April 27, 2010

"Our reflexive response to 'Everybody Draw Mohammad Day'... was sympathetic. But Althouse prompted us to reconsider."

"Us" = Best of the Web (James Taranto):
"Piss Christ" is not an entirely apposite example, for it prompted no threats of violence or calls for suppression. It was an issue not of free speech but of subsidized speech; people objected to their tax dollars' bankrolling Serrano via the National Endowment for the Arts. But it isn't hard to think of other examples in which speech that is offensive to large numbers of people has occasioned censorship or violence or the threats thereof.
I'm glad to see Taranto do what I was challenging my commenters to do. (I said: "If you don't think the 'Piss Christ' or the American flag hypos are sufficiently on point, then make a better hypo. That's my challenge. Make a hypo that is the same but without the Muslim element, and seriously test your thinking on the subject.") Taranto:
Until 1989, it was a crime in some states to burn the American flag as a political statement. In Texas v. Johnson the U.S. Supreme Court held that this is protected symbolic speech. In ensuing years members of Congress repeatedly tried to propose a constitutional amendment permitting the criminalization of flag burning. It is the view of this column that flag burning is and should remain protected speech. We deplore it nonetheless, and we think holding an "Everybody Burn the Flag Day" would be stupid, obnoxious and counterproductive if one seeks to persuade others that flag burning should be tolerated.
In my comments, Jason (the commenter) had posed the flag hypo — sarcastically: "If burning an American flag were illegal and there was a 'Burning an American Flag' Day, you can bet I'd be out there burning an American flag, because I believe the right to burn an American flag is what America is all about." Back to Taranto:
"Hate speech"--for example, shouting racial slurs, positing theories of racial supremacy or denying the Holocaust--is illegal in Canada and many European countries. In the U.S. it is protected by the First Amendment--but it has been known to provoke a violent reaction....
This column is also of the opinion that hate-speech laws are pernicious and that the First Amendment does and should protect the expression of even ugly and false ideas. But we would not endorse or participate in an "Everybody Shout a Racial Slur Day" or an "Everybody Deny the Holocaust Day" to make the point.
"Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" seems different to people, Taranto says:
Because the taboo against depictions of Muhammad is not a part of America's common culture. The taboos against flag burning, racial slurs and Holocaust denial are. The problem with the "in-your-face message" of "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" is not just that it is inconsiderate of the sensibilities of others, but that it defines those others--Muslims--as being outside of our culture, unworthy of the courtesy we readily accord to insiders. It is an unwise message to send, assuming that one does not wish to make an enemy of the entire Muslim world.
Okay, all you readers who drove the comments up over 400 trying to push me back. I have Taranto! What say you now?!

***

I'm still searching for the perfect hypo that involves upsetting Christians. How about a proposal to protest the sexual abuse scandals of the Catholic church with "Everybody Suck on a Crucifix" day?

339 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 339 of 339
A.Worthing said...

blake

First, i am also A.W., so yeah, i don't have a problem with me being offended.

Btw, hilarious story about my wife. before we met she never watched the show at all. And she is very squeeky clean catholic. So one day i let it run on my tivo and she is like, "what is this?" and "this is the most awful thing i have ever seen."

About three weeks later i catch her looking it up on the Tivo. Heh.

madawaskan said...

Draw the connection, please.

Sorry, I'm not an "artist". ;-).

bagoh20 said...

"The very same people who think EDMD is a poor idea also criticize Comedy Central for censoring the images."

That makes sense to you? Is it just that South park does it so well, or do I need a TV contract to do this?

Explain this please.

madawaskan said...

Actually I am an artist-a much better drawer than Althouse-but " I've decided to punish the world by withholding my art."

So I am privileged enough-but to punish everyone I refuse to draw the hypothesized connection-I find that too limiting...

Pogo said...

"I'd like to avoid a clash of civilizations if we could. "

It's far too late for that.

We're in a a Machiavellian world.
Treating this like a classroom debate among UW students is a gross error.

I'm Spartacus, and the barbarians can go screw.

A.W. said...

Btw, i have now inflicted upon the world my first dreaded cartoon of blasphemy.

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/2010/04/first-cartoon.html

Feel free to send something of equal artistic quality.

SMGalbraith said...

That makes sense to you? Is it just that South park does it so well, or do I need a TV contract to do this?

You don't understand the difference between a company censoring people - telling them what they can say or show - and other people asking someone not to do something?

"You cannot do A" is far different than "Please don't do A".

One is an order, the other is a request.

Pogo said...

"How is EDMD going to make CC change its policies?
Draw the connection, please.
"

It won't.
That's not the point.
Screw CC; they're not the target of EDMD.

It enlarges the number of threats the Islamists must make to the point of futility.

Larry said...

With all due respect, both you (Althouse)and Taranto miss the point. It isn't a matter of being offensive just to show we can, a la Piss Christ et al. It IS a matter of standing up to threats. Once it becomes clear to all, including all Muslims, however moderate, that threatening to murder, behead, etc., people you find offensive are ineffective and counter-productive, THEN it will be time to reassert the value of cultural sensitivity. Before then, such "sensitivity" just looks, to everyone, too much like a cover for simple fear -- the same sort of fear that moderate Muslims themselves have been oppressed by for some time now. Overcoming that sort of either false or inappropriate "sensitivity" would do everyone a favor, moderate Muslims included.

bagoh20 said...

"I am Sparticus" is the perfect analogy to what this is. The South Park guys are the real one being threatened and the only response that will defeat that is if millions stand up and say: You will not confiscate our pens."

Still waiting for that better idea...

Slow Joe said...

"
Nice, dude. Call me a liar. "

Well, you lied.

You claimed to watch lots of SP, and you claimed they didn't show gross stuff about Jesus. You could have googled it to be a more effective liar.

Most folks lie on the internet and I'm not all that bothered by it. Funny that you're so defensive about something you clearly were totally wrong about and claimed expertise in.

Sorry, but the idea that SP would somehow be unfair to Islam if they had not been censored (which you will lie about not claiming, even though that's the only logical way to take your comment) is absurd.

Either stop minding when I call you a liar, or stop lying.

SMGalbraith said...

That's not the point.
Screw CC; they're not the target of EDMD.

It enlarges the number of threats the Islamists must make to the point of futility.


I thought the purpose was to show the Islamists that we wouldn't be intimidated into censoring ourselves?

If CC will still, at the end of this, censor themselves, what have we won?

Let's say we do EDMD and the Islamists do their stuff in response. Yeah, yawn.

Six months from now, Southpark tries to portray Mohammed but CC censors it out of fear of violent reprisals.

What have we accomplished?

bagoh20 said...

""How is EDMD going to make CC change its policies?
Draw the connection, please."


They are cowards and sheep. When they see the heard they will gain confidence. Pathetic, considering their identity as edgy, but easy to explain.

Slow Joe said...

And I love how people tell you to 'chill' when they just got caught being a total asshole.

I'm not upset that you're a liar, Blake. I don't care that you're trying to agree with me while stuttering through your lame arguments.

You're the one who had a problem with me, remember? You told me you were an expert on something, and knew I was wrong. I don't know why someone would actually care enough to lie to bolster their strange problem with my polite comments, but now you're telling me to chill when I point out you're wrong.

"Dude, chill" is an insult. You're trying to claim I'm crazy. But I made a simple statement of fact, obviously correct. You can't fix whatever dumb concept of face you're worried about by calling me crazy. I'm not even worried about it. You said I was wrong in my claim SP is gross, and even said you watched tons of the show, and that's not the truth.

Deal with the fact that people will defend their points if you lie about them.

Maguro said...

You need to direct that at Comedy Central and not us who oppose EDMD but who also condemned CC.

Good lord, how myopic do you have to be to think Comedy Central is the audience here?
Obviously, the intended recipients of EDMD's message are the threat-issuers themselves. Once they discover that the result of their mob-tactics is just more pictures of Mohammed, they might not issue their little "Nice TV network, shame if something were to happen to it"-style warnings the next time.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse, if this post is a considered attempt at making money off promoting cowardice in the face of violent suppression of free speech, I am quite disappointed.

deincertitudine said...

Really? And when Civil Rights workers were murdered in the South for forcing desegregation (an activity treated with much more repugnance than sexual cartoons), students did not flock to the south to continue the fight?

I'm afraid I'm struggling to grasp what you mean to demonstrate by this analogy, just as you seem to be struggling with mine.

My point is that we have our irrational taboos just as they do, and that the fact that they are irrational doesn't prevent us from observing them or from attacking those transgress. If you're saying imprisoning someone for six months for looking at a cartoon isn't so bad because at least we don't chop his head off, I suppose you're right, but it is the state doing it so it's still kind of a big deal. And honestly, I don't think you'd find all that many people who would proudly participate in a "draw child pr0n" stunt on the internet even someone did threaten a beheading.

SMGalbraith said...

When they see the heard they will gain confidence. Pathetic, considering their identity as edgy, but easy to explain.

If they're cowards they'll be cowed by the Islamists six months from now.

If I were reasonably convinced that CC and the other entities that self-censored themselves would be influenced or moved to change their policies, I'd be in favor of EDMD.

But I don't see that happening. In fact, all I see happening is that we insult a bunch of people and in the end be at a worse point than we were before.

