|Seattle Cartoonist Molly Norris|
has declared May 20th as National
Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!
In response, cartoonist Molly Norris declared May 20, 2010, as "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day," asking that people upload their own depictions of Mohammed onto her Facebook page (see the poster, there at the right).
And now, liberal and conservative alike (think about that for a moment, because this might be a very big deal) are joining together in support of the raison d'etre behind Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!
The liberal Huffington Post gives us an excellent discussion of why we should all do this in Sam Harris' piece, "Losing Our Spines to Save Our Lives."
Big Hollywood (known as "the conservative voice of Hollywood") not only supports Harris' position ("Our capitulations in the face of these threats have had what is often called “a chilling effect” on our exercise of free speech.") but also points us to Mark Goldblatt's article in the libertarian Reason magazine, "The Poet versus the Prophet,"
At what is hoped to be exemplary fair use, I join with Brad Thor of Big Hollywood to share the excellent work of Sam Harris, who writes:
The controversy over Fitna, like all such controversies, renders one fact about our world especially salient: Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name. Our accommodation of this psychopathic skewing of priorities has, more and more, taken the form of craven and blinkered acquiescence.
There is an uncanny irony here that many have noticed. The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do. When they burn your embassies or kidnap and slaughter your journalists, know that we will hold you primarily responsible and will spend the bulk of our energies criticizing you for “racism” and “Islamophobia.”
Our capitulations in the face of these threats have had what is often called “a chilling effect” on our exercise of free speech.
Of course, Molly Norris's efforts did not squeak by unnoticed. She's been the subject of death threats. There's been a movement to boycott Facebook by those unhappy with her efforts. Parts of Pakistan are blocking the Facebook site.
Nevertheless, according to FoxNews' headcount yesterday, over 41,000 Facebook users associated with the event page and a second, similar page was "liked" by over 4400. Interestingly, 58,000 users had joined a Facebook page in opposition to Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
Mind you, Comedy Central is the same channel that is purportedly preparing to bring us an entire half-hour cartoon that according to the Hollywood Reporter will depict Jesus Christ as wanting to "escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York City."
As a devout Christian, am I happy about this? No. Will I watch this show? Nope. "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do," applies pretty well here. Here's the difference: no way am I going to be threatening cartoonists with harm here. I'll pray for them, and I'll pray that the show fails. I'll let Comedy Central know they've lost a viewer if it ever airs. It offends me and it's blasphemous. It's wrong for them to do.
I'm not pleased that Jesus is being disrespected and dishonored as well as God Himself, but I trust that God knows what to do about this. God will handle it. God doesn't want me killing cartoonists in His Name.
Regarding free speech, as an American, I'm reminded of Voltaire's famous words, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
I also agree with the liberals,conservatives, and liberatarians whose writings have been referenced here, and join with them: it's time Americans stop accommodating against offense at the cost of Free Speech.