Line Drawing In The Sand

islamcartoons By way of Twitter and Reason comes word that May 20 has been designated “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” by Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor “in support of Matt Stone and Trey Parker and in opposition to religious thuggery.”

I’m glad it’s a few weeks off — I can barely draw a straight line, so I’ll need some time to practice. It’s often remarked that the reward system is badly skewed if threats of violence earn one’s group the sort of… deference that gave rise to this reaction. But what I wonder at the mind-numbing banality of it.

I know fanaticism is antithetical to rationality, but is there no-one among them who can see how astonishingly weak their obsession with non-Muslims drawing Muhammad makes them look? It’s hardly a long stride from death threats over cartoons to “If your religion is so fragile it’s threatened by a drawing, there’s something very wrong with it.”

Derision is the obvious — and likely most effective — countermeasure. Hence this post promoting “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.” Reason is collecting submissions. I will be, too. Email them to appomattoxATgmailDOTcom. After the big day, I’ll post the best ones.

FILED UNDER: Islam
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.

Comments

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fyreforged: RT @Amuk3: Line Drawing In The Sand http://bit.ly/apt9Xl // Better get your affairs in order….

  2. […] wrote a blog that stayed on my blogroll some 304 years after it died in the hopes it would restart, but this whole idea of everyone drawing Mohammad as an act of defiance just sounds so warblogger circa 2003-2004. Which […]

  3. Jayackroyd says:

    This is entirely, completely, and utterly wrong. South Park is not satirizing Islam, per se. They are satirizing all the idiotic idols of worship, from Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand to Jesus and Jehovah. if you want to chime in, have a Flying Spaghetti Monster judged contest on all of these crazy religion things. Picking out one is diametrically opposite to what Matt and Trey are saying.

    And if you are gonna do that, you should satirize their winner, in the two part episode “Do the Handicapped Go To Hell”/”Probably” and declare the one true religion to be Mormon. You know, where heaven is lemonade and cookie at the intermission of an amateur bible play.

  4. TangoMan says:

    This is entirely, completely and utterly the right thing to do.

    1.) It undercuts the notion that threats work to reduce the targeted action by demonstrating that threats will actually produce more of the targeted action. This is a perfect inducement to stop threatening people.

    2.) Rather than having a few brave individuals fight the battle of liberty for us all and paint huge targets on their back, this diffuses the targeting and makes the brave fighters for liberty stand alongside an army of the like-minded.

    3.) It sends the message that in Western nations we do not tolerate the imposition of religious obligations onto others. If a Muslim doesn’t want to put Mohammed’s image onto paper, that is their right, but they cannot force others to refrain from doing so if they please. This lesson needs to be driven home, and it seems that it needs to be done quite blatantly and forcefully because the message has been eroded by those coddling leftists who are more inclined to fostering cultural and religious sensitivity than defending enlightenment values.

  5. Doing My Part For Freedom Of Speech, Press, And Religion…

    Along with many other bloggers in America and around the world, IÂ’m promoting – and will participate in – the First Annual Everybody Draw Mohammad Day! Why? Because everybody has a right to exercise freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom …

  6. anjin-san says:

    the message has been eroded by those coddling leftists who are more inclined to fostering cultural and religious sensitivity than defending enlightenment values.

    About what one would expect from an idiot like tango. In fact, Andrew Sullivan has been in the lead on this issue. And lets review the track record of how many Democratic politicians have served in combat, as opposed to Republicans, who are much more likely to go the “Deferment Dick Cheney” route.

    You know tango, if you are so eager to defend enlightenment values, you could probably enlist and be in combat in Afghanistan in no time. But of course we all know that is not going to happen.

  7. TangoMan says:

    You know tango, if you are so eager to defend enlightenment values, you could probably enlist and be in combat in Afghanistan in no time. But of course we all know that is not going to happen.

    There’s nothing in Afghanistan that concerns my interests or has much bearing on the erosion of Enlightenment Values. I’m of the school “Rubble Doesn’t Cause Trouble” and I’d be far happier if we instituted a modern day Containment policy with respect to certain regions of the world rather than the current interventionist and society-building option we’ve taken.

    As for defending Enlightenment Values, delegitimizing Leftist claptrap and rebuilding what leftists have destroyed is the route with the largest potential for benefit.

