Posts Tagged ‘mohammed’

Bah, I completely missed that it’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day until Crispian’s reminder. It’s too late to do anything new about it now. Time for a repost:

You can go back and read what I thought about this three years ago, if you’re desperate for an opinion. It hasn’t shifted much since then.

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A couple of weeks ago, a particularly intellectual and astute Muslim totally destroyed some heretics’ arguments with his superior powers of logic and deduction. Before they’d even spoken, he conclusively demonstrated that the facts were entirely on his side, and that any rebuttals made by the non-believers would necessarily be false.

By which I mean he threatened them and had a debate cancelled.

Still, I’m sure they were all persuaded. I’m sure that everyone there who might have believed something derogative of the holy Prophet Muhammad – say, that he had multiple wives and had sex with at least one pre-pubescent child – now realises that it’s not true, for the obvious reason that if they were to say that it’s true then they might be violently attacked. To still believe the truth of such a fact, even in the furthest recesses of one’s mind, would be an affront to reason.

So, well done, Islamists with no interest in debate or discovery but who are willing to attack and harm others for crimes of thought. You won in a way that really matters.

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– No damn President of mine is going to celebrate Kwanzaa. At least, no African President.

– This black kid shouldn’t have run from those cops. It’s “illogical”. I mean, it’s not like they were going to hurt him.

– “Mohammed had a thing for little girls.” Any law which locks people up for saying this is repugnant. Any law which has to resort to the technicality that, because Mohammed stayed with his nine-year-old wife until she was eighteen, such comments constitute “incitement”, is batshit insane. And yes, the law can still go hang if that first sentence was replaced by “The Holocaust never happened”.

– Apparently you can be prevented from taking a plane out of London if you’re in possession of the wrong kind of political literature, on the apparent grounds that you might “upset” the other passengers by passing it around among them. Wow, they’re not even pretending this is about legitimate safety concerns any more.

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The Heresiarch is characteristically spot-on in his take on the matter of the recently firebombed French magazine that had dared to publish blasphemous cartoon images of the prophet Mohammed. In particular, he’s taking on the idea that an organisation that goes out of its way to deliberately cause offense to millions of peace-loving Muslims deserves no sympathy when a small violent faction is driven to bloody vengeance.

I think when I do this it’s called a pull-quote:

The irony is that this kind of argument is a form of Islamophobia itself, both because it demonstrates actual fear of Muslims (they might bomb us) and because it caricatures them as all the same, all equally thin-skinned and all interested in nothing beyond upholding the dignity of their holy prophet. But in fact Muslims (whether they know it or not; many do) have much more than other people to gain from a lifting of the taboo on criticising any aspect of their religion, whether Sharia law, the Koran or the personality of Mohammed.

This is exactly right. If the over-sensitive cultural taboo wasn’t so keenly and aggressively in place, then cartoonists and satirists wouldn’t find it nearly such a rich vein of subject matter. Magazines wouldn’t bother putting the images in question on their covers, because there’d be no worthwhile point to be made by doing so; and so the extremists subgroups wouldn’t keep firebombing people and reinforcing the public image of Muslims as violent reactionaries who the rest of us ought to fear. Surely that unfortunately widespread perception is more damaging and hurtful to the majority of Muslims than the occasional drawing of their prophet.

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Now a cartoon doesn’t even have to have the Muslim prophet in it at all to be refused by multiple newspapers, presumably out of fear of some sort of retribution.

Here it is:

It’s a straight-forward play on the “Where’s Wally?” series of books and other assorted media, with a reference to the fact that depictions of Muhammad are especially controversial at the present time.

It doesn’t actually include an image of Muhammad. But people are scared of the repercussions anyway. And the Muslim extremists who they’re scared of want us to feel like this.

That’s not the only thing they want, obviously. It’s not quite as simple as using this rejection of a cartoon strip as a bellwether for whether or not the terrorists have won. But it’s an interesting state of mind to contemplate; that they genuinely want us to be living in fear of offending them with an entirely innocuous expression of free speech.

I’m still touting defiance as a worthwhile response. I just hope I never have to get scared myself of what will happen as a result of my doing something like this.

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I somehow missed that it’s International Blasphemy Day today until pretty late in the evening. Just for the sake of keeping up appearances, I’ll repeat a few things from last time:

– I deny the divinity of the holy spirit.

– Here’s a picture I made of the prophet Muhammed doing a dance: O-Z—<

– I believe in and worship your preferred god/gods, and fully subscribe to your belief system of choice. And now I don't, they're all fake. Universal apostasy FTW.

– That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.

– The flying spaghetti monster is rhetorically useful, but entirely fictitious. And pirates aren't that interesting.

Nothing is sacred. Night night.

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The backlash following Everybody Draw Muhammad Day has begun. The Facebook page for “Everybody draw Holocaust day” is, as I post this, “liked” by 1,271 people.

And, well, obviously they’re all entirely welcome to draw pictures of the Holocaust happening, or not happening. They’re certainly free to highlight the other genocidal atrocities in recent human history that don’t get as much attention, even if they want to throw a distinctly anti-Semitic slant on it. But it’s clear that it’s little more than a petty foot-stomping tantrum in response to people’s religious sensibilities being offended. The page description begins:

The difference is that you draw Lies about Muhammad and we draw Truth about you.

What does a drawing of a lie about Muhammad look like? Was my drawing a lie because he wasn’t really that skinny? The only statement made about Muhammad by most of the pictures drawn of him is that religious zealots don’t get to impose their own laws on the rest of us. People have been killed over this issue, and so we’re making a stand for our free speech by defiantly publishing pictures that some people don’t want us to. Nobody’s lying about anything, and you have to be pitiably thin-skinned to take it that way.

It’s a shame it’s so wacky, because in places they have a germ of a point. These people should have the right to question the accepted historical narrative of the Holocaust, however batshit insane and culturally offensive the way they go about it. In one of the group’s photo albums, there’s a snapshot of this Wikipedia page, which lists various notable convictions that have been made against people for the crime of Holocaust denial in parts of Europe. People have been fined thousands of Euros and imprisoned for years for expressing what I can only assume are their honest beliefs. It’s such an offensive opinion that people don’t even want to have to hear it.

And that is wrong. But the message is getting lost in a wave of anger and indignation against the people who have caused a different kind of offense against Muhammad. The way the founded of the group sees it, “[t]he secularist world proudly parades and legitimizes” this unfair punishment. By recounting it on Wikipedia, apparently.

So, yeah. The remedy for bad speech continues to be more speech, rather than silence. And religious fundamentalists continue not to understand anything.

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