Thursday, May 20, 2010
Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
Via Instapundit, let's start with Mark Steyn:
I’m bored with death threats. And, as far as I’m concerned, if that’s your opening conversational gambit, then any obligation on my part to ‘cultural sensitivity’ and ‘mutual respect’ is over. The only way to stop this madness destroying our liberties is (as Ayaan Hirsi Ali puts it) to spread the risk. Everybody Draws Mohammed Day does just that.
Luckily, outside of a few Middle Eastern countries, the Islamists do not have the power to enforce their hellish vision of society. But that doesn’t stop them from trying. Where they can’t impose their religious rules by force, they try to impose them by fear and intimidation. Since we have our freedoms permanently etched into our Constitution, the Islamists are going to have little luck getting blasphemy laws passed in the U.S. Yet they can achieve the same result if they can use terror to bring about our own self-censorship. Which is exactly what they have set about doing, the most recent round starting with the murder of Theo Van Gogh in 2004 and reaching the boiling point with the Danish Cartoon Controversy in 2006. The pot hasn’t stopped boiling since. The Islamists’ strategy is to kill, or threaten to kill, anyone who gets media attention for “disrespecting” Islam or Mohammed — thereby convincing the rest of us infidels to remain silent if we know what’s good for us.
And here we come to the crux of the matter. Which side in this conflict gets to determine what counts as “disrespectful” (a contemporary euphemism for “blasphemous”)? In the jihadists’ view, any depiction of Mohammed — even a positive or honorific depiction — is deemed blasphemous. It’s our religion, they say, so we get to say what’s offensive. Yet if we grant them this inch, they’ll take another inch (it’s also disrespectful to write Mohammed’s name without a worshipful “PBUH” after it), and another inch (it’s disrespectful to criticize Islam in any way), and before long it’s the whole mile, and we once again will be living in an intellectual Middle Ages in which religious tyrants dictate our every thought and action.
So you can see the urge of every sane-minded Westerner to say a hearty Fuck you! to anyone who tries to erode away the bedrock of our free society. The more insistent (and violent) these attempts at erosion, the less civil the resistance will become. Which is exactly as it should be. If the Islamists want us to to stop mocking (or even questioning) Mohammed, they can achieve this goal quite simply: Just go away and leave us alone. Don’t bother us, and we won’t bother you. Seriously, 99% of non-Muslims don’t give a good goddamn about Mohammed one way or the other, and we’d gladly ignore him and his followers until the end of time – if they’d just stop trying to boss us around. But if someone comes to our safe haven and tries to impose a repressive or restrictive rule on us, then that is the exact rule we’re going to flout until the interlopers learn their lesson: We don’t take kindly to bullshit medieval religious oppression in these parts.
It is unconscionable that–under murderous duress!–those in the free speechin' business would suddenly cede the authority to depict a really existing historical figure to a loud minority's religious preferences. If the Church of Scientology tomorrow declared all depictions of L. Ron Hubbard verboten, and backed up the prohibition with just enough car-burning and death-threats to keep people on their toes, would the L.A. Times and 99 percent of American newspapers comply with the command? As Tim Cavanaugh pointed out in 2006, and as you can see at the Mohammed Image Archive, there is a rich tradition of Muslim depictions of the Prophet. What's more–and this point can never be stressed enough–three of the images that enraged Muslims to the point of killing 10 people were never published in any Danish newspaper. Their exact provenance is unknown, but they were circulated and popularized by the outrage-ginning Imams themselves. The most offended were arguably the biggest offenders.
I noted the other day that Internet jihadists were leaving death threat comments on the Facebook page of the “Draw Mohammed Day” organizer. Now, the Internet jihadi sympathizers are crowing this morning on Twitter about Facebook taking the DMD page down. As I write, the page appears to be back up. Who knows for how long.
If you’ve been reading this blog regularly for years, you know that dhimmitude at social networking and Web2.0 sites is nothing new. Nor is dhimmitude in the MSM or in higher education or in Washington. It’s the Achilles’ heel of Western civilization.
In honor of Draw Mohammed Day today, I’m reprinting below the post I published on January 1, 2006 during the original Mohammed Cartoon conflagration and the post I wrote at the end of 2006 on the deceit behind the manufactured Mo outrage. We’ve been here before. It’s about much more than free speech. The Muslim cartoon jihadists know it.
Lan astaslem: Arabic for “I will not submit/surrender”