Everybody Draw Muhammad Day Creator Now in Hiding

The Artist Formerly Known as Molly Norris drew this cartoon after the South Park/Muhammad debacle:

It led to an actual event where people drew images of Muhammad — offensive and not — on their Facebook profiles, on college campuses, on blogs, and everywhere else.

Norris regretted her cartoon not long after:

Norris, a Seattle cartoonist, says she’s been thoroughly stressed out ever since her April proclamation.

“It’s been horrible,” says Norris, who says she’s lost seven pounds because of stress, to Guzman. “I’m just trying to breathe and get through it.”

Norris was publicly ordered to be executed:

The Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — the radical who’s also been cited as inspiring the Fort Hood, Tex., massacre and the plot by two New Jersey men to kill U.S. soldiers — singled out artist Molly Norris as a “prime target,” saying her “proper abode is Hellfire.”

And now, months after the event occurred?

Norris is in hiding so she won’t get killed.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program—except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab.

Ugh.

I know most Muslims don’t support the violent reactions toward Draw Muhammad Day. But as I’ve said before, if you’re not publicly speaking out against this sort of reaction from the radicals, you’re part of the problem. If you’re not supporting the right for others to draw images of Muhammad you might find offensive, you’re part of the problem.

What Norris did was courageous. It made a point that needed to be made: No one should infringe upon your right to free speech, especially your right to criticize religious beliefs. And after seeing the ridiculous response DMD invoked, I’m prouder than ever that so many atheists took part in the event. There’s a difference between disrespecting Muslims and disrespecting their beliefs. Muslims deserve respect. Their beliefs don’t.

Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing has a fairly lax stance on all of this, putting some of the blame on Norris’ cartoon.

You gotta put this in context. There’s also this little thing called a war going on. Iraq. Afghanistan. Koran burning or Mohammed-mocking are seen by some as a symbol for the occupation and military offense taking place within their countries’ boundaries, against their will. In context, while no one among us condones this sort of thing, or wishes to excuse it away — one can begin to understand why the fringe reactions are so extreme.

I’m of the opinion that pissing on a symbol for what someone else holds as sacred generally proves you to be a douche, or a provocateur who’s in it for attention.

But you have to know what you’re getting into, when you take a provocative stance on what is a really, really inflammatory topic right now, in the middle of two wars that are characterized — by the guy who started ‘em! — as a sort of holy crusade.

“Pissing on a symbol” isn’t always a bad thing. And the people who do it aren’t always douches. When people start taking symbols as seriously as the actual thing it represents, irrationality blossoms.

Norris deserves absolutely none of the blame for what she did.

How much blame does Islam itself deserve? That’s debatable. Sure, it’s the radicals who are responsible for fatwas, terrorist attacks, and other threats. But their faith gives them all the cover they need to make their actions “justifiable” in their own eyes.

Some people might relate this to the recent Koran-Burning controversy. Let’s say Terry Jones went through with it. Should he have been subject to attacks/violence? Absolutely not. Again, you don’t have to like what he did. But he was going after an idea and not the people holding the idea. The only reason the story blew up is because he had the title of “pastor.” That only amplified his own nuttiness and made him more newsworthy.

Jen McCreight has a good response to all of this:

Now, I don’t go out looking to start confrontations, so I’m polite to an extent. If my Jewish friend is coming over for dinner, I’ll take their dietary needs into consideration. But the second Jews start threatening and murdering human beings for eating pork, I will not blink an eye before organizing a national Bacon Week.

I’ve never eaten bacon in my life, but if that happened and Jen organized National Bacon Week, I’d be first in line to take a bite.

  • Hitch

    For me some of the most atrocious things I have seen is atheists place blame at the feet of Molly Norris.

    It goes back to the argument we had of people not only not doing anything but sniping.

    Sniping those who actually in the line of fire is so distasteful to me I cannot even say.

    I wish her all the best. If there was a donation fund to help cover protection expenses I’d donate.

  • muggle

    I hope she’s safe.

    Sigh. I’m just so tired of all the bullshit. If you don’t like someone or what they do, here’s a thought, just freaking leave them alone. You are more offensive to this gawd of yours than any cartoon possibly could be; your lack of faith in his ability to protect himself shows more than anything else possibly could that he is a false god.

  • sarah

    ugh.

    i hope she stays safe. i for one place zero blame on her. it is a shame that some primitive belief system of some imaginary god being has so much power over people. so much so that if someone ever goes against it, they can be killed. it is disgusting.