  8. anjin-san says:

    As for defending Enlightenment Values, delegitimizing Leftist claptrap and rebuilding what leftists have destroyed is the route with the largest potential for benefi

    In other words, you are a typical right wing blowhard who talks a lot of smack while hiding behind his computer, but would never consider putting his ass on the line in the real world.

    Got it.

  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    Anjin_san how come your not over there fighting the real war in Afghanistan?

  10. Michael says:

    3.) It sends the message that in Western nations we do not tolerate the imposition of religious obligations onto others.

    Unless you’re gay. Or want an abortion. Or do research on stem cells. Or want more than one spouse. Or want to buy alcohol on Sunday.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Anjin_san how come your not over there fighting the real war in Afghanistan?

    After 9.11 I contacted a recruitment center. Turned out there was not much demand for 42 year old boots with bad knees and high blood pressure 🙂

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    Unless you’re gay. Or want an abortion. Or do research on stem cells. Or want more than one spouse. Or want to buy alcohol on Sunday.

    I’m pretty sure that in this country you can be gay, murder your children,experiment on stem cells,have more then one spouse,and get drunk on Sunday.

  13. Michael says:

    G.A.
    While you can do some (but not all) of those, the point was that even in our Western nation, we have large portions of the population that would like to impose religious obligations on the rest.

  14. TangoMan says:

    Unless you’re gay. Or want an abortion. Or do research on stem cells. Or want more than one spouse. Or want to buy alcohol on Sunday.

    While you can do some (but not all) of those, the point was that even in our Western nation, we have large portions of the population that would like to impose religious obligations on the rest.

    Not one of your objections is rooted solely in religious obligation. You seem to be confusing overlap with source. For instance, just because some religious denominations or schools believe that abortion is a sin doesn’t mean that atheists can’t believe that abortion is murder. Just because some religious source prohibits polygamy doesn’t mean that atheists can’t believe that polygamy is socially destabilizing and should be prohibited. These beliefs held by some religious folks and some atheists certainly overlap but that doesn’t mean that they are derived from the same source, religion.

  15. Dodd says:

    In other words, you are a typical right wing blowhard who talks a lot of smack while hiding behind his computer, but would never consider putting his ass on the line in the real world.

    I don’t really agree with Tango’s POV on my post, but this is an ahistorical, asinine, and dishonourable argument. I didn’t serve my country to defend the notion that only people who serve have a right to an opinion on matters of war and peace. Quite the opposite: Our Republic is firmly rooted in the principle of civilian control of the military. Anyone that resorts to the “chickenhawk” ad hominem is, frankly, despicable. If that’s all you have, you have no business engaging in debate with serious-minded people.

  16. anjin-san says:

    If that’s all you have, you have no business engaging in debate with serious-minded people.

    It’s not all I have, Its just all I have for Tango. Asinine seems to be about the right tone for a discussion with him.

    But if you really think I lack the seriousness of mind to hang with you, lets have an actual debate and see where the chips fall. Having read your posts, I think I can stay in the ring without too much trouble.

  17. anjin-san says:

    It’s hardly a long stride from death threats over cartoons to “If your religion is so fragile it’s threatened by a drawing, there’s something very wrong with it.”

    Let’s start here. Do the actions of a small number of fanatics mean that a religion practiced by roughly a billion people has “something very wrong with it”? This seems like hyperbole of the worst sort.

    It would not be difficult to identify reprehensible actions taken by extremists who practice Christian faiths. Does it then follow that Christianity “has something wrong with it”?

    You don’t even have to look at the actions of extremists. Do you remember the reaction to John Lennon’s comment about The Beatles and Jesus?

  18. Dodd says:

    It’s not all I have, Its just all I have for Tango. Asinine seems to be about the right tone for a discussion with him.

    Dumbing yourself down to your competition hardly an excuse for resorting to facile, illegitimate personal attacks. If you have better, use better.

    It would not be difficult to identify reprehensible actions taken by extremists who practice Christian faiths. Does it then follow that Christianity “has something wrong with it”?

    You don’t even have to look at the actions of extremists. Do you remember the reaction to John Lennon’s comment about The Beatles and Jesus?

    I don’t agree that the religion practiced by jihadists (or, say, Fred Phelps) is the same one practiced by non-fanatics. So your equivalence is false.