I'd like to win this war, and it is a war, not just feel good about myself.

Lem said...

I don't think tea parties demonstrate because that's what the left used to do.

There better be more to it than that - otherwise I'm out.

bagoh20 said...

I wrote "heard" for "herd". Maybe I'm really cleaver, rather than a bad speller. It's possible.

SMGalbraith said...

Once they discover that the result of their mob-tactics is just more pictures of Mohammed, they might not issue their little "Nice TV network, shame if something were to happen to it"-style warnings the next time.

The rational radical Islamist school of analysis?

Sorry, nothing they've done shows me they will act rationally to the action.

Pogo said...

"If I were reasonably convinced that CC and the other entities that self-censored themselves would be influenced or moved..."

Who cares what they do anymore?
They're pussies, ready to be dhimmies under sharia law.
To hell with them.
They're not the target here.


"I thought the purpose was to show the Islamists that we wouldn't be intimidated into censoring ourselves?"
This differs little from my statement:
'It enlarges the number of threats the Islamists must make to the point of futility.'

bagoh20 said...

"But I don't see that happening. In fact, all I see happening is that we insult a bunch of people and in the end be at a worse point than we were before.

I'd like to win this war, and it is a war, not just feel good about myself."



It may heat up the antagonism in the short term, but will eventually make the control they intend (and are succeeding at) fail. That's the objective. To make it stop working for them. When it does, then I will feel better about myself and the world.

BTW, I feel better about myself when I act morally, especially in defense of others. There is nothing bad about that.

Pogo said...

"Sorry, nothing they've done shows me they will act rationally to the action."

Fine. They want violence, they'll get violence.
Does that suit you better?

madawaskan said...

Althouse-

I propose we have a-draw off.

You draw a banana, I draw a banana.

Try not to make Meade pose too long...

MikeR said...

Ann, I'm having trouble with the comparison you're making. An analogy from my point of view. As an Orthodox Jew, I don't hug women, and I don't even shake their hands (except my wife and daughters and mother, etc.) But I'm well aware that part of that conflicts with American norms.
I react very differently to offers to hug, and to shake hands. The former is a little bit obnoxious, and (since I'm polite) I feel comfortable coolly saying that my religion prohibits it.

On the other hand, shaking hands is perfectly normal and polite in American culture. I am the one asking for special consideration, and I do it carefully, and apologetically. "I'm not allowed to shake your hand because of my religion. Please don't mind!"

And that's for shaking hands, where the other person is intruding slightly on my personal space. I would be a hundred times more apologetic for something that is really their business, not mine. "Would you mind not saying a Christian prayer at your official dinner? I'm not allowed to listen to it..." I would never do it. If for some reason I couldn't tolerate it, I would quietly slip out.

In short, the burden is entirely on someone who wants me not to draw Mohammed's picture, or thinks I should write his name without writing pbuh, or whatever. They had better be really apologetic and sweet, or I will feel no need to pay the slightest attention to their sensitivities.

Lance said...

A.W. nailed it...
...if the principle really is “first do no harm” and the “default is nothing,” you should have criticized THEIR decision to make the cartoon that kicked off this controversy. Indeed, pretty much the whole show has to be shut down, by your logic. After all even if they are genuine artists how can they be certain that they are not doing more harm than good?

But they are let off the hook because… well, that’s where it gets fuzzy.


Prof. Althouse thinks only true "artists" like Parker, Stone, and Serrano are allowed to shock. Nobodies like me must content themselves with writing letters to the editor and posting blog comments.

SMGalbraith said...

Who cares what they do anymore?
They're pussies, ready to be dhimmies under sharia law.
To hell with them.
They're not the target here


Sorry, I'm lost as to what you want to do with these actions.

My goal is to get CC and other companies/publishers to publish the images of Mohammed and not be intimidated by the Islamists.

If having EDMD doesn't lead to that, then what is the purpose?

For us to stand up to them? Stand up for what? Pluralism, free speech?

Okay, but the people who need to stand up for pluralism and free speech will still cave.

At the end of the day we're back to where we were at the start.

Sound and fury (and pictures) signifying...what?

Lockestep said...

deincertitudine:

The analogy was just noting a point in our past where an irrational taboo (racial segregation) was flouted by people in the arts (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Black Like Me, etc) as well as on the ground (Civil Rights Workers) even in the face of a violent response.
I agree we both have irrational taboos, but one of theirs directly is in conflict with one of our most sacred tenets. Further, we are not violently imposing our taboo on other societies, although I admit our culture does have the effect of undermining the foundation of their society.
I realize you were trying to find something radically offensive to Americans, but keep in mind there have been things in our past which were thought of as offensive at the time. Hence my example.

SMGalbraith said...

Taranto, in part, put it best (for me):

The problem with the "in-your-face message" of "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" is not just that it is inconsiderate of the sensibilities of others, but that it defines those others--Muslims--as being outside of our culture, unworthy of the courtesy we readily accord to insiders. It is an unwise message to send, assuming that one does not wish to make an enemy of the entire Muslim world.

It's as much cultural - a sense of manners - as religious.

Besides, I don't think it'll work.

With that, I'll step aside and lets others talk.

bagoh20 said...

"Sound and fury (and pictures) signifying...what?"

Then why are people killed for it?

It's really the point of the EDMD. Don't threaten people over drawings of nothing, or we will make more of the offensive nothing.

A.W. said...

Bagoh

i liked your comment on sparticus so much i put it on my blog, here:

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-am-sparticus_27.html

or just go to the main page.

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'd like to avoid a clash of civilizations if we could.

That's rather hard to do when the other side keeps swerving into our lane.

A clash is inevitable when the other side is locked into a perpetual grievance mode.

bagoh20 said...

" but that it defines those others--Muslims--as being outside of our culture, unworthy of the courtesy we readily accord to insiders."

This is such lazy reasoning for a lawyer.

Precisely no and yes. No, it does not define all Muslims and yes, those who it does define are outside of our culture. Unless our culture wants to include beheading cartoonists.

This is the kind of argument you get when you decide first and then try to reason a defense for it.

Pogo said...

"It's as much cultural - a sense of manners - as religious."

While you're making certain not to wear white before Memorial Day, they're decapitating with a scimitar.

Different game entirely.
Pardon me if i don't follow your folly.

bagoh20 said...

I'm honored A.W.. We'll see how long we both keep our heads. I'm wearing a bacon necktie just to be safe.

Dark Eden said...

Yah southpark goes after everyone (see the Spider Queen episode for more Catholic bashing). The difference is they are one of the only shows that also goes after the left's sacred cows.

A.W. said...

Bagoh

A bacon necktie?

wouldn't work for me. i would keep eating it.

al said...

"the perfect hypo for upsetting Christians"

As if there were an analogy. Most Christians, even Orthodox ones, don't have problems with images. That debate was settled long ago. Any remaining Christian iconoclasm is fringe, and even on that fringe, no one (e.g. Calvinists, Mennonites) are blowing up statuary and threatening artists with murder.

Muslims have to give up their oversensitive supremacism. Period.

Dex Quire said...

Gee, what can we do to offend Jesus and his followers?

What if they took Jesus and crucified him and then tortured him and made fun of him with a mocking sign above his head and then poked him with a spear and then gambled for his clothes as he breathed his last...maybe that would get Christians dander up...

The whole point of Christian theology is that there is no 'offend point' (the entire Middle Ages notwithstanding); Jesus started his ministry with the Devil hassling him, offering him all kinds of goodies and by the end of it all his closest friends betrayed him and scattered. Even his own feeling of God or for God left him at the end. That theology says God entered his creation, including, yes, piss shit and death, and overcame all.

There is actually a robust tradition of priests themselves mocking the faith going back pretty deep into the Middle Ages. See the Spanish "Book of Good Love."

Revenant said...

I'd like to avoid a clash of civilizations if we could. No, it doesn't mean we abandon our principles or core beliefs.

"There is nothing wrong with drawing a picture" IS one of my core beliefs. Why should I act as if it isn't true, just because a group of nuts will get mad? You can't teach irrational people to be rational by acting as if their irrational beliefs are valid.

lemondog said...

The first time they went over this ground, they ended with a cartoon showing Jesus and George Bush crapping, on each other, on the people, on the flag.

Never watch South Park but here is the clip

deincertitudine said...

Lockestep, I agree that our value (free speech, no censorship) trumps theirs, and that I'd much prefer to win this item on the culture war agenda than lose it. As you say, I was trying to respond to Professor Althouse's "assignment" with the best example I could come up with. It's true that taboos can change, and I'd certainly like to see this one become obsolete.

However, I would be a lot less skeptical about the motives (acknowledged/understood or not) of the Draw Mohammed Movement if there were comparable outrage over other, less comfortable and "easy" cases of abridgment of free expression in this country. I'd love to believe it was all about free speech, because then I'd be a lot less concerned about the state of free speech in general. Unfortunately, there remains a tremendous appetite for censorship in this country and for me the exceptions (i.e. the will to protest the Mohammed taboo) merely draw attention to the general rule.

blake said...

>>Well, you lied.

Nope. I didn't. I said I'd seen most episodes (most >50% and I'm probably closer to 80%) and not seen Jesus portrayed as doing gross things. In 200 episodes you've got, what, three seconds in two episodes that you're calling out.