  • CatBallou

    “[I]f you’re not publicly speaking out against this sort of reaction from the radicals, you’re part of the problem.”

    Really? You expect every other Muslim to march in the streets? Or what will satisfy your definition of “publicly”?
    I don’t think we can reasonably require people to speak publicly in order to avoid sharing the blame of others. When people who hold some the same views as I do commit crimes based on those views, I feel no obligation to publicly condemn them. Collective blame isn’t too far removed from collective punishment.

  • Gabriel

    Fuck everyone who thinks it is even remotely acceptable to blame Molly Norris. She drew a cartoon. She expressed an opinion. She didn’t call for violence and she didn’t threaten anyone. So fuck everyone who things she brought this on herself. I piss on the koran, the bible and on the torah. I piss on anyone who thinks they are allowed to use violence when their feelings are hurt.

  • Edmond

    I pretty much agree with Gabriel. Why can’t these nutbags who think that her “proper abode is Hellfire” leave it to Allah to take care of the problem? Is he too busy catching up on his Tivo? What does he need help for? Is the FBI just too good at hiding her? If Allah doesn’t kill her, then go about your business.

  • Alex

    Good point CatBallou, but I think the problem comes down to being able to speak freely without the threat of violence. Unfortunately, it always takes a few courageous individuals to lead the way.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    i approach this issue from personal experience. it’s one thing to wake up to a burning cross on your lawn. or a bombed out mailbox. that’s freaky and violent. but if someone drew a cartoon with a pic of an atheist, hanging even, i’d be less upset. i wouldn’t raise a hand to that.

    it’s when they want to start beating and killing that i get responsive. leave me alone, and you can pray to the sky fairy all you want, believers. cross my space, or tell me i how i have to dress, have sex and bow, and i fight back.

  • Siamang

    This is SOP for Xeni Jardin (fix your spelling, Hemant!!!) (Hemant says: Fixed!) and a bunch of the BoingBoing folks. It’s why I gave up my commenting privledges there. I was banned, and not told why.

    Turned out, it was because I was complaining about the incendiary posts of Xeni, where she broad-brushed people who though that, yup, there’s some sexism in the middle east, and no, I’m not an imperialist or an Islamophobe for saying so. And then she’d come on and stir the hornet’s nest in the comments, then complain about the race and sex of most of the commenters (apparently she can tell your race and sex…)

    Anyway, folks who know me here, and have read my posting history are now dropped-jaw at me being banned from posting. I know I was stumped. They told me I could get my posting rights back if I agreed not to post “complaints”. (Basically posting opinions differing from those of the contributors.)

    I declined.

    Anyway, I have a low opinion of the Boingers, as well as their moderation policies.

    If you want to read the thread where I got busted, it’s here:

    http://boingboing.net/2009/09/27/are-muslim-women-opp.html

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    I don’t see her as a hero for free speech. Here’s MY take on Ms. Norris.

  • Spinoza

    You’ve never had bacon??? Oh, you should try it!

  • http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com Ahab

    What a horrible development. I wish her luck and hope she remains safe amidst all of this controversy.

  • DHB

    I agree with Spinoza! What are you waiting for? Mmmmm…. baconnnnn… yummmmmmy!!!!

  • Rick

    Frustrating.

    Hermant is right. Where are the moderate Muslims speaking out against this? Are they afraid or do they secretly agree that the “crime” is so horrendous that a death sentence is warranted?

    Maybe there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim? Do they all take the Koran literally?

    And has anyone seen any media interviews with the moderate Imams, asking them for their opinion?

    Good luck Molly Norris.

    Fuck the so called moderate leaders of Islam, the religion of peace..my ass.

  • tamino

    Norris is entitled to her opinion. Some have said that she brought her troubles on herself. I completely disagree — but those people are also entitled to their opinions.

    Discussion of those issues should wait until we’ve addressed the real problem: that nobody is entitled to put another in fear of physical violence. That’s not just a sin, it’s a crime — called “assault.” It’s time to bring those who have commited such assault to trial for their crimes, and if they’re found guilty, imprison them. That includes Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

    It’s up to us to pressure the relevant government officials (attorneys general? district attorneys?) to arrest Anwar al-Awlaki (and those who commit similar crimes) for assault, and bring him to trial.

