One of internet hottest debate today and probably will be for the coming few weeks is about the controversy created by “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” which initially was one artist’s Molly Norris idea of a joke turned in to a world wide media event and encouragement of street protests, users boycotting Facebook to Governments banning famous social networking websites like Facebook and YouTube leaving us all question the need for such childish and choreographed punditry.
“One way of reducing the cost is to organize a solidarity campaign. The entertainment business, especially Hollywood, is one of the wealthiest and most powerful industries in the world. Following the example of Jon Stewart, who used the first segment of his April 22 show to defend ‘South Park,’ producers, actors, writers, musicians and other entertainers could lead such an effort. Another idea is to do stories of Muhammad where his image is shown as much as possible. These stories do not have to be negative or insulting; they just need to spread the risk. The aim is to confront hypersensitive Muslims with more targets than they can possibly contend with. Another important advantage of such a campaign is to accustom Muslims to the kind of treatment that the followers of other religions have long been used to.”
“This isn’t about being angry at Muslims, not even the extremists. This is about being angry at the media, the art world, and the entertainment industry’s blatant double standard when it comes to offending Christians or Jews, versus offending Muslims. Muslim extremists make death threats all the time about anything and everything. What else is new? It’s the cowardice and hypocrisy of our liberal controlled popular culture that is inspiring “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”.
“Muslims welcome to Western culture, where everybody’s God is subject to ridicule. Take it or leave it”.
“Depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats”.
“If it’s true that the Prophet Muhammad is not drawn or depicted by Muslim artists based on Islamic beliefs, why revel in ignorance? In other words, if it were considered heathen-like behavior to draw Jesus, would that be tolerated with the same level of revelry – or is there something else at work?”
“Draw Muhammad day is not good because every religion has its leaders and no one should be allowed to harm the respect, image and religious suspecties of the followers. Muslims are right on the protest”.
“Cartoon of Irish Catholic neighborhoods festooned with banners showing a crown on a bible celebrating the victory on 12 July 1690 of Protestant King William of Orange over his Catholic rival as king, James II, at the Battle of the Boyne near Belfast. It was such provocations by Protestants that kicked off decades of Troubles in Northern Ireland that left nearly 4000 dead and led to several major bombings of London”.
“After viewing some of the submissions for the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!” group on Facebook, I found myself dissatisfied with many of the participants. Instead of drawing an innocuous image, many have made deliberate attempts to be insulting. It’s unfortunate because the point of all of this will be lost among the hatred, ignorance, and idiocy”.
“We are aliving in this world and society where one should follow some ignorance and tolerance. This is what u all say. If we dont then every1 will b fighting against eachother and this world become a warzone. So when u live in a society then sometimes try to avoid doing things which we believe that can harm our friend or other person living cose to u. Dont we do that? this is called humanity and caring for peace and love. So thats what one group which is largest one requesting to not to do that draw thingy bcz it hurts someone feeling. We are asking that, not saying that we will kill you. So what u say about this?”
Last comment is interesting because it came from a 12 year boy from Ireland. May be we can learn something from him i.e. living in peace and love.
From all the articles and voices that we have been following at iPOP one voice which we find missing is why the champion advocates for freedom of speech did not take it to Comedy Central who exhibited self-censorship and brought this whole crisis rather than going after Everybody Draw Muhammad Day and hurting Muslim communities sentiments. While Muslims all over the world are protesting against ‘Draw Muhammad Day’, a large part of non-Muslims community is supporting this event in the name of ‘freedom of expression’. The question remains is this really freedom of expression or is it provocation? What I find interesting is Ms. Molly Norris’ idea of freedom of expression is by making funny cartoons limited to only some historical and religious personalities, ideas, and events. One must notice that when she was asked if she would make fun of Holocaust Molly Norris simply replied, ‘no, there’s nothing funny about it’. So much for Freedom of Expression and the blatant double standards.