I'll gladly concede the one I had seen but forgotten—which makes me mistaken, not a liar—and I'll grant you the porno thing unseen, because I'm going to assume that you're NOT a liar. That's what people do in polite society when they're trying to communicate, versus...whatever it is you're trying to do.

Sorry, but the idea that SP would somehow be unfair to Islam if they had not been censored (which you will lie about not claiming, even though that's the only logical way to take your comment) is absurd.

I'm not going to say anything about it because I have no idea what that sentence even means.

You said I was wrong in my claim SP is gross, and even said you watched tons of the show, and that's not the truth.

OK, you know, I didn't actually accuse you of being crazy, but I'm going to also concede being mistaken about that.

What I actually said was "I haven't seen EVERY episode, but I've seen most of them, and Jesus has never been shown doing anything gross."

Was I wrong? Absolutely! Congratulations! You win the Internets!

But I never said SP wasn't gross. For crying out loud, they had a gay man literally stuff Paris Hilton up his ass.

What I also said was "South Park" is about a town of fools (a world, really), and Jesus is just one mild voice of reason that the world ignores.

But, no, go on and reach into my world and tell me I haven't seen most episodes of South Park. You got me. I lie about watching South Park on the Internet!

TIP: If people tell you to chill out a lot, maybe it's because you're REALLY FUCKING EXCITABLE!

Lincolntf said...

Deincert,I'm reading your reasoning as "since we have a long way to go, taking this one step is counter-productive".
That can't be what you mean, can it?

blake said...

A.W.--

That is truly awful, awful work there.

I don't know if I'll have time, but I was thinking of drawing Mo, Jesus, Buddha, if I had the chance. Maybe playing poker. (Man, I wish I had the mad skillz.)

But I'll send you whatever I can come up with.

A.W. said...

blake

Stop me before i draw again!

Mmm, i wonder if technically if i threaten to keep drawing if that technically makes me a terrorist.

Humor aside, i would love to see whatever you make. artistic quality is not a prerequisite.

bagoh20 said...

"I'd love to believe it was all about free speech, because then I'd be a lot less concerned about the state of free speech in general."

It's not just about free speech which will always cause disagreement, but more about threats of violence as a method in that battle. That is the difference here. It's been happening frequently and from the same direction. It's time for pushback.

Left and right should find common ground here. Of course some people are opposed to any such common ground. Which makes me notice there are few of our usual lefties here. I suspect moral confusion.

Johnny Vino said...

Ann,

Maybe this was pointed out in previous comments - not sure, I didn't read them all - but offenses against Christ or Christian imagery are never the same as other supposed blasphemies. The offenses themselves are part of the narrative. How is dunking a crucifix in urine any worse than mocking the person of Jesus as he died on the cross? Since Christ's suffering and death on the cross was for once and always - past, present and future - it presupposed all future insults and mockery. When South Park mocks Jesus, they truly become part of that crowd of cacklers and scoffers circa 33AD. The story in the Gospels is very clear that there were many many more throwing insults, than mourning a tragedy. The people presented as correctly disposed during the crucifixion were silently joining with Jesus in his redemptive work - patiently enduring the venom and injustice of that moment which defined all existence. Those who would react other ways could not endure and thus were not present. Peter attempted righteous violence initially, but ultimately there's no strength in that since he was so quick to deny the Lord when his own well being was threatened. As a result, he wasn't at the foot of the cross at that moment. However, he found his way there eventually.

I guess my point is that the power of blasphemy is anchored in Old Testament covenant relationships (which Islam is a variation of). When the relationship between Creator and creation is that of master/slave, or lord/servant, abusing the name of the Creator represents an aspiration to power by the abuser. I think Muslims extend this 3rd Commandment concept to Mohammed since he is their human manifestation of a Muslim’s relationship with Allah.

But the New Testament covenant flipped that dichotomy on its head. It was by His own will the Jesus was so abandoned from both the Father and human regard. The crucifixion scene exemplifies the Oscar Wilde assessment of the Church as being composed of either saints or sinners. The lukewarm were not in the congregation that day. And recent Catholic theological thinking would argue that it is those who are most vile and most offensive who are not just entitled, but in fact MOST entitled to God's mercy. The bigger the hole in the person, the more love it takes to fill it.

Therefore, a proper Christian response to insults towards the person of our Lord is to suffer them WITH the Lord, and offer that suffering up for the conversion of the perpetrator. The fact that most Christians are not strong enough in their faith to react that way is not an indictment of Christianity, but is instead bolstered by the entire Passion narrative. For each one of us Good Friday must play out in our lives and culminate with the choice upon death to reject what's offered, accept and endure the scandal, or acknowledge our sinfulness by running to the empty tomb, guilt and sorrow in tow like Peter. I think that's a crucial difference between Christianity and Islam. In Islam there is no higher purpose for enduring blasphemous in justice; certainly not the ultimate injustice of the death of the Son of God.

Seacrest, out!

Pastafarian said...

Lucid said, at 12:43: "It is akin to non-Jewish Danes wearing Stars of David to deny the significance of a Nazi doctrinal imposition."

An outstanding point.

So we should condemn those Danes, if the Nazis claimed that such an action (a gentile donning the Star of David) offended their delicate sensibilities.

SMGalbraith said...

Heck, instead of having a EDMD, why not send pictures/drawings of Muhammed to these thugs that threatened Parker and Stone? And other radical Muslims?

Instead of insulting, intentionally or not, all or many Muslims, we'd be thumbing our noses at the real problem here. I.e., not Muslims but the radical set.

After all, the goal is to confront the Islamists and not the religion itself.

Paddy O. said...

Any word what Andy Williams thinks about all of this?

Pogo said...

I think the Boobquake is along the same lines as EDMD.

Tom DeGisi said...

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

Sir Charles Napier said that.

I think we need to follow our customs in order to properly respond to theirs. I'd like to draw pictures of Mohammed doing things like building a synagogue next to the Kabah and admonishing pilgrims to leave it alone. He could quote the parts of the Koran and parts of his life which advise Muslims to practice tolerance.

Yours,
Tom

Pogo said...

For the artistic and endowed woman, drawring Mohammed on her breasts would be a twofer.

HokiePundit said...

It enlarges the number of threats the Islamists must make to the point of futility.

No, it reinforces the idea that all Americans/Westerners are legitimate targets.

So...um...whatever happened to all those guys who said "I am Spartacus!" in real life and not the movie?

Oh, that's right, the Romans crucified them all, their cause failed, and their names are forgotten to history.

Or did you want the movie result?

Slow Joe said...

I'm just fucking with you, Blake. But you shouldn't go out of your way to correct people who tell the truth by making up lies.

It's insane. I know that you have a history of racial slurs and you've been all over the place on this... telling people to draw the cartoon and also telling people to ban drawing the cartoon. You're even bashing Christians in the other thread while not bashing them here.

Why not just chill out?

Moira Breen said...

HokiePundit:Have you noticed most Muslims in America threatening to kill people?

No, but I've come across more than a few who will tell you that "of course I believe in free speech, but criticizing religious beliefs is disrespectful and should not be allowed".

If these are not representative, than it follows that most do get this whole free speech thang, and it's just another day in America with people putting up with having their religions dissed, no? If they are representative, then they don't get this free speech thang, in which case we have a problem that isn't going to be solved by redoubling our sensitivity, Taranto's fantasies about some imaginary "courtesy to insiders" notwithstanding.

The ones I know are horrified by the actions of the extremists, and several have offered theological explanations of why jihad need not be violent.

That's nice HP, but I really don't care how exalted and noble a take on jihad they have, if they're on board with neo-blasphemy laws or the brave-new-world "hate speech" idiocies creeping across the West.

What EDMD is proposing is like trying to offend the parishioners at your local Catholic church because you're angry about the way the Vatican dealt with the pedophilia situation. You're targeting is overbroad and does not properly address the problem.

Is the point of the cartoons to fix some perceived problem in Islam? No. It's to stand up to bullying that wishes to squash one of our most important values. Is this value that is being defended strictly delimited to the "right to say things offensive to bad guys"? No. There is no analogy here because there is no analogous problem or response.

People yack publicly and negatively all day every day about the Catholic Church - in a huge range from cogent criticism to batshit crazy vituperation. And yet I can't say that this voluminous mix throws up much in the way of death threats or demands for censorship. Because it's all about the death threats and demands for censorship, and I'm gobsmacked at the amount of energy being put in to pretending that it's not.

Nobody applies special little rules of engagement to commentary on other religions, niggling about whether we're "addressing the problem" according to proper academic or parliamentary procedure, or according to whether some mandarins find our opinions "unhelpful".

I mean, sheesh, do people responding to "Catholicism sucks" comments natter on about its being "inappropriate" or "unproductive" or "not helpful" or "hurtful" or "overbroad and not addressing the problem"? Have you ever seen anybody argue anything remotely close to, say, "oh, you mustn't vilify or criticize Catholicism, no matter what you think of it, because that will only make the good Catholic priests and laymen circle the wagons instead of dealing constructively with the pervs in their ranks. And by the way there's a lot of disagreement about points of theology among Catholics so therefore blah blah blah" No. It never crosses anybody's mind to engage the Vocabulary of Earnest Concern when the mud starts flying about Catholics or Christian fundies or whomever. My "don't alienate the moderate Catholics" example sounds ridiculous because *there is no analogy here*, except maybe for the meta-analogy of "square peg in round hole".