  • Secular Stu

    Siamang, I was also banned from BoingBoing, for a pretty mild criticism. It’s the only website I’ve ever been banned from or had comments intentionally deleted from. And I’ve had some long arguments with creationists online. It’s pretty bad when creationists show more character than them.

  • Secular Stu

    At this point, whenever I hear someone say “context”, I hear it as “I am about to defend the indefensible”. Or in this case it’s more specifically “let me just tell you about how short this skirt was that she was wearing”.

  • CatBallou

    Alex, I’m not sure how your comment relates to mine. I absolutely support the position that violent reactions are unacceptable, but I don’t agree that people who share the same faith as those who threaten violence are obligated to speak up, and will share some blame if they don’t. If an atheist were to threaten Catholics, for example, I wouldn’t feel compelled to make a public statement against it. If it were in my power to stop such violence, it would be a different matter!
    And yes, atheists are a much smaller and “currently” less threatening demographic than Muslims, but questions of scale don’t affect our individual responsibilities.

  • liz

    i hate bacon. just saying.

  • Aj

    Hemant,

    I think your point could be construed as putting an unfair burden on Muslims. Muslims like everyone else have individual responsibilities. Everybody has a duty to speak out against threats of violence from those that want to censor. There shouldn’t be a collective guilt, but your point about people who do not speak up for everyone’s right to free speech being part of the problem is correct. There seems to be a lot more effort in expressing feelings of being offended and how you shouldn’t offend people, and not a lot of words being spent in aiding free speech.

    How much blame does Islam itself deserve?

    It comes down to making irrationality and credulity virtues. When you unjustly give authority to things like books, people, or ideas, with the concept of the afterlife and service to an ultimate authority, there can be “sacred” things people will kill or die for. Specifically Islam provides ample ammunition in the Qur’an or hadith, there are of course religions less likely to result in this reaction. Some religions through their stories of conquests and their relationship with empires come with ideas of entitlement and dominion.

  • Aj

    Xeni Jardin,

    You gotta put this in context. There’s also this little thing called a war going on. Iraq. Afghanistan. Koran burning or Mohammed-mocking are seen by some as a symbol for the occupation and military offense taking place within their countries’ boundaries, against their will. In context, while no one among us condones this sort of thing, or wishes to excuse it away — one can begin to understand why the fringe reactions are so extreme.

    That’s got to be one of the most retarded things I’ve read this year. Seeing the visible light spectrum in water from sprinklers is seen by some as a government conspiracy. If you can begin to understand these freaks then you may also have a few screws rattling around.

    What does atheists against religion or for free speech have to do with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Lets not forget what sparked off the misguided occupation of Afghanistan.

    I’m of the opinion that pissing on a symbol for what someone else holds as sacred generally proves you to be a douche, or a provocateur who’s in it for attention.

    I hold criticizing and mocking things people hold sacred to be sacred. Not only condoning but defending the practice of religion’s special privilege makes Xeni Jardin a douche. Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a trumph of mockery, and the scene in The Meaning of Life about Catholics was great, the ability to create these works and to express yourself in this way is sacred to me. Anyone going against that is scum, if they’re selective or they piss on what I hold sacred then they’re hypocritical scum.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    The unsurprising result of this whole escapade is, of course, that the radicals have proven our point for us… their beliefs are not those of a religion of peace.

  • Jay

    The fact that she sparked such a response from these people just goes to prove what a knuckle-dragging, barbaric group they are. Maybe Islam itself is not to blame, but it does consist of more volatile, unstable followers than other world religions. One could burn bibles and draw blasphemous, offensive images of Christ and it wouldn’t provoke such a strong response (in fact, people really do that all the time, just look all over the internet). I’m not saying Christianity is better than Islam, but the followers don’t seem to be as high strung. I think the fact that she was forced into hiding proves something about some of Islam’s less-than-savoury followers.

    However, if I were to do this, I’d have done it anonymously, and attempted to get the coverage even more widespread. It’s be a greater effect, and would produce no single targets.

    Also… never eaten bacon? Don’t know what you’re missing. If anything is worth worship, bacon is it (well, it’s certainly got more merits than god or allah – like existing, for one) ;)

  • A Portlander

    I’ve often suspected that Xeni Jardin was a vapid buffoon with a fashion sense where her moral compass should be. Nice to have confirmation.

