With the upcoming Draw Muhammed Day, people around the blogosphere and world of scepticism and rationality there are many different views being floated about. Jen McCreight, the beloved instigator of Boobquake, has this to say:
Why I’m not going to draw Mohammed [:] Because I don’t want to die.
As reasonable a position as that is, I have this to say (in the guise of a comment to her blog post quoted above):
While I understand your retiscence in wanting not to invoke death threats from the Muslims you have already annoyed, I find it hard to believe that you are only willing to stand up for what is right up to as far as it would involve hypothetical threats upon your person. I share your concerns that I would not want to have my life ended at 23 simply for expressing my view upon the insanity and inanity that is Islam and its proponents. However, in being of sound enough mind to even question the veracity of Islams claims in the first place, you have already put yourself in the line of fire. Having brought Boobquake about, you have already kicked the sleeping dog of Muslim hatred. To back down now would only betray the commitment you have to the truth and what is right. I totally respect your right to refrain from comment or action, and I hope I am not seen to be accusing you of cowardice, but to say, in essence, “I will make fun of this Imam because he’s insane, completely wrong, and his views are dangerous to the health and sanity of the world, and my comments will bear no real weight on the issue BUT I wouldn’t dare do the same should my comments be likely to illicit a threat of violence” is to say, to the Muslim world, that if you make enough threats, people will shut up and stop questioning your version of the truth. By not taking every opportunity to stand up to threats of violence we are encouraging them and we are giving them free-reign to continue their abuses.
With all due respect, if you do not stand against these threats, you are both undoing all the great work Boobquake has done for skeptical and rational thought and simultaneously undermining the values upon which they stand.
To the other commentators who say that while we have every right to depict Mohammed however we wish, it is not tactful or reasonable to do so in a deliberately offensive way: yes, you’re right. But you fail to include in your reasoning the fact that even mild mannered depictions of the ‘prophet’ result in death threats, and while it is distasteful to poke the wasps nest with intent, the wasps have threatened us with fatal violence for simply having a picnic in their vicinity and, unlike real wasps, they are not likely to simply leave us alone. Muslims who threaten violence need to be shown, through force of will alone, that no one will stand for their cowardice and idiocy when they dare to threaten our lives and inflict harm upon people with their fear tactics.
As you may have noticed, I too do not wish to die at the hands of an over-zealous Muslim bigot who takes offence at my uttering something to the effect of “Muhammed…? Mohammed…? Either way, he was a twat.” That notwithstanding, I will not bow to cowardly threats of violence from anyone, let alone from a bunch of faith-heads who are so scared that someone might point out the glaring inconsistencies of the positions they hold that the only recourse they have to is to threaten to harm or kill anyone who would dare point at the Emperor’s dangling genitalia totally devoid of any clothing.
I will personally draw a (dog-awful, pun intended) cartoon of Mohammed and I will post it on my blog, and I will challenge any Muslim to threaten me for it. UPDATE: I never got around to that, so scratch that one.
The clear distinction between zealots and rational minds: one is ever so eager to die to thereby prove the veracity of their claims, the other knows that their death would deprive the world of another voice for their cause and would lend absolutely no credibility to the position they aspouse.