A.G. said...

Not to inject birtherism into the mix, but since we're on the subject of blasphemy and things that "can't be shown":

Anybody participating in EDMD up for depicting Mohammed as Obama's long-form birth certificate?

blake said...

About three weeks later i catch her looking it up on the Tivo. Heh.

Trey Parker is extremely talented. I think people who get turned off by the crudity (and those who get turned on by it, for that matter), miss the cleverness behind a lot of it. A lot of the crap that's followed has been "edgier" without bringing the clever.

Humor aside, i would love to see whatever you make. artistic quality is not a prerequisite.

Maybe not for you, but I have standards!

Slow Joe said...

" it defines those others--Muslims--as being outside of our culture, unworthy"

I don't know about the worthy bullshit, but it should go without saying that out culture, the one with the drawing of muhammad being acceptable, is not the culture where it is forbidden. It should also go without saying that our culture is manifestly superior to 'theirs'.

We are a somewhat Christian culture. A liberal culture. A culture that is far from perfect, but a lot better than one that these people who want to ban a practice in non believers would feel comfortable in.

Althouse probably liked culture wars when they irritated Althouse's dad. she's part of the 1970s hipster professional generation that is now losing a culture war that basically just promotes common sense like ending huge pensions and allowing free speech if you want to speak even if it sends a message about culture to those who are perpetually aggrieved.

HokiePundit said...

Whew, nice nap.

To recap:
1. The "better solution" is the very one South Park used: absurdist non-depiction.
2. Persuasion and coercion aren't the same thing. I doubt anyone you're arguing with online supports actually coercing you not to do EDMD.
3. There are moderate Muslims all around. If I named two of my classmates and the mechanic who fixes my car it probably wouldn't mean anything to you, though.
4. Offense is not the same thing as the desire for violence. EDMD can reasonably provoke the first, not the second.
5. EDMD is a jackass reactionary thing to do that is likely to backfire. That's why you shouldn't do it. Not because it'll provoke extremists any further but because it'll alienate those we do want on our side. Besides, it may be a fierce response, but it's also contra the American spirit.
6. Islam is a false religion and Mohammed was either deluded or a charlatan. You see what I did there? I said things offensive to Muslims precisely because that offense was incidental to my purpose for saying it and there was no way of saying it without the part that is offensive. As in #1, there are ways to convey the message intended by EDMD without the overbroad and ineffective harm to moderates.

EDMD's effect will be felt by those who don't deserve the insult and will have no impact on those we seek to dissuade. Pardon me if I think you're a jackass for being willing to harm others simply so you can feel better.

Pogo said...

"No, it reinforces the idea that all Americans/Westerners are legitimate targets."

They already are.

I for one do not wish to pay the Danegeld, and will bitch at others doing so.

As for Spartacus and its outcome, well, you merely illustrate the error of taking a metaphor too literally. Islamists are hardly running Rome.

jrberg3 said...

The fact that you can't even draw Mohammad as a leader of his own religion, as one would draw Jesus teaching or preaching to his followers kind of makes the comparison to the piss christ off topic. And I agree with Maguro that its the barbaric response of the would-be offended that killing is an appropriate punishment should anyone draw him that makes this day important. Hell, its an abomination that governments will cater to the demands of Islamists when they feel offended by such depictions.

I doubt the piss christ artist feared for the life or ever had a fatwa issued against them. I would just like to see a cartoon of Mohammad making fun on those condoning murder of innocents in his name.

Pogo said...

"Pardon me if I think you're a jackass for being willing to harm others simply so you can feel better."

No problem.
But I won't worry about your conclusion, much as it misses the mark so widely.

Moderates? They are lukewarm, not hot or cold, and are thus spit out of my mouth.

Is their a moderate Islam?
Then let's see it.
Let's see their support, not sotto voce or behind-the-scenes we're on your side but we can't say anything bullshit.
Loud and proud.
Where are they, these moderates?
Nowhere.
You've met them, you say.
Where is their condemnation of Islam hijacked by fanatic murderers?
Nowhere.

Moira Breen said...

HokiePundit: They may very well be offended though, either by the depiction itself or by the intended slap at their religion. Offense can carry plenty of backlash without reaching the level of violence.

Conservatives tolerate Pres. Obama's constant insults and aren't threatening violence. That doesn't mean that they're not offended and that offense won't come back to bite Obama when it comes to the next election.

I must say I find your analogies a bit cryptic if not incomprehensible. Obama offends conservatives and therefore may face a non-violent "backlash" at the polls. OK. People offend moderate Muslims by drawing cartoons (or society in general offends by allowing the publication of cartoons?) and may therefore face a non-violent backlash of...what? I can't think of any legal behavior a citizen might engage in to express his annoyance with his fellows that could be any where near as ominous as you're trying to make it sound.

So...um...whatever happened to all those guys who said "I am Spartacus!" in real life and not the movie?

Oh man, that's the backlash you're threatening?

(They didn't all get crucified in the movie?)

wv: Protonfo. Avenger of antiquarks.

glam1931 said...

As I understand it, it is improper for MUSLIMS to create a depiction of Mohammed. I am not a Muslim, therefore I do not see myself bound by that restriction any more than I am bound by their dietary restrictions. I am fine with Muslims not depicting Mohammed. I am not fine with Muslims telling me what I can or cannnot draw, any more than I would be with them telling me what I can or cannot eat. This is about submission (which is the meaning of the word Islam anyway) and I will not be intimidated. I will draw Mohammed any damn time I want, and I really don't give a flying fig who is "offended", as there is no right not to be offended in this country.

mariner said...

Briane:
If you want a violent reaction from Americans, you don't need to insult their religion or culture: you just need to pass a modest health care reform bill.

Not really.

You need to threaten to enforce laws against illegal immigration.

A.W. said...

> They didn't all get crucified in the movie?

To quote another inspirational hack and slash war movie...

"They may take our lives... but they will never take... OUR FREEDOM!!!"

(Bonus points to anyone who knows what i am talking about.)

Pogo said...

""They may take our lives... but they will never take... OUR FREEDOM!!!""

uhhh ...Pretty in Pink??

Shanna said...

TIP: If people tell you to chill out a lot, maybe it's because you're REALLY FUCKING EXCITABLE!

Says the guy using all caps. Heh.

God, the SP guys could not possibly have had a response to their cartoon that better demonstrated the exact point they were trying to make. Sheesh.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I wasn't being sarcastic, I was being serious.

I value America's freedoms of speech and belief. So much so, that I would take the consequences of publicly burning a flag if it were illegal.

Meade said he would take such a flag away from me. If he were living in 1776 I'm sure he'd try to kill the founding fathers for going against the crown his family had fought and died for, for generations.

I ask: What is more important the symbol or the thing it represents?

I would say the Muslims who want to kill people for making images of the Prophet are like Meade-- concerned about symbols to the detriment of deeper meanings.

The point of getting rid of idols in the first place was because people were ignoring spiritual issues to focus on a symbol, the idol. All the people who want to kill someone over creating an image, they might as well be worshiping an idol, they put so much store in it. And they are damaging the religion. Killing non-believers for making images does not spread Islam, it retards it. Mohammad isn't damaged when an image is made of him. He's not magical.

Clearly this is an issue both America and Islam need to deal with more openly. If patriotism in America is only about worshiping flags then perhaps they should all be burnt. Perhaps when no one thinks to burn one we can say America is dead.

Well, I'll be keeping her alive.

Slow Joe said...

"TIP: If people tell you to chill out a lot, maybe it's because you're REALLY FUCKING EXCITABLE! "

You know, this kind of stuff is just silly.

Even if someone is passionate, the constant "chill" shit is an attempt to claim someone is not credible. And when they already made a fact claim, you can just show evidence that claim is wrong.

Blake tried to tell me I was wrong about something that is simply correct. I don't really have a problem with it, but he's obviously a bit of a jerk about it and now I'm fucking with him slightly. Then he was goaded into telling me to chill... and I have visions of Obama telling that IG to chill. I hear it all the time, from left and right, when they just got embarrassed on a provable statement.

Since I barely take my commentary here seriously, I don't mind if I come across as unchill, though. Fact is, I do tell the truth, and Blake does not. Not really worth more than a little lulz, really.

blake said...

Shanna, Says the guy using all caps. Heh.

I thought that was appropriately ironic, yes.

Slow Joe,

Still waiting for some evidence of your claim. Also, an apology for misrepresenting me as making the absurd (and insane) statement that SP wasn't crude. Also, the second coming of Christ.

If figure that's more likely than the first two.

bagoh20 said...

Hokiepundit,

I understand your not wanting to offend anyone, but it just is not adequate reason to accept these threats that have been going on for some time including actual murder, and they have been working. In short, your approach has failed.

Your points are all just justification for the above.

And “absurdist non-depiction” is great on that TV show after that build up, but the rest of us don’t have a show and I will not hide behind that fact leaving the South Park guys out to dry in the sun alone. That’s what all bullies count on; the victim having no support. Without EDMD or something else they will win this battle against a couple guys and a cowardly network.