  • SickoftheUS

    Aj wrote:

    Xeni Jardin wrote:
    You gotta put this in context. There’s also this little thing called a war going on. Iraq. Afghanistan. Koran burning or Mohammed-mocking are seen by some as a symbol for the occupation and military offense taking place within their countries’ boundaries, against their will. In context, while no one among us condones this sort of thing, or wishes to excuse it away — one can begin to understand why the fringe reactions are so extreme.

    That’s got to be one of the most retarded things I’ve read this year. Seeing the visible light spectrum in water from sprinklers is seen by some as a government conspiracy. If you can begin to understand these freaks then you may also have a few screws rattling around.

    What does atheists against religion or for free speech have to do with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Lets not forget what sparked off the misguided occupation of Afghanistan.

    You betray an agonizingly shallow and ahistoric understanding of cultural interactions, and indeed of basic human motivations. Context almost always is important (I’m talking to you, Secular Stu) in any kind of social matter.

    Read about the history of US involvement in Muslim countries over the last, oh, 50 years, and read about the history of US, British, and general Western European dealings with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And I mean, read good, objective sources, meaning far outside the mainstream US media. Wikipedia isn’t a horrible place to start.

    Open your mind to what the US, and to a much lesser extent Britain, have done to Muslim countries over the last 20 years. Don’t forget the mass starvation of Iraqis in the 90s caused by the “Sanctions” largely enforced by US airpower. Don’t forget the two gigantic illegal, immoral wars that chiefly the US has inflicted on the people of several countries.

    Once you really understand what the West has done to Muslim peoples, put that in CONTEXT, in this historical period, with a bunch of self-righteous, short-sighted, mostly American college children deciding its time to teach Muslims lofty lessons about THEIR cultural failings. After the US invaded their countries, forcibly deposed their rulers, destroyed their societies, for decades.

    That’s always the prerogative of the “victors”, right? Tell the story to your own citizens and to the world as you want to make it. Muslims: barbaric, backwards, vicious religion, baaaaaaad. Americans: good, peaceful, freedom-loving.

    Everybody has a limit to how much shit they can put up with. On the score of Muslim peoples of the world vs. Western aggressors, I fully sympathize with Muslim peoples.

  • jose

    SickoftheUS, so if a moderate Muslim guy born in Morocco draws Mohammed, then these people won’t try to kill him, right?

    What about Liberians, Zaireans, Cubans, Guatemalans, Ugandans, people in the western world who have suffered hunger and wars and dictatorships because of the US? Is drawing Mohammed ok for them?

  • Phoenix

    Once again muhammadism shows its totally irrational ideology has nothing to offer the world except the hate and violence it is famed for, once again muhammadites enable their crazies to spread their filth by not standing up to these beasts of terror and oppression………..it’s not just the terrorists, the enablers are every bit as guilty.

  • Secular Stu

    Once you really understand what the West has done to Muslim peoples, put that in CONTEXT, in this historical period, with a bunch of self-righteous, short-sighted, mostly American college children deciding its time to teach Muslims lofty lessons about THEIR cultural failings. After the US invaded their countries, forcibly deposed their rulers, destroyed their societies, for decades

    So, how many wars does it take before the citizens of the invaded country get a “Kill a cartoonist and Get Out of Jail Free” card? Is it just one?

    I guess turnabout’s fair play, after all we did invade those countries after Saddam directed Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video. And who can forget how Osama Bin Laden came up with “Mock Jesus Day”.

  • Ron in Houston

    Mmmm, National Bacon Week – now there’s an idea…

  • http://centerforinquiry.net/dc Simon

    Ironically, Anwar Alawlaki (a US citizen) is also in hiding. The US government has a presidential assassination order against him: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/09/15/assassinations/

  • Evan

    You’ve never had bacon??? Heathen! Infidel!

    FWIW, there is an International Bacon Day. The Saturday before US Labor Day. You missed it. It was yummy.

  • http://baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com/ The Atheist Jew

    That is the most disturbing thing I’ve read in quite a while.

    You’ve never eaten bacon?????

  • JM_Shep

    @SickoftheUS: two things.

    1. Western governments and imperialists do not speak for me. Please do not lump all westerners in with western imperialists, there’s a difference.

