •  I am actually NOT against banning burqas (0+ / 0-)

    or face veils, because there is no mention of them in the Q'oran. Hijab?  Wrogn to ban the head veil.  Only reason I can even consdier not opposing a face veil is  security, because there has been at elast one instance of a male suicide bomber dressing as a woman.  

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:51:01 PM PDT

    •  Come on.............. (0+ / 0-)

      That's a pretty weak argument for banning something. I'm pretty sure some guy somewhere has held up a bank wearing a clown mask should we ban clown masks to on security grounds?

      Firstly when Governments start banning pieces of clothing you're embarking on a slippery slope in my view.

      What's next banning goth clothes the next time some goth kid goes on a school rampage? Or maybe ban people wearing crosses around there necks because that ain't mentioned in the Bible.

      Secondly as mentioned in the diary you cannot claim to have freedom of speech while you are banning people from expressing there cultures. It don't work like that...

      Non Violence is fine... so long as it works. - Malcolm X

      by Dr Marcos on Thu May 20, 2010 at 07:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FIrst of all, there is nothing (0+ / 0-)

        in the Q'oran that requires women to cover their faces. NOTHING. I've read it and researched the issue at some length. It was first practiced int he Byzantine Empire--a CHRISTIAN nation, BTW--as a show of wealth.  Burqas are cultural, not religious.

        Goth clothes. Crosses.  You obviously don't know me very well. I AM a goth--a 60 year old Goth. I live int he Deep SOuth.  I knwo very well how the press treated Goth kids. I am also WIccan. Been on the receiving end of Christian love over my pentacle, including having my car keyed over a dumb bumpersticker and being follwoed around a store that I didn't yet know was a DOminionist-owned chain because i was wearing my pentacle.

        I didn't say I backed a ban on the face veil--but I CAN udnerstand why it might be necessary.  ANd a head-to-toe covering that flows makes it dmaned easy to hide a suicide vest. NOT a weak excuse. We ahve to shed jackets and loose clothing at airports.  I can udnerstand bannign burqas for that reason ONLY.

        Oh, and schools HAVE baned both Gpoth clothes and pentacles. And lsot,

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Thu May 20, 2010 at 08:41:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If, instead of fatwahs & death threats, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mheido, NearlyNormal, louisprandtl

    the response to the initial "drawing" controversy had been mass, worldwide, peaceful protests and thousands of heartfelt explanations, I would have had a ton of empathy. My empathy ended when the murders began.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:59:33 PM PDT

  •  Free speech is a good thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    condorcet, louisprandtl

    And no one should face violence for simply expressing an opinion, even a hateful opinion. That said, I don't support taking a big shit on someone's religion and I don't go out of my way to denigrate any religion. Just because I can say what I want and express myself how I want, that doesn't mean I SHOULD do that all the time.

  •  i'm not Muslim... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl, The Drawback

    ...so why on EARTH would i abide by the rules of Islam? that's absurd. truly arrogant. i'll draw whatever i want.

    it's not "blasphemous" or "sacreligious" for me to draw Muhammad - an historical figure. i don't believe Muhammad was a prophet (and i don't believe Jesus was the son of God, etc.), so to suggest i should adhere to that religious belief is sickening to me.

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Thu May 20, 2010 at 02:00:09 PM PDT

  •  What's a prophet saw? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby

    About $99 this week at Home Depot?

    I feel sorry for you legend believers.

  •  I draw. And I agree with having this day... (0+ / 0-)

    If I want to draw the Prophet (peace be upon him), then that's my right as an American. Nobody can tell me what I can or can't draw.

    I am fully aware of the racist undertones of the people behind this day. But I don't care. Fuck oversensative bleeding-hearts (mostly liberals, some hypocritical conservatives). Free speech is free speech.

    Actually, I have nothing against Islam or most Muslims, except for the few who respond with violence. The flap over the Danish cartoon (which has affected South Park twice now) has had a chilling effect on free speech.

    I will draw the Prophet (PBUH), and I dare anyone who gets offended - Muslim, Christian, or otherwise - to come find me. Seriously. You wanna kill me? Just try it. I dare ya.

    (\:|}} <-- Muhammad (pbuh)</p>

    "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear..." --Obama, 1/20/09

    by SouthernFried on Thu May 20, 2010 at 03:34:07 PM PDT

    •  Yet you seem compelled (0+ / 0-)
      To abide by the convention of incanting "peace be upon him" after the mere mention of mohammed.  Interesting.

      Is that reflexive, like a nominal christian saying 'god bless you' after someone sneezes?  Or is it that you
      Are actually in the thrall of the cult of mohammed?

  •  On Draw Mohammed Day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg

    Obviously it's racist. The whole sad thing was started by the cartoonist drawing a picture of Mohammed with a bomb. It's repulsive.

    If I see a cartoon of a Jewish man with a pointy noise grabbing a money bag, as an atheist I find that repulsive and offensive.

    If I see a cartoon of Mohammed holding a ticking bomb on his head, as an atheist I find that repulsive and offensive.

    It's reinforcing stereotypes for ignorant people (including some here on Daily K). It does not cause anything positive for the society at large. Shit when you start demonizing one group of people it never ends well. Ever.  

    Non Violence is fine... so long as it works. - Malcolm X

    by Dr Marcos on Thu May 20, 2010 at 07:42:42 PM PDT

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