As to the lazy quip about wanting to feel good about oneself, I bet we both have that motivation and there is nothing wrong with it. I want to get there by doing the right thing too, we just don't agree what that is.

I'd love a way to prove to them that their threats will not work and in fact backfire, without insulting anyone, but those who let it insult them have made that impossible by choice. They too need to decide who should prevail and pick a side or stay out of it.

Still, I await a better idea.

Larry said...

SMGalbraith: After all, the goal is to confront the Islamists and not the religion itself.

But the religion itself is part of the problem. First, because it's not so easy to distinguish Islamists from Islam itself, and second because the religion is now mixed in with all the rest of the world's cultures, religions, and belief/value systems. Taranto, for example, gives the impression that the world remains as divided into exclusive cultural enclaves as it was a couple of centuries ago, so that restrictions in the name of cultural/religious sensitivity only affect those within that culture -- but that's certainly not the case when cultures and religions are as mixed as they are today. Now, if one such belief-system broadens its notions of "offense" too widely, it starts to impose its own beliefs on their neighbors who don't necessarily share them. At some point, it becomes essential that those neighbors push back. And I'd say we've reached that point, particularly when the more radical elements of that belief-system are threatening to murder those who don't accept such restrictions.

Triangle Man said...

Since a suitable existing taboo cannot be identified, perhaps one should be invented and guarded with absurd zealotry. I propose that anyone who posts a URL without a hyperlink disgraces the Internet and should be justly punished.



wv: cultymp (crack MC's evil twin)

Revenant said...

Instead of insulting, intentionally or not, all or many Muslims, we'd be thumbing our noses at the real problem here. I.e., not Muslims but the radical set.

The "real problem here" is that Muslims are offended by other people drawing pictures of Mohammad. That's what needs to change.

So long as people think a behavior is deeply offensive, you will ALWAYS have people who commit violence against people who exhibit that behavior. E.g., you can't eliminate racial violence by targeting violent racists while exhibiting polite respect for the opinions of nonviolent racists. You have to make it crystal clear to the nonviolent racists that you consider THEM repugnant, too.

AllenS said...

Fuck it. I'm at the point where I hope that Matt Stone and Trey Parker get whacked.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: I'm still searching for the perfect hypo that involves upsetting Christians.

Good luck (?) with that. Christianity got this out of their system about a thousand years ago with Byzantine Iconoclasm, and various sects have been dealing with it in their own way ever since.

SMGalbraith said...

The "real problem here" is that Muslims are offended by other people drawing pictures of Mohammad. That's what needs to change.

I disagree. The real problem is that group of Muslims who will use violence against anyone who draws pictures/images of Muhammad.

The ones who are offended but will not take any retribution are not a problem to me at all.

Lots of people get offended by all sorts of things. Especially in America ca. 2010 (P.C. anyone?). Most of the time we all ignore them.

Similarly, I'll just ignore those who are offended by any images of Muhammad. Sorry, they'll just have to be offended.

I can't and won't ignore those who use violence instead of being just offended.

Triangle Man said...

Is their a moderate Islam?
Then let's see it.
Let's see their support, not sotto voce or behind-the-scenes we're on your side but we can't say anything bullshit.
Loud and proud.


What does "loud and proud" mean in the context of *moderates*? Fiercely moderate? Radical in-your-face, by-any-means-necessary *moderate*?

Alcuria said...

New "Hussein" Ham said (in part) at 4/27/10 12:16 PM:

I asked you if they were "moderates" - if they would, for example, be offended by you drawing Mohammed but would nonetheless fight to their death as an American citizen for your right to do it anyway even though your action offends them deeply.

They wouldn't do that. Because they're not moderate. They're radical. They are against free speech if that speech offends their religion (and they get to decide what offends them).

If you don't believe me, I dare you to ask your cool Muslim friends about this."


Using your criteria of moderate, I know a moderate Muslim. Dr. Salahuddin Malik, Professor of History, SUNY-Brockport. He challenges students and disagreed with previous depictions of Mohammad, but explicitly indicated that he supported people's right to disagree with the tenants of Islam, mock Allah, mock the Mohammad and the like. I consider him an outstanding teacher because he encourages students to engage in debate whether they agree or disagree with Islam, and respects the viewpoints of all students, regardless of their viewpoint.

Pogo said...

"Fiercely moderate? Radical in-your-face, by-any-means-necessary *moderate*?"

Heh.
It's the extreme middle!

No, it's like what Althouse does when she complains about extremists.
'Knock it off.'
Not moderate in tone, but moderate in Islam (if there be such a thing).
No head lopping, no suicide bombings, and decrying same aloud.

Pogo said...

"I know a moderate Muslim. Dr. Salahuddin Malik"

One!
Do we have more?

Or does he stand out for his rarity?

AllenS said...

Google "Dr. Salahuddin Malik". Confusing, to say the least.

mcallen3 said...

On the question of a similar provocation to conservative Christians how 'bout this "Darwin fish":
http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0S020q4YtdLWGAA9.ijzbkF/SIG=12k858nqp/EXP=1272493112/**http%3a//www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php%3ft=48274.

Is there any other reason to have this other than to insult?

-m

Revenant said...

"The "real problem here" is that Muslims are offended by other people drawing pictures of Mohammad. That's what needs to change."

I disagree. The real problem is that group of Muslims who will use violence against anyone who draws pictures/images of Muhammad.

They are a problem, certainly.

The ones who are offended but will not take any retribution are not a problem to me at all.

Oh? If they're no problem at all, then why would EDMD lead to the "clash of civilizations" that you fear?

The very fact that you perceive EDMD as posing a significant risk of turning so-called "moderate Muslims" against us proves that there is a serious problem with the beliefs of those "moderate Muslims". Not just the violent ones.

A.G. said...

Pogo: "Is their a moderate Islam? Then let's see it."

Aren't you already witnessing it? Doesn't the fact that there are depictions of Mohammed all over the Internet- on this site alone many people have made depictions- and the fact that moderate Muslims as a group have not risen up and called for death threats prove in itself that it exists? Is it any different in form than the paranoid fear the left has of right-wing "extremism" because of the violent acts of a few (such as Timothy McVeigh)?

And in the alternative, as you seem to imply, "silence equals acceptance", what would that say about American liberal Jews, many of whom have said nothing as Obama has mistreated the Israelis and allowed Iran to grow more powerful?

Revenant said...

Aren't you already witnessing it? Doesn't the fact that there are depictions of Mohammed all over the Internet- on this site alone many people have made depictions- and the fact that moderate Muslims as a group have not risen up and called for death threats prove in itself that it exists?

That's the standard for "moderate"? That you don't rise up to slaughter the infidels?

When Catholic groups loudly protested the Kevin Smith movie "Dogma", did we refer to them as "moderates"? Did we label as "moderates" those groups which protested "The Last Temptation of Christ"? Of course not. We used terms like "conservative", "traditional", or "reactionary".

We're grading Muslims on a curve, here -- saying that since there are so many violent Muslims, any Muslim not actively engaged in (or advocating the use of) violence counts as "moderate". No. Most of them are conservative or reactionary. A moderate Muslim is one who reconciles his beliefs to the realities and necessities of the world around him. By, e.g., not pitching a fit when a non-Muslim does something against the Muslim religion.

SMGalbraith said...

Oh? If they're no problem at all, then why would EDMD lead to the "clash of civilizations" that you fear?

Sorry, I never said that EDMD by itself would lead to such a clash.

What I will argue is that if we in the West fail to distinguish between the radicals and those non-radicals and if we respond as if all Muslims are our enemies then we may be unintentionally hastening such a clash with ham-fisted responses.

Shorter me: It's the right of anyone to view Muslims as our enemy. If you make it the source of our conduct or response to them, you'll eventually be right.

Larry said...

SMGalbraith: Shorter me: It's the right of anyone to view Muslims as our enemy. If you make it the source of our conduct or response to them, you'll eventually be right.

This persistently gets it backwards -- no one has any reason to make Muslims their enemy. And if it hadn't been for those acting in the name of Islam slaughtering thousands of people who simply happened not to be Muslim, not to mention the millions of Muslims who actively or passively support such murderous fanatics in their midst, then there'd be no issue between Muslims and the rest of the world at all. But, as it is, there is.

So let's have the simple courage and honesty to understand that the best response to vicious and despicable threats often is defiance. After all, the reverse is also true: It's the right of anyone to view us (or non-Muslims generally) as their enemy. If you make it the source of your conduct or response to us, you'll eventually be right.

A.G. said...

Revenant: "That's the standard for "moderate"? That you don't rise up...When Catholic groups loudly protested the Kevin Smith movie "Dogma", did we refer to them as "moderates"? ...We used terms like "conservative", "traditional", or "reactionary".

That doesn't make any sense. You refer to Catholics who took action in protesting. That would be analogous only to militant Muslims who took action protesting South Park (albeit violently, unlike the Catholics- although there have been murders of abortion doctors in other cases).

Thus, I would call Catholics who weren't bothered to protest Dogma or the Last Temptation as "moderates" (or secularists, or just people living life fwiw), just as I would call Muslims who aren't going Jihad because of depictions of Mohammed as "moderates" (etc.).

SMGalbraith said...