    2. There is a major difference between imperialist control (or attempt thereof) of a region and what Draw Muhammad Day is about. Imperialists want resources and therefore oppress the people of those areas, whereas Draw Muhammad Day is about pointing out how silly religion is in general. We aren’t trying to replace their religion with ours; we don’t have one. We are simply pointing out how silly it is to get in such a tizzy (understatement…) about drawings. They’re just drawings. They aren’t hurting anyone or implying violence. This is drastically different from imperialist intervention.

    I do understand that not everyone (especially those in Muslim countries) will see it that way, and they may take it out on the troops or other uninvolved westerners in the area. This should weigh heavily on the mind of anyone calling for an event like this. I support our troops, not their mission. Bring them home now, and safely.

  • Randy

    Why does this all sound so familiar?

    The only good thing to come out of this article is showing the divinity of bacon!

    And SickoftheUs, I guess Darfur means nothing to you? Peaceful Muslims?

  • http://twitter.com/achura Rooker

    I respect Xeni Xardin a lot but she was way off base with that. The victim of a crime should not ever be blamed for the actions of an attacker. You blame the attacker. Always.

    If you disagree with someone, you deal with that by explaining why you disagree like a civilized human being, not by pulling out a sword and screaming like a barbarian living in goat shit in the 6th century.

  • Mike

    I agree with almost everything you posted, except this:

    But as I’ve said before, if you’re not publicly speaking out against this sort of reaction from the radicals, you’re part of the problem. If you’re not supporting the right for others to draw images of Muhammad you might find offensive, you’re part of the problem.

    I have to call false dichotomy on that…

  • Danny wuvs kittens

    Of fucking course the Muslims attack a woman. We should start an atheist defense charity. Take turns guarding abortion clinics and people like Molly. Put up a table with coffee and donuts, and it will be like a social gathering except we’ll have guns and knives strapped on our backs. The second a fundie motherfucker(s) tries to hurt one goddamn innocent person he dies. Never intimidating or aggressing on a fundie in any way, just being ready in case they tries to hurt or intimidate someone like Molly. I’m tired of these fucks who intimidate people out of their free speech.

    I’m only 17, so I don’t have the power or the resources to start something like this, and I’m not old enough to own a gun, but to anybody out there, if you start a defense charity like this, you’ll have my blood and my pocket knife.

  • Liokae

    I have to call false dichotomy on that…

    It isn’t, though. It’s the same general sentiment behind “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing”. They’re not evil or wrong or in *support* of wrong things for just standing by, but silence or passive opposition *is* a part of the problem.

  • ATL-Apostate

    This story just goes to further illustrate why Islam is the most vile religion in existence today.

    Fundy Christian kooks like Fred Phelps jump up and down and tell everyone who doesn’t agree with them that they’re going to hell. Fundy Islam kooks try to help you get there (hell, that is).
    Think of it as full service fanaticism.

    (additional rant below, included free of charge —>)
    Also, we shouldn’t build any more mosques anywhere. Period. Not in NYC, not in Kansas, nowhere.

  • Mike

    but silence or passive opposition *is* a part of the problem.

    That is different from *your* part of the problem…

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Danny wuvs kittens,
    Love your spirit. :-) Reminds me of…me long ago.
    Before we do anything else we need to learn to use our heads, organize, set goals and work towards change instead of talking about how mean religious people are. It’s getting old hearing about how bad or dumb or oppressive they are.
    Look what an inbred jackass was able to do in Florida by threatening to burn a handful of books. He played the press like a violin.
    Manipulate the media the right way and you have everything.
    Stupid people can’t be reasoned with, and most people are indeed stupid.
    You can manipulate them, buy them off or kill them. I suggest we try the first option before we take up swords. :-)

  • Aj

    SickoftheUS,

    I’m well aware of the recent history of the middle east, and although it’s probably going to escape your arrogant and unintelligent mind, these ideals transcend any context. We get it, you don’t give a shit about freedom, you don’t have to be a twat about it.

  • SickoftheUS

    jose wrote:

    SickoftheUS, so if a moderate Muslim guy born in Morocco draws Mohammed, then these people won’t try to kill him, right?

    What about Liberians, Zaireans, Cubans, Guatemalans, Ugandans, people in the western world who have suffered hunger and wars and dictatorships because of the US? Is drawing Mohammed ok for them?

    Have you noticed, with high consistency, over the past couple decades whose buildings, whose embassies, whose flights, whose airports, whose trains and buses, whose infrastructure has been targeted for attack and actually been attacked by Muslims? Have you noticed how that seems to escalate with what violence is inflicted on their societies by the West? Are Muslims trying to destroy their own societies and commit mayhem like this on themselves? Could you be conflating radically different kinds of things in order to obscure uncomfortable truths?