    As is the John Lennon allusion. People were offended by his statement but there was not a worldwide movement of hundreds of thousands of them who had spent years establishing beyond all possible doubt that when one of them issues a death threat over such a minor slight, the target has no choice but to take it very seriously. So it fails, too.

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    We have already discussed the difference between Islam and Christianity, and I say that there is a massive inadequacy between comparing the two.

    Big difference between a kook or several kooks that read and do not understand the bible vs. a Billion kooks who are taught the teachings of a murderous religion of domination and terror and have no choice but to practice it.

    Oh why is it that the liberals who take such pride in that essence of complication never truly understand it?

    I think it’s because the complications that the liberals celebrate are the ones that they made up to influence others not look at the truth of any matter, this makes said complications unreal and and very, very, hard to understand, even for their creators.

    ya ya, I know, more Deep thoughts from Left Handy:)

    One thing you can do is substitute your face book or my space pic to that of the South Park Mohammad. I have, I don’t draw well, I mean I don’t draw pic’s of pedophile hill bandit mass murdering false Prophets well:)

  20. anjin-san says:

    Are you really claiming that the Jihadist movement is a reaction to to the single action of representations of Mohammad that Muslims find offensive? I think it is a bit more complex than that.

    I don’t agree that the religion practiced by jihadists (or, say, Fred Phelps) is the same one practiced by non-fanatics.

    You did not make such a distinction earlier. Only vague refrences to “them”. Painting with a fairly wide brush there, are we?

    .

  21. Dodd says:

    You did not make such a distinction earlier. Only vague refrences to “them”. Painting with a fairly wide brush there, are we?

    I will not be dragged into an insipid semantic argument with you. The relevant passage, in full is as follows:

    I know fanaticism is antithetical to rationality, but is there no-one among them who can see how astonishingly weak their obsession with non-Muslims drawing Muhammad makes them look? It’s hardly a long stride from death threats over cartoons to “If your religion is so fragile it’s threatened by a drawing, there’s something very wrong with it.”

    I’m sorry that my specific reference to fanaticism at the beginning was insufficiently specific for you to realize the width of the brush with which I was painting thereafter.

    I’m forced to conclude that you don’t actually have anything better than what you’ve presented here. Or will you now say you’re dumbing yourself down to my level?

  22. May 20 First Annual Everybody Draw Mohammed Day! because “Above all, [Mo] cannot stand to be mocked”…

    “Above all else, the devil cannot stand to be mocked.” – C.S. Lewis
    And…Mo’s foaming at the mouth follower’s have the gall to expect the entire world to worship their false prophet, the bloodthirsty war lord Muhammed…

  23. anjin-san says:

    Quite taken with yourself, arent you Dodd – Ready to declare victory and move one so soon?

    ‘m sorry that my specific reference to fanaticism at the beginning was insufficiently specific for you to realize the width of the brush with which I was painting thereafter.

    In the name of moving forward, I will conceed that you are simply guilty of sloppy writing there. But then there is this:

    when one of them issues a death threat over such a minor slight,

    “A minor slight” according to whom? You? Perhaps a devout Sunni sees it a bit differently. Being dismissive of cultural norms and values not your own is hardly a sign of a first class intellect. There is an interesting article on the subject here:

    http://www.answering-islam.org/Muhammad/pictures.html

    Since you are not interested in semantics, I will forgo any references to Hayakawa and Korbinski. But perhaps you could read the linked article, or other relevant subject matter. Then you can organize your brushes, and we can discuss the matter at hand without me having to dumb it down for you.

  24. Dodd says:

    In the name of moving forward, I will conceed that you are simply guilty of sloppy writing there.

    Wow. You’re totally immune to irony, aren’t you? I do not accede to your flailing attempt to dig yourself out of a hole you dug for yourself by insulting me. Own your error or go back to Fark where this sort of drivel is considered a valid means of debate.

    “A minor slight” according to whom? You? Perhaps a devout Sunni sees it a bit differently. Being dismissive of cultural norms and values not your own is hardly a sign of a first class intellect.

    You do realize that we are talking here about a cartoon in which an image of a bear was said in exposition to be Muhammad wearing a costume, right? I do not recognize the legitimacy of any cultural norm which considers that worthy of death threats. Period. End of discussion.

  25. anjin-san says:

    End of discussion.

