Shem: A Profit is born
Everybody Draw Muhammad Day: In defiance of violent intimidation and in support of the freedom of speech
There comes a point in any society’s existence where it must ultimately, to paraphrase Martin Luther (who himself was more than happy to see opponents put to death), dig in its heels and say here we stand, we will do no other. We don’t need to be perfectly consistent philosophically or historically or theologically to assert what is special and unique not just about the United States, with its bizarre and wonderful articulation of the First Amendment, but the greater classical liberal project comprising not just the “West” (whatever that is) but human beings in whatever town, country, or planet they inhabit. And at the heart of the liberal project is ultimately a recognition that individuals, for no other reason than that they exist, have rights to continue to exist. Embedded in all that is the right to expression. No one has a right to an audience or even to a sympathetic hearing, much less an engaged audience.Â But no one should be beaten or killed or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind or praying to one god as opposed to the other or none at all or getting on with the small business of living their life in peaceful fashion. If we cannot or will not defend that principle with a full throat, then we deserve to choke on whatever jihadists of all stripes can force down our throats.
Everybody Draws Mohammed Day [Mark Steyn]
Veronique, I initially had mixed feelings about Everybody Draws Mohammed Day. Provocation for its own sake is one of the dreariest features of contemporary culture, but that’s not what this is about. Nick Gillespie’sÂ post reminds us that the three most offensive of the “Danish cartoons”Â â€” including the one showing Mohammed as a pig â€”were not by anyÂ Jyllands-Posten cartoonists but were actually faked by Scandinavian imams for the purposes of stirring up outrage among Muslims. As Mr Gillespie says:
It is nothing less than amazing that holy men decrying the desecration of their religion would create such foul images, but there you have it. It is as if the pope created “Piss Christ” and then passed it off as the work of critics of Catholicism.
So, if it really is a sin to depict Mohammed, then these imams will be roasting in hell. (Unless, of course, taqqiya permits Muslims to break their own house rules for the purpose of sticking it to the infidels.)
But, that aside, the clerics’ action underlines what’s going on: the real provocateurs are the perpetually aggrieved and ever more aggressive Islamic bulliesÂ â€” emboldened by the silence of “moderate Muslims” and the preemptive capitulation of western media. I was among a small group of columnists in the Oval Office when President Bush, after running through selected highlights from a long list of Islamic discontents, concluded with an exasperated: “If it’s not the Crusades, it’s the cartoons.” That’d make a great bumper sticker: It encapsulsates both Islam’s inability to move on millennium-in millennium-out, plus the grievance-mongers’ utter lack of proportion.
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. Various websites areÂ offering prizes. I only wish we could track down those sicko Danish imams* who drew their prophet as a pig, and send them the trophy.
(*PS If I seem somewhat obsessed by this point, it’s because theÂ GovernmentÂ of Alberta spent three years investigating my friend Ezra Levant forÂ publishingÂ the (authentic) Motoons, and, despite the cost to taxpayers, assigned a halfwit apparatchik toÂ grillÂ him about the cartoons who didn’t even know that what she called the three “worst” ones were fakes.)