  • SickoftheUS

    JM_Shep wrote:

    1. Western governments and imperialists do not speak for me. Please do not lump all westerners in with western imperialists, there’s a difference.

    2. There is a major difference between imperialist control (or attempt thereof) of a region and what Draw Muhammad Day is about….

    You’re a Westerner. Like it or not, you’re a member, especially assuming you’re American, of a society which has been and is extremely aggressive towards several Muslim societies. It’s not your fault you’re here, and it’s not my fault I’m here. Nevertheless, we’re representatives of our culture, and circumstances, empathy, and conscience all combine to advise us to practice forbearance when dealing with victims of our culture’s violence.

    It’s not just the wisdom of not throwing gasoline on fire. It’s having historical and political awareness of a level sufficient to start reaching understandings with people of other cultures. Lashing out at our favorite targets because they’re so predictably religious and backwards compared to us, in our storytelling at least, might be emotionally satisfying, but it’s brutally unfair on a karmic level.

    Aren’t we expert at drawing the distinctions which minimize our barbarism and magnify theirs?

    Let’s tend to our own gardens. There are plenty of religion-generated injustices in our societies, enough for a lifetime of struggle.

  • Anonymous Atheist

    Truly horrifying. It is such a shame that Molly Norris’s life has been destroyed by this, as she is forced to start over without support.

    That’s such a cute, fun cartoon, with obviously no representation, however tenuous, of the person of Muhammad. As if the stick figures weren’t sufficiently ambiguous already, apparently slightly-anthropomorphized cartoons of inanimate household objects are death-worthy depictions of Muhammad too?? (Of course the main reason was likely her initiative to start the Draw Muhammad Day movement, rather than her own artwork.)

    And W.T.F. is the Muslim world’s obsession with this stuff when they’ve named so many of their sons Muhammad?? So all those thousands of Muslim men had better never be depicted in any way without their last name specified to distinguish them, because the default assumption otherwise is that it’s a sacreligious representation of the holy Muhammad??

  • Randy

    Let’s tend to our own gardens. There are plenty of religion-generated injustices in our societies, enough for a lifetime of struggle.

    If we try the islamists will get pissed about SOMETHING and want to blow things up.

  • Robert

    “There’s a difference between disrespecting Muslims and disrespecting their beliefs. Muslims deserve respect. Their beliefs don’t.”

    If you are talking about radical Muslims then neither they nor their beliefs deserve respect due to their actions.

    If you are talking about moderate Muslims who exercise their religion with tolerance for others, then they and their beliefs deserve respect.

  • jose

    SickoftheUS,
    so are they allowed to draw Mohammed or not?

  • Aj

    SickoftheUS,

    You also seem to sympathize with the idea of collective guilt that’s common among certain religions, it’s backwards and idiotic. It doesn’t matter how many times you say “our”, “us”, or “we”, you do not represent me, you are obviously not a part of my culture, you do not give a shit about the things I do. I am not guilty of anything someone else from my country or the West does, and you can’t pin anyone else’s crimes on me, and neither can any Muslim. I bet you defend Muslims for not being responsible for Muslims who commit crimes, yet I can be blamed for things done that you wrongly assumed I didn’t even know about.

    Muslims are a part of my local, national, and global society, they are not an isolated community that does not relate to me. It’s not as if Islamic movements towards censorship aren’t directed at the West, or that I should not be obliged to speak up for everyone’s right to freedom of expression, especially those living under tyrannical Islamic law. We’ve already established you don’t give a shit about freedom of expression, so of course you don’t think it’s important when threats of violence come from Muslims against it.

  • Staceyjw

    So, what can we do to help her? ideas?

    We can’t expect people to speak out against Islam if there is no real support available to help those that are the victims of fatwas. We KNOW that mid evil idiots are going to try to kill those that prominently offend their religious ideas, but we still complain when people back down.

    There is only one group that helps those under fatwa (for any reason), SIOA. They even put up bus ads to get the word out that if you are fleeing Islam they will help you. It is the same group that is protesting the mosque, and includes a few certified wing nuts. But, no one else has stepped up to support those threatened by, or trying to leave, islam.