This persistently gets it backwards -- no one has any reason to make Muslims their enemy

Either my writing is really bad (very possible) or you misread my statement (possible). Or perhaps a bit of both (likely).

I said "if".

If someone believes that all of Islam is our enemy and that we should base our response to the actions of the extremists on that view, eventually they'll be right. All of Islam, all Muslims everywhere, will become our enemy.

kwood said...

It's all a matter of context. If American Flag-lovers actually had a history of murdering American Flag-burners, I would heartily support "Burn an American Flag Day".

Alpha/Omega. Thread/Closed.

Triangle Man said...

No one knows what Mohammad looked like, so any representation is going to be so flawed as to be unrecognizable as the prophet. If the prohibition us against labeling an image as Mohammed, then something as silly as an emoticon would suffice.

@|:{()>

Or one could say that my personal interpretation of the image of Mohammed us the period at the end if thus sentence. Any time you see a period, you are looking at the face of the prophet. Look there's another one.

Larry said...

SMG: I said "if".

Yes. But you said it in a context that clearly suggests you think EDMD reflects a belief that "all of Islam is our enemy", and that's what I'm saying is backwards. Instead, it simply indicates a massive rejection of the view that the murderous proponents of Islam can intimidate everyone else -- including their moderate brethren -- into acceding to their particular beliefs and customs, even when those impinge on others. If that rejection itself is taken by Muslims in general as an expression of enmity, then maybe that says that Muslims in general are not so moderate after all, and maybe the responsibility for any further clashes must rest on their shoulders.

Albatross said...

In your first post on this topic, you said, "At the same time, real artists like the "South Park" guys or (maybe) Andre Serrano should go on with their work, using shock to the extent that they see fit."

If I draw something and the "South Park" guys draw something and they look exactly the same, why do they get to be "real" artists and I don't?

Who decides that? And "art" panel?

Albatross said...

I meant An "art" panel.

Moira Breen said...

A.G.: Doesn't the fact that there are depictions of Mohammed all over the Internet- on this site alone many people have made depictions- and the fact that moderate Muslims as a group have not risen up and called for death threats prove in itself that it exists? Is it any different in form than the paranoid fear the left has of right-wing "extremism" because of the violent acts of a few (such as Timothy McVeigh)?

Really, A.G.? Believing that Islamic demands are having a negative effect on traditional free speech rights is all just "paranoia"? There are no concrete instances of Westerners, in their own countries, being not only harassed, threatened, driven into hiding and murdered by nutters, but actually facing legal persecution for uttering negative opinions about Islam, under shiny new Western laws, forbidding shiny new crimes like "Islamophobia" or "defaming religion (that is, Islam)?" Scholars in Western nations who want to technically analyze the origin and history of the Koran don't have to slink under pseudonyms or give up their studies, because surely the extremists wouldn't cut any ice with our proudly independent universities?

Nothing like that going on?

And the spirit of free inquiry therein is safely guarded by the existence of millions of moderates who would never dream of sending death threats to obnoxious internet posters? The OIC's working away at implementing trans-nationally enforceable laws against Islam-dissers is no reason to get our panties in a twist, because ipso facto the OIC represents a tiny minority of fanatics, and all our righteous political class would politely but firmly defend us against any such encroachments on our traditional liberties? Really?

Whew, that's a relief.

wv: Sticatin. The fork, that is. It's done.

SMGalbraith said...

Yes. But you said it in a context that clearly suggests you think EDMD reflects a belief that "all of Islam is our enemy", and that's what I'm saying is backwards.

Part of the problem, as we all experience, with responding to a post is that others think you're responding to them or "elsewhere" and not to a specific poster or set of posters.

My post on EDMD was to those proponents of that day who also think that all of Islam is our enemy. That is, Islam qua Islam is the threat.

I clearly understand that those promoting EDMD can hold a wide range of views on the nature and scope of the threat from Islam. E.g., it's a small threat from a fringe element or it's a major threat coming from all of Islam.

Larry said...

SMG -- Okay, I take your point.

We may well largely agree, but the only thing I'd add is that the extreme and persistent violence perpetrated and/or very credibly threatened by some of its adherents continues to make Islam itself a problem, to both its more moderate adherents as well as to non-Muslims in general. And for every Muslim who is actually involved in carrying out the violence, there are a great many more sympathizers and even hero-/martyr-worshipers. Calling them a "small threat from a fringe element" I really don't think does them justice.

Paco Wové said...

"If someone believes that all of Islam is our enemy"

How about someone who believes that people who attempt to stifle free expression with threats of violence are the enemy? OK with that?

Paco Wové said...

You'll be glad to know, HokieP, that we took a vote in the Wové household, and we all agreed that the crocodile will definitely eat you last.

SMGalbraith said...

How about someone who believes that people who attempt to stifle free expression with threats of violence are the enemy? OK with that?

Not to be too pedantic but no.

I don't believe that Americans who want to prevent the showing of, let's say, "Piss Christ" and threaten violence to do so are our enemy.

Criminals? Yes. Enemies of free speech? Yes. But enemies as in war? No.

Synova said...

Suck on a crucifix day is even a worse hypo than any of the others.

Of course Christians would be offended, but what of it?

Closer probably to any of it was a suggestion that the *offense* be against White Supremicists. Althouse had said this didn't count because we wouldn't care about offending those awful people.

But why not? Why don't we care about offending a Neo-Nazi? Why not?

Is getting all out of joint over a depiction of Muhammad really any more reasonable than having some bizarre belief system about the separation of races? Is it actually some central element of Islam?

The pictures that the Dutch artists drew weren't enough, just for being pictures, to cause the riots and arson and murder back then... those preparing for the riots added truly offensive pictures. (Because no "news" organizations were willing to reprint the images this is something that most people didn't realize.) And supposedly some sects of Islam tolerate images of Muhammad just fine.

So in the end... is it actually that much different not to care about offending those who will be offended in pretty much direct proportion to how much we don't care about offending them?

How different is it from doing something that would offend a Neo-Nazi while simply being thought rude by a person with good manners? Your grandma might be offended by the rudeness, the Neo-Nazi is going to be livid.

It's self-scaling.

Synova said...

"I'd love to believe it was all about free speech, because then I'd be a lot less concerned about the state of free speech in general."

People have been trying to push back against hate-speech laws and holding up the "speech isn't free if it's offensive speech" idiocy that occasionally comes from the bowels of academia... but it's like pushing at the wind.

If finally we've got something concrete to use as a tool to clobber the anti-free-speech mustn't-offend people over the head with... then bravo!

Because free speech must include offensive speech or it's not free. At that point all it is is approved speech. Permitted speech.

Paco Wové said...

SMG: OK, fair enough, the first amendment isn't a hill you're willing to die on.

Just curious -- how many of fundamental American freedoms must someone be an enemy of before they become real honest-to-Jehovah enemies of America? No limit?

Kirk Parker said...

Skyler,

Thanks for the data point. And in truth, your fine Azerbaijani comrades are as much at risk from the real Jihadis as any of us are.

See also Michael Totton on moderate Muslims in Albania, Kosovo, and -- whadda ya know -- Azerbaijan.

A.G. said...

Moira,

Forest for the trees. Nothing happens in a "western" culture that its own citizens and institutions don't allow. The "western" examples you cite are mostly non-US examples. Is it really a surprise that Canadians would cave in? They're...Canadians. And the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" French? Funny how everybody bashes the US, but then comes running to us as a last salvation when Europe steps in it again with some new fascist ideology.

I think *we* are different- papa US don't take no mess. But we were founded as a melting pot, and it is a bit dishonest to slam the door on other ideologies, as long as those individuals holding such views are respectful and peaceful (granted, easier said than done sometimes). No self-respecting American is going to allow an imposition of sharia on this soil without going down in a fight. But that doesn't mean we have to impinge on moderates who are willing to obey our laws.

All I can say is there is an alternative to curling up in a fetal position when one is threatened...

kimsch said...

I plan on a nice sketch, perhaps similar to Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia, but with a beard. I don't intend to insult, or make a cartoon. Just a nice sketch. A depiction.

wv: suprell

A.W. said...

This thread looks pretty wound down. but i would like to remind you, if you want to publish a pic depicting mohammed, offensive or not, I am here to help. Check out the blog i created for that exact purpose.

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

I'd like to avoid a clash of civilizations if we could.

Oh thats easy. Just submit.

Afterall, its only an offering of Earth and Water.

507 BC: "the Athenians had by this point already sent an embassy to Artaphernes in Sardis, to request aid from the Persian Empire. Artaphernes requested that the Athenians give him a 'earth and water', a traditional token of submission, which the Athenian ambassadors acquiesced to..."

...without comprehending what that really meant. The "clash of civilizations" you want to avoid was begun just after the birth of the Athenian Democracy.

Started by diplomats who didn't understand what they were surrendering.

afarrago said...

the example of 'everyone suck...." helped me understand why such things would be mean to do - but, still knowing that the 'everyone suck...." probably does happen in some parties somewhere in america (oh, it definitely will now....) helps me understand why it's so scary to have government's banning such things (and people blowing you up for them..).

"can't we all just get along?" nope.

AllenS said...

I just thought of a moderate Muslim: Anwar Sadat.

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

"I think *we* are different..."

