• Everyone Draw Some Blasphemy!

    Ah yes, it is that time of year once again — Everyone Draw Mohammed Day!

    It kind of snuck up on me this year so I didn’t really plan anything. But there are always drawings and artwork online and it isn’t difficult to draw a stick figure. I did recently have a Muslim tell me that Islam doesn’t actually have any prohibition against drawing their prophet. He might be right, but that is something he should take up with his fellow Muslims, not me.

    I honestly couldn’t care less if Allah considers it a sin or not. I don’t believe Allah exists. The point of Everyone Draw Mohammed Day isn’t to offend an imaginary deity; it is to let Muslims know that they can’t scare us with threats. It is to support freedom of speech and expression even in the face of death threats.

    draw mohammad dayStill, just because we can do a thing doesn’t mean we must do that thing. Just because I support the right to draw images of Mohammed that might offend Muslims, doesn’t mean we must do that. We should realize that people will be offended by our drawings no matter how silly and seemingly inoffensive they might be. Many atheists do seem to take issue with this holiday for that reason. Why should we go out of our way to draw something that will offend people?

    Why does the mountain climber climb the mountain? Because it’s there! No one should be offended enough to threaten someone’s life over silly drawings of a long dead religious figure. The media should also not be intimidated by these types of threats and that is exactly the point of Everyone Draw Mohammed Day.

    Sure, some atheists do get carried away with this holiday and intentionally try to draw the most offensive depictions of Mohammed they can think of, but this really misses the point. The point isn’t to intentionally offend Muslims, but rather to show that the offense Muslims take is ridiculous and that the threats that some Muslims make as a result of those depictions is an extreme overreaction.

    Category: AtheismEveryone Draw Mohammed DayfeaturedFree SpeechIslam

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    2 comments

    1. “The
      point isn’t to intentionally offend Muslims, but rather to show that
      the offense Muslims take is ridiculous”
      No, the point is to show that Islam is an offensive religion. It has the right to demonstrate that – and we have the right to point out how offensive it is by advocating the violation of human rights – almost all of them.

    2. Thanks for posting this, Staks. I agree that the point of the exercise is to show that a free people are not obligated to follow religious dicta and that they ought never be cowed by threats into doing so. Salman Rushdie perhaps said it best:

      At Cambridge I was taught a laudable method of argument: You never personalize, but you have absolutely no respect for people’s opinions. You are never rude to the person, but you can be savagely rude about what the person thinks. That seems to me a crucial distinction: People must be protected from discrimination by virtue of their race, but you cannot ring-fence their ideas. The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

      I made a quick Storify to recap and show the diversity of responses on Twitter. After doing so, I went back and added some of the backstory from the Danish cartoons up to South Park. Rereading the history of these events, I came away more determined than before that we should defend “dangerous talk” whenever it is condemned on faith-based grounds.

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