Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Everybody Draw Muhammed Day

Look, I'm not an overly political activist-y type of person. But if I can make some sort of a stand whilst sitting from the comfort of my walled-off compound, I'll think about it. And today, I've decided to sit here in front of my computer and take a stand.

Today is "Everybody Draw Muhammed Day". According to the self-proclaimed fair and balanced folks over there at
Fox News, "Everybody Draw Muhammed Day" was the brainchild of a one cartoonist from Seattle, Molly Norris. Molly was appalled (as anyone else who values the freedom of speech and expression should have been) at Comedy Central's decision about a month ago to censor an episode of South Park which showed the prophet, Muhammed, in a bear suit. Wait. In a....?


Correct. In a bear suit. See, it's apparently against some sort of Muslim or Islamic tenet to depict the prophet Muhammed at all. And so even though he was in a bear suit, that was enough for a bunch of tools over at something called
RevolutionMuslim.com to post a message which read “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show…This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.” I see. (By the way, Theo Van Gogh ended up dead in the street. Oh, but it's not a threat.)


You know, they can say it's not a threat, but it certainly sounds very threat-ish to me. You know, radical Muslims or Muslim extremists or whatever you want to call them sure do get awfully riled up over cartoons. Wow. And of course, their solution is to just kill people who don't agree with them. Yeah, that seems perfectly normal. Or not.


Molly explained that she had felt "...that Viacom or Comedy Central had overreacted to a veiled threat from a tiny blog or website that not many people even belong to, and I think it just set a precedent for a slippery slope in censorship." She also said that "If artists have to be afraid of what they draw, then what’s the point of even living here? That's what really bothered me." Good point.


Her solution (since we're really kind of grasping at straws with how to handle nutjobs that can't be reasoned with because they justify all of their actions as being under the guise of some sort of religion that sanctions their killing anyone who breaks rules that they don't even have to follow) was that if the market was saturated with images of Muhammed then it would be a demonstration of some sort of solidarity by people who "....will not be intimidated or silenced by those who want to subjugate us simply because they find what we do offensive." I couldn't agree more.


Look, if you've ever watched an episode of South Park for more than a few minutes, you know how ridiculous it is for a group to issue a veiled death threat over some dude in a bear suit (some dude, by the way, who isn't even real as it's a freaking cartoon!). There are FAR more things that are FAR more offensive to get yourself all worked up over. Seriously. I watched an episode last night that had me cringing at times. I'm just going to say that there were gerbils involved and leave it at that. Well, and I wanted to stab my eyes out before it was over. (You can click
here if you want to know more. But I'm warning you, that episode should have been rated NO for No One!) But my point is that threatening someone's life over their drawing a cartoon bear is insane. And Comedy Central was insane for editing and censoring the episode.

Therefore, I am totally supporting "Everybody Draw Muhammed Day". I'm not an artist. I don't play one on TV. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But today, I am drawing Muhammed and posting my drawing here. I'm not afraid of backlash or veiled threats. I am afraid of the First Amendment to our Constitution being squelched because of fear. I'm not going to just sit here (figuratively speaking, of course) and be OK with a group of people trying to scare others into submission. This isn't a stand taken out of disrespect. It's a stand taken sitting down and it's one that's taken out of necessity.

Here is my Muhammed. He's at work. And he's tired. So he's taking a little nap. The office is bright, so he needs that newspaper over his face so that he can get some proper rest. Happy "Everybody Draw Muhammed Day". Now go out there and stand up for something! Even if you have to do it sitting down!


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