Ah, yes. It can't possibly happen here, right?

"But we were founded as a melting pot, and it is a bit dishonest to slam the door on other ideologies, as long as those individuals holding such views are respectful and peaceful (granted, easier said than done sometimes)."

In brief, no. The U.S. was not 'founded as a melting pot'. It was founded with a specific set of guiding principles, which were, and are still, unique to itself. The idea that we must slowly trade our birthright as Americans for a mess of multiculti pottage is, quite simply, daft.

Moira Breen said...

Let me see if I've got you straight here, A.G.:

1) The price of liberty isn't eternal vigilance. Because we're just extra-extra special, and are immune to the processes by which other peoples lose their liberties. 'Cause we're like this magical country, totally open but totally isolated from forces working out elsewhere on the globe.!

2) It can't happen here. But on the other hand, if it does happen here, nothing has really happened anyway, because doin' a 180 on political principles that were once considered fundamental is, wonderfully and mystically, the "American Way". Rather, it is the resistance to that which is somehow "unAmerican".

3) Our political and cultural traditions don't derive from any pre-existing European political traditions, but instead just came out of nowhere. Or rather, were made up on the spot by a bunch of people who had no common culture. Or, at any rate, since many of us are not genetically descended from the guys who just made up all that stuff, f*** 'em. I want to replace all their ideas with stuff *my* ancestors thought up.

4) Ergo, the Bill of Rights is irrelevant anyway, what we us being a melting pot and all, and holding as our first principle of political life that we just graciously add or delete so-called "rights" in deference to preferences of newcomers (as long as they ask nicely).

5) Actually, come to think of it, there is no "we" to change. That's just some weird notion of European nations, with all kinds of nasty implications, like intolerance of having culturally alien mores imposed on us. I mean, "us". There can't possibly be any culturally alien mores, anyway. Not to an American. Unless they're those utterly alien Euro political traditions that we never had anything to do with, anyway.

All I can say is there is an alternative to curling up in a fetal position when one is threatened...

Yeah, flogging old lame "surrender monkey" tropes, dissing Canadians (among whom are heroes fighting the good fight against the creep of totalitarianism in the West), meaningless braggadocio ("papa U.S. don't take no mess"), all the while refusing to defend a basic liberty. Yeah, that'll show 'em.

A.W. said...

> I'd like to avoid a clash of civilizations if we could.

I have seen how things go when Islamofascism takes over. The Taliban in Afghanistan is a classic example. Its impossible for there to be a clash of civilizations with people like that. A clash of civilizations requires at least two civilizations to be clashing, and the islamofascists don't have one to clash with ours.

Mike Smith said...

OK, Ann, I'll take up your challenge.

The difference between "suck on a crucifix" and "draw Mohammed day" is that Christians believe Jesus was divine. Mohammed, as I understand it, is NOT believed to be divine by Muslims.

So, the better analogy would be (since he was crucified upside down) "suck on St. Peter's cross" since he was the first pope. That would not enrage Christians.

The point of the "everyone draw Mohammed" is to make a threats of violence backfire so these groups will stop making them.

SMGalbraith said...

SMG: OK, fair enough, the first amendment isn't a hill you're willing to die on.

Sorry, I said no such thing.

You asked me if people who try or threaten to violently suppress legitimate free speech are our "enemy".

I said:
I don't believe that Americans who want to prevent the showing of, let's say, "Piss Christ" and threaten violence to do so are our enemy.

Americans.

I then added that those people are:
Criminals? Yes. Enemies of free speech? Yes. But enemies as in war? No.

Yes, I'm willing to send the military onto Omaha Beach to protect our liberties.

But not if Omaha Beach is located in the US.

For that, we use the police and law enforcement. And if they have to use force to enforce the law, they should use it.

AllenS said...

SMGalbraith said...
"Yes, I'm willing to send the military onto Omaha Beach to protect our liberties.

But not if Omaha Beach is located in the US."

I was in the Army in 1967. You do realize that we sent the regular Army to such towns as Detroit during that time. If we had riots again, today, in such cities in the US, do you doubt that Obama would send in regular troops?

A.G. said...

Paco and Moira,

Paco first: Ok, I chose my words poorly. I meant "melting pot" in the more loosey-goosey sense; the melting pot concept didn't really take hold until later. You are correct that we were founded on a series of guiding principles, and IMHO it is those principles that will save us in the end, provided we can retain them. But anyone studying history will realize we had much more of a melting pot at our founding- at least demographically- than we sometimes acknowledge.

Moira, I feel like the scene in Pulp Fiction where the guy comes out of the john and starts firing away wildly at Jules and Vincent. But they're not hit.

Um, what am I supposed to say? There are posts after posts on this site smearing "all" Muslims as terrorists, etc., and I'm the bad guy because I make a light-hearted crack about Canadians and the French? Yes, there are Canadian heroes standing up to the nonsense- Mark Steyn comes to mind, and Americans like Ann Coulter who aren't cowed by the laws. Funny, they're both conservatives.

But again, I believe the US is that "last greatest hope on earth", and my casual remarks ("don't take no mess") are not simply empty slogans. You seem to want to have your cake and eat it to: to implicitly value the general ideologies and beliefs of the Europeans over the sensibilities and instincts of those coarse Americans with (as Iowahawk put it) their "Siminan grunts", but then you are surprised when the Europeans fall prey to fascism, and we by and large, haven't.

True, we do have a man leading this country who sat in an anti-Semitic church for 20 years, and yet American Jews overwhelmingly voted for him. Whose fault is that? Is it possible that such an individual may harbor anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli beliefs (and thus, may look the other way for "totalitarian creep in the west)?

But people want to say that my "rights" are imposed upon because the Muslim cab driver won't let me carry beer in his cab? It's frustratrating- but there are other cabs (and it's a little different from profiling suspected terrorists- fine by me, btw) What *is* troubling is when our country jettisons the laws that we have had for ages- when we throw away our bankruptcy laws to give perks to unions, impose a "mandate" that we buy health care, etc, etc.

When the institutions crumble, and the level playing field of laws and democracy are obliterated- and the people no longer care- that's when a society falls prey to whatever new threatening "ism" comes along. And that's the real reason for the "anger" of the "unruly mob" at the Tea Parties. How many of those do you see in the Great White North, or beloved Europe?

Over and out.

Moira Breen said...

A.G. - You seem to want to have your cake and eat it to: to implicitly value the general ideologies and beliefs of the Europeans over the sensibilities and instincts of those coarse Americans with (as Iowahawk put it) their "Siminan grunts", but then you are surprised when the Europeans fall prey to fascism, and we by and large, haven't.

Dude, what the hell are you babbling on about? Here, I'll bravely wade into the morass (so obviously I do take mess!) and lay bare the loopy chain of "reasoning" that resulted in the above goo: "Moira said that the political traditions of the United States arose out of the earlier European, specifically British, traditions. It therefore follows that Moira prefers current European systems and despises our own."

Ya know, I was going to refer you to one of the many fine web pages offering basic intros to logic fallacies, but I don't think whatever is going on in your brain even attains to the level of "logical fallacy": "Blag. Booga boo. Rippytippytippy bankruptcy laws ting tang Tea Party rage Obama's anti-Semitic church aaaruuuuga aaaruuga fascist Europe bloopa biz mercy mercy health care mandates shingbanzola."

Or even "baffle 'em with bullshit."

You are correct that we were founded on a series of guiding principles, and IMHO it is those principles that will save us in the end, provided we can retain them.

You're a bit turned around here. Paco and I are the ones defending the importance of retaining those guiding principles. You're the guy pooh-poohing them.

Funny, they're both conservatives.

Uh, yeah, and so am I. Is there a point in their somewhere?

I believe the US is that "last greatest hope on earth", and my casual remarks ("don't take no mess") are not simply empty slogans.

Unlike the First Amendment, apparently.


wv: troodiou. Baby I'll be troodiou forever.

A.G. said...

Moira,

I think I know where I might have lost you. I misspelled the word "Simian". Does that help?

Ok, you say you're conservative, so I'll be nice. Yes, we were founded upon European/British traditions; problem is, when the traditional rule of order crumbled, many European nations started down the path to totalitarianism (Italy, Germany, etc.). The old traditions were slowly lost, and liberal socialist views eventually took hold in many places. I would argue that it's not all that surprising then that many citizens in those countries would allow themselves to be bullied by Islamists (I.e., just another form of totalitarianism). Maybe we disagree, but I feel that socialism encourages human weakness, and eventually erodes long-time "traditions". The US, on the other hand, by and large retained what made us unique, which is why we won't cave in- if we can keep it together.

But as for everything collapsing if we don't all do EDMD, and this leading to the destruction of our 1st Amen. rights, and other parades of horribles- I just don't buy it. All my life conservatives have had baseless accusations of racism, hatred, etc. thrown our way. I don't hate innocent people- I may disagree strongly, but I don't hate. Thus, it offends me when I see comments by some that seem...well, pretty hateful. Not to rehash all the great arguments that have been raised by many on this site- but
I simply don't think it's a "guiding principle" (or a bright thing) to be an asshole to innocent people, if they are obeying the laws and living peacefully. But maybe we disagree.

Well, I've really overstayed my welcome, so I'm outta here.

Fen said...