    Probably a good thing. Talking to you was making me kind of sleepy. Pat yourself on the back, and move on.

  26. Dodd says:

    I’d have to have accomplished something to deserve a pat on the back. Parrying your snide semantic quibbles, dishonourable personal attacks, and ankle biting barely qualifies as sharpening my claws.

  27. anjin-san says:

    I do not recognize the legitimacy of any cultural norm which considers that worthy of death threats.

    BTW, the cultural norm I refer to is the prohibition regarding idolatry, as defined by Muslims. The death threats, as you yourself outlined for us in bold brush strokes, are the actions of extremists, NOT the norm.

    You do realize that we are talking here about a cartoon in which an image of a bear was said in exposition

    I am not the offended party. What I do or don’t realize is not relevant. You don’t peddle this sort of cheese in court do you?

    Ok, enough fun and games for one afternoon. I am off to the ballpark.

  28. anjin-san says:

    dishonourable personal attack

    I just like to argue sometimes. Don’t take things too seriously, you sound like a Klingon carrying on about honor. It’s only a blog. BTW, you have not done all that great job of parrying. And I doubt if your ankles merit much attention, I only bite good looking blondes…

  29. Dodd says:

    I just like to argue sometimes. Don’t take things too seriously, you sound like a Klingon carrying on about honor. It’s only a blog.

    Words cannot adequately express the depth of my contempt for all forms of the “chickenhawk” ‘argument.’ I’m not surprised you don’t seem to get that, truth be told, but there it is.

  30. anjin-san says:

    Words cannot adequately express the depth of my contempt for all forms of the “chickenhawk” ‘argument.

    Everyone has their opinion, yours is not necessarily right, nor it it necessarily wrong. The truth often lies somewhere in between. I am probably a little older than you, and as I get older, I care less and less for people who seem anxious to resort to violence before all other options have been exhausted. Too often the calls for war seem to come from guys who will not be doing the fighting and dying.

    If this bothers you, I can live with it. Much of my worldview was framed growing up with the Vietnam war. All that death, destruction and waste in a war where our involvement was wholly futile and unnecessary.

    Period. End of discussion.

    You know when you say this, you are supposed to stop talking to the other party. It’s a cultural norm 🙂

  31. TangoMan says:

    I care less and less for people who seem anxious to resort to violence before all other options have been exhausted. Too often the calls for war seem to come from guys who will not be doing the fighting and dying.

    Poppycock. As you demonstrate over and over again, you’re not really a clear-headed thinker, you rely on cliched thinking and you too often respond with comments that have no bearing on an argument, and this is one such case. Let’s review how you got to your last comment:

    TangoMan: 3.) It sends the message that in Western nations we do not tolerate the imposition of religious obligations onto others. If a Muslim doesn’t want to put Mohammed’s image onto paper, that is their right, but they cannot force others to refrain from doing so if they please. This lesson needs to be driven home, and it seems that it needs to be done quite blatantly and forcefully because the message has been eroded by those coddling leftists who are more inclined to fostering cultural and religious sensitivity than defending enlightenment values.

    Anjin-san: You know tango, if you are so eager to defend enlightenment values, you could probably enlist and be in combat in Afghanistan in no time. But of course we all know that is not going to happen.

    Boom. Right here you make the illogical jump and start with the chickenhawk accusation in response to a comment that has nothing to do with the military or with foreign intervention. Maybe you’re confused and you don’t know what Enlightenment Values means and you think that this is some “neocon” code for spreading democracy in the Middle East. Maybe you don’t really care to understand arguments and you like to trot out cliched accusations so that you can revel in your ignorance while feeling glorious about doing so. You leave most of us mystified with your logical veering.

    And with that, you’re off to the races, doubling down on your stupidity in your discussion with Dodd. He calls you on a number of logical errors and you shrug them off and still run with the chickenhawk meme that has no relevance to this topic.

  32. Dodd says:

    You know when you say this, you are supposed to stop talking to the other party. It’s a cultural norm 🙂

    Actually, it’s just a figure of speech that strongly emphasizes what went immediately before. It isn’t intended to be read as foreclosing all future discussion. 😛

  33. G.A.Phillips says:

    I only bite good looking blondes…

    Racist!!!!!!……..lolz…

  34. anjin-san says:

    chickenhawk meme

    Look dude, if the cluck fits, wear it…