Why “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” is Doucheful
A lot of blogs I read have been talking about Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. This all started because a some fringe Islamic fundamentalists threatened violence against the Cartoon Network and the creators of South Park and the house of a Swedish cartoonist was firebombed (he wasn’t there, thankfully).
I want to start out by saying that violence over free speech – even the threat of violence – is something I find deplorable at all levels. If one is enlightened, one should seek diplomacy as a solution first and violence last.
Let me further say that “Freedom of Speech” is probably my favorite right granted to me by the founding fathers. If I could Facebook “like” it, I would.
However, having freedom of speech does not grant one freedom of responsibility for those words, nor freedom to be a douchebag. Citizenship in America is hard fucking work and it requires patience, tact, and a willingness to forgive.
“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” is not an attempt to “win the rights to draw Mohammed”, nor is it “standing up to the radical Muslim right.” It’s a bandwagon event where a bunch of people try to piss all over the beliefs of a large percentage of the world’s population.
It is against Muslim belief to create an image of Mohammed. Those who ascribe to that religion believe there is power there. By drawing Mohammed, what you are saying “I disrespect your beliefs, what they stand for, and by extension, I disrespect you and everything you stand for.”
Congratulations. You’ve just declared yourself as a douchebag without empathy.
To every Muslim. Everywhere.
There will be a small fringe group who may threaten (or even perform) violent acts over this. That’s horrible. But, you know: it’s unlikely that you, safe in your internet anonymity in the basement, will encounter this (bully for you, Mr. Man!). However, the large majority of people you offend will be just that: offended. And now you’ve lost any shred of respect they may have had for you, and done a damned good job of sinking diplomatic relations with them.
Why would they want to talk to you? You’ve just spit on something they care about.
See, you’re not fighting the radical fringe. You’re starting a war with the center. Why would you do that?
Everyone has something in their lives that they consider “sacred”. For some people, this is their religious beliefs. For others, patriotism. Family. Gender or sexual identity. Hell, I’ve seen people get into fistfights over their choice of computer operating systems.
Consider the American Flag. Say I wanted to set one on fire – for no reason other than to provoke a reaction.
I could go to downtown San Francisco and do this and have a fairly tame reaction. There would probably be many people who cheered and an equal number of people booing. There would probably quickly be a police presence, and I’d likely get cited for disturbing the peace if things got ugly.
Now, think about doing that in the great state of Mississippi.
It would be a different experience. Few (if any) individuals would applaud my actions and I could expect a classic beatdown that I would remember for decades.
What would happen if burned a gay pride flag in the middle of the Castro?
Them’s fightin’ words.
As my friend Chip points out, participating in “Draw Mohammed Day” puts you in the same crowd as the students trying to start shit on Cinco de Mayo. You’re just stirring the pot to stir the pot; nothing of value is going to be gained.
This is why I’ve never been a fan of Piss Christ.
So, okay. Maybe you don’t have any religious beliefs, and you could give a fuck about patriotism or whatever. What would you do if I wiped my ass with, oh, the first crayon drawing your child brings home from nursery school? Decided to melt down your wedding ring?
For no reason except to piss you off.
Ultimately, we’re talking about vandalizing someone else’s beliefs.
Lance: Still got your Malibu?
Vincent: Aw, man. You know what some fucker did the other day?
Vincent: Fucking keyed it.
Lance: Oh, man, that’s fucked up.
Vincent: Tell me about it. I had it in storage for three years, it was out for five days and some dickless piece of shit fucked with it.
Lance: They should be fucking killed. No trial, no jury, straight to execution.
Vincent: Boy, I wish I could’ve caught him doing it. I’d have given anything to catch that asshole doing it. It’d been worth him doing it just so I could’ve caught him doing it.