May 20th was ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’, part 2. It went nearly unnoticed, what with all the excitement over God’s latest mistake.
I didn’t draw Mohammed this year. For one thing, I did it last year, and I didn’t think I could improve on it. But the main reason is that the conditions are a little different this year.
I don’t have a problem with blasphemy, mockery, or confrontation. I think these tools can be valid and justifiable responses in cases where believers are making threats of violence or unreasonable demands for complicity or respect. But I do make decisions as to when I’m going to use such tools.
Last year, Muslims were making unreasonable demands that non-Muslims obey the rules of their religion, and some individuals were making specific threats of violence against Molly Norris (originator of ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’) and against the creators of South Park. Under these circumstances, I decided that it was appropriate to join a concerted effort in direct confrontation to these demands.
This year, though, the issue hasn’t been on my radar. If there have been any credible threats made, I haven’t heard of them. Good. That’s how I like it.
Maybe not much has changed since last year. Many Muslims are still hypersensitive to criticism — witness their attempts to influence the UN to outlaw criticism of Islam — and this needs to be addressed until they learn that their religious views are no more entitled to respect than anyone else’s. However, I’m content to let the cartoon issue rest until such time as believers — Muslim or otherwise — try to use coercion or threats to curtail freedom of expression. When they do, it will once again be time to protest with pen or keyboard.