    I think we can do better. We need a fund for free speech, so that when a innocent cartoonist draws a cute pic, or a film maker makes a movie (Theo Van Gogh who WAS murdered by an irate Muslim), they don’t have to face the consequences alone. After all, how many people here participated in DM day? We have to do better than sitting around complaining about the injustice. I’m no organizing genius, so any ideas are appreciated.

  • Staceyjw

    Don’t feed the troll!

  • Kayla

    “I know most Muslims don’t support the violent reactions toward Draw Muhammad Day. But as I’ve said before, if you’re not publicly speaking out against this sort of reaction from the radicals, you’re part of the problem. If you’re not supporting the right for others to draw images of Muhammad you might find offensive, you’re part of the problem.”

    Please explain to me what good would come out of “moderate” Muslims speaking out. Wouldn’t they then become targets of the extremists?

  • Ashraf Anam

    I just don’t understand why atheists are up against Muhammad? Why don’t they read about his life and understand how good he was? No one has the right to insult or mock anyone who is only spreading peace and humanity. Just let me know which part of his is actually against humanity. You talk of freedom of expression? Muhammad listened to everyone including those who insulted him and never scolded anyone…hitting or killing is a so far. I knew atheists were humanists but this sort of disrespect towards humanists like Prophet Muhammad is clearly seen as persuit of their own evil. Doesn’t it?

  • Mike

    I just don’t understand why atheists are up against Muhammad? Why don’t they read about his life and understand how good he was? No one has the right to insult or mock anyone who is only spreading peace and humanity

    Actually, atheists, and everyone else, have the right to insult or mock anyone they want. I would suggest that typically atheists are not “up against Muhammad.” They are against people who threaten to kill you if you actually have the audacity to depict Mohammad or critique his teachings, and people who try to tell you what rights you cannot have.

    I knew atheists were humanists but this sort of disrespect towards humanists like Prophet Muhammad is clearly seen as persuit of their own evil. Doesn’t it?

    No. Atheists typically do not pursue “evil.” They pursue equality and the freedom to voice their opinion without being threatened with physical harm.

  • Aj

    Ashraf Anam,

    What is the punishment for apostasy? I am led to believe that in the Sunni and Shia forms of Islam there is support for `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas, and his claim that Muhammad’s punishment for being an apostate is death other than fire, which is reserved for when the apostate enters the afterlife. Even those Muslims that speak out against such a punishment, speak of apostasy as a crime. The Qur’an calls apostates ‘hypocrites’ and says a just punishment for them is Hell.

    That’s not Humanism. In any case, many of us subscribe to Secular Humanism, that is against faith, in favour of reason and evidence, that goes against the very idea of revelation and the authority of a book.

  • Richard Wade

    Ashraf Anam,
    Thank you for coming to ask your questions.

    I’m not against Muhammad, I’m against people threatening to kill me unless I obey the rules of behavior of their religion, when I don’t follow that religion. If you are a follower and you want to follow its rules, fine, but don’t expect or require others to do the same. Would you accept the requirements of Jews, or Christians or Hindus to follow their rules of behavior, or face threats of death? No, I think you would say that’s ridiculous.

    I have no interest in drawing Muhammad until somebody tells me I can’t. When they stop telling me I can’t, I’ll lose interest again.

    You contradict yourself when you first say that nobody has the right to criticize Muhammad, and then you say that Muhammad listened to everyone including those who insulted him and never scolded anyone. Perhaps he would want you to follow his example, rather than side with people who want to bully and intimidate others, and who want to dictate what everyone can and cannot say.

    If you are really so earnest about supporting humanism, then you should be loudly and continuously decrying and denouncing the death threats to Molly Norris by Anwar al-Awlaki and his ilk. It should not matter whether you think she is “disprespectful.” You are either for EVERYONE’S freedom of speech, or you are not for it at all.

    But you won’t do that will you? Even if you understand the concept of protecting freedom of ALL speech, including speech that you dislike, you would be too afraid to do it, wouldn’t you? Or else you’d get the death threats too, wouldn’t you?

    Ashraf, if you’re in the U.S. and somebody tries to stop you from expressing your religion or your opinion in a way that harms no one else, I know that I and many of my atheist friends will be right there fighting for your rights. And whatever anti-Muslim fanatic is trying to take your freedom away can take their death threats and shove them up their ass. Imagine that. Atheists standing up for Muslims’ rights to freedom of speech and religion. Can you do the same in return?


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