Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

Why draw Mohammed? Because Muslims say I can't. I am not a Muslim and do not need to follow Islamic social taboos. Because murder, intimidation, and threats by Islamists should not influence us to give them what they want. Because free speech is a non-negotiable foundation of Western civilization. Because I'm participating in a day of solidarity for free speech advocates around the world in the face of religious extremism.

One will notice that my depiction of Mohammed is simplistic say the least.  I'm no artist.  It is also by any reasonable standard inoffensive.  There are no embellishments or editorials designed to insult the memory of Mohammed.  There is no need for such, since my intention is not to actually insult anyone.  Really.  I'm not being sardonic.  This is an exercise, a demonstration, of free speech.  A simple stick figure gets the point across without any need to go further with the drawing.  To make the picture pornographic or something would be going far beyond the stated purpose and needlessly offend people.

Just because I have the legal right to do something doesn't mean I ought to do it.  I agree with that in most instances.  However, Muslims have killed people over drawings of Mohammed.  Newspapers have refused to show readers the pictures that cause violent riots, even as the riot is reported, for fear of Muslims.  Television networks refuse to air comedy programs, or dramatically censor them, for fear of Muslim reactions.  Artists are issued death threats, even the organizers of this event have been threatened by Muslims on Facebook.  All of this is wrong.  My participation in Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is to assert with my single voice, joined in chorus with thousands of others, that free speech belongs to us all and it will not be muted.