There are posts after posts on this site smearing "all" Muslims as terrorists, etc.

Cite three of them...

Anga2010 said...

Here's one. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=8112
Anti-Catholic, check.
Obnoxious, check.
Taboo, check
Death threats, check.

alipur7 said...

I strongly condemn this campaign.It must be stopped. It is nothing but humiliation of Muslim's feelings. Also it'll cause separation among the different religions in our globe.

Tatter said...

"I have Taranto! What say you now?"

Appeal to authority is still appeal to authority. The heretic liberals (aka "neocons") stopped listening to Charles Johnson when he stopped being reasonable and began demanding we ignore his logical fallacies on the grounds that he did more for the neocon movement than anyone else. He may be technically correct, but that didn't stop us from calling him out and eventually leaving him behind after he made it clear he would no longer tolerate any questioning of his beliefs.

"Everybody Draw Mohammed" day is as much about mitigating very real risks by engaging in a mass action (safety in numbers) as it is about offending people who need to be offended. Even the most polite people should stand up for their right to offend others, because it's impossible to avoid offending everyone, especially people who pretend to be offended by many correctable behaviors but are, in fact, offended by the very fact you exist, and will constantly invent new grievances to claim offense at until the polite people are no longer allowed to dissent, or even speak in their own defense, at all.

If "fighting back" in the culture war involved killing or even theft, I would oppose it, but this move only involves offensive drawings. How can anyone who believes in free speech oppose that?

Daniel Dover said...

An example that would offend christians? Take The Name Of God In Vain Day. Sure, alot of Americans would scoff at the idea, but quite a few Christians really dislike it when you do that, and there's an entire league here in the Netherlands dedicated to getting people to stop.

Everyone Draw Muhammad Day is trying to antagonize Muslims. I get where they're coming from: They're defying those who throw around death threats. But they're also unnecessarily offending my Turkish friend, who has no beef with them or vice versa. I'm not saying she'd flip out, anymore than a local Sunday School Mom would flip out over Blasphemy Day, but they'd be offended, and while I agree that both are forms of protected speech, I don't see the need to GO OUT OF OUR WAY to offend people.

Haider said...

Why stop at cartoons? Follow the hate to its ultimate goal. Kill each other. Non-muslims should kill muslims and muslims should kill non-muslims. Bomb each other out. Now do not be easy on each other. You have histories to defend and honor to protect. And then there is freedom of speech. I do not know which freedom of speech is protected by hate speech. Probably not the kind i know. Start abusing each other. Fathers, mothers, children, relations, prophets, religion, leaders ..nothing should be spared. March on with all the obscenity you can find.
Defending this and defending that .... all you people including me have no other problem that our stomach being full and we are not feeling the hunger and misery ....
So kill each other ....do whatever you can with each other ....maybe you are able to achieve something higher with this non-sense ..

No wonder you guys need shrinks every step of the way .... I am sick and tired of the concept of so-called freedom of Americans ... Which freedom are you talking about? in the fangs of capitalism, over-loaded by consumerism, .... wtf man ....
What kind of shit is facebook?
twitter , orkut, bla bla ....

All the intellectual crap spread all around with least amount of wisdom ....

Why did American economy fail if everything was so good? I guess you cant blame Muslims there. Bombing countries for oil ...Can you blame Muslims there?

lol @ freedom of speech ....
lol @ ignorance
lol @ intellect
lol @ America
lol @ West
lol @ Muslims
lol @ Christians .
.........so on .........

There is only shame all around . Can't control you tongue ...what can you control?????

KeesKennis said...

Draw or Die

Blue Collar Todd said...

I did not draw Muhammad, but consider that Islam may be the religion of the Beast. Time will tell.

jkmack said...

Ann,

how many people are killed for offending muslims? how many are killed for offending christians, jews, or any other religion? Do all those other religious kills equal the ones killed for offending muslims?

People are sick of the multi-cultural acquiescence by political leaders and want to make a personal, non-violent statement against the people who are attacking the artists that are living in hiding, the ones that are found with a note pinned with a knife to their chests.

As with all academics, you want to participate in an intellectual exercise. this is not an intellectual exercise, this is incitement, this is drawing a line and calling out the radicals, and having it out with them, the moderates be damned, they are irrelevant, if they were not irrelevant, we would not be at this point.


so to put a fine point on it, you have decided that attacking terrorists, creates terrorists, that is fine, that is your opinion, but citing Taranto does not make your opinion anymore valid.

Brian Macker said...

I have a perfect analogy for you Anne. Drawing mocking cartoons of Mohammed is like drawing the same of Hitler, and quite offensive to Nazis.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Okay, I think I have your analogous example:

"Everybody Rally In Support Of Your Local Abortion Clinic Day."

Abortion happens to be legal in the United States, and in some cases it's even medically necessary to save the life of the mother. Yet millions of Christians (and non-Christians as well, I presume) find the practice morally repugnant and in violation of their religion, and a certain few sects have made activism against abortion--to the point of terrorism and murder, in the case of a FEW extremists--part of their "mission statement."

So those who support the right of women to seek abortions should go out and rally around their local abortion clinics in support, or have rallies in public places in support of the right to have an abortion.

Thoughts?

Note: I am only offering this as an equivalence analogy. It sure seems to work for me as an analogy. My own thoughts on abortion, as I suspect is the case for most Americans, is decidedly mixed.

Sebastian said...

It is within living memory that it offended people in the US to the point of violence for blacks to want to be served at department store lunch counters, drink from the same water fountains and use the same public restrooms.
The lynchings that were justified as proper retribution for an uppity black having relations with a white woman were not common but the sense of fear and self censorship that they created were more common.

And a good bit of what brought this system down was to force confrontation. To sit at the lunch counter and ask to be treated as another customer. To call out the bus company on its policies. To publically walk into church or the park with your black boyfriend and dare them to do anything. To march in the streets and force them to put their violence on public display where it was no longer hidden in the dark, beneath sheets but cataloged on the front page of the newspaper.

I'm sure that there were any number of offended white men in the Jim Crow South. And I really don't weep for them.

Muslims don't appreciate depictions of Mohammad? Ok.

I'm offended at the blasphemy of calling the incarnated Christ just another prophet. My offendedness doesn't grant me the authority to threaten to kill those who dismiss the diety of Jesus Christ.

There is a double standard in that the arts, academic and media institutions line up to defend artistic license and free speech when it is a matter of offense to Christians or Jews or heterosexuals or . . .

But when the offense is to Islam (which just happens to threaten violence, even if it is threatened only by a minority), they not only back down but self-censor ahead of time.

Another hypo that you missed was the case of violence by Christians toward abortion providers. The Christians were found, tried and jailed. Christians who had websites seen as promoting targeting abortion clinics and providers were also sued. Pro-abortion supporters didn't suggest that they should be careful not to offend Christians. The posted security guards and called the cops when protestors crossed the line from public protest to harrassment and tresspassing.

That is the sort of courageous willingness to defend rights despite causing offense that I think is called for.

Page said...

RE: 'Everybody Deny the Holocaust Day': A Meta-spectacle of Human misery

This has become a spectacle now. Well, it was already a spectacle with EBDMD, but now it's been escalated to a Meta-spectacle!

I thought we got past that after the twentieth-century—one of the most violent centuries, at least in recent history. It's ALL wrong; so, you know that most of the world knows this, right?

While I do see the backlash connection with 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,' etc. One offense against humanity (seems to) deserves another.

An eye-for-an-eye: I get it. This is where the reactionaries step in and (rightly or wrongly) fight back. It's a fringe thing on the internet, which will bring-on more rioting and violence.

Maybe, after all is said and done, it will all awaken humanity at last; and, we'll all have learned a valuable lesson and furthered ‘truth’ in the face of fundamentalist extremists. I doubt it.

On the one hand, hand, I saw nothing about EBDMD that furthered truth or humanity --just extremism. Most of us, around the world, were horrified and humiliated for every Muslim and non-Muslim alike who were forced to witness that ignorant event.

Well, except for the national bloggers, like Dan Savage, a leftist, fundamentalist extremist who managed to hijack a cartoon drawn by an apologetic cartoonist and fuel an international firestorm that created maelstrom and censorship, world-wide.

Now, with the proposed “Everybody Deny the Holocaust Day,’ I see nothing that will further the truth or humanity either—just a knee-jerk reaction to ignorance by right-wing fundamentalist extremists who want to prove what we already know: humans can be crazy and ignorant.

I have visited Dauchau, in Germany. As you enter the death camp there is a sign that reads: 'Arbeitet Machen Sie Frei!' ('Work Makes you free!')

And from there, you witness tourists at Dauchau taking photos of their families posed around the ‘gas showers’ and the ‘ovens,’ seemingly oblivious to the atrocities that occurred there.

How exactly does an event like ‘Everybody Deny the Holocaust Day’ equalize the ignorance of ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day?”

If I thought that this event would finally awaken humanity from denial; and, so oblivious to the past, I would fervently support it. If I thought that this event would promise respect for what is sacred, I would support it.

But I doubt it will even the score. It will only inflame fundamentalist extremists, both from the right and left, while the rest of us watch in horror.

Meanwhile, humanity will remain ignorant, because violence begets violence. Hasn’t the world shed enough tears already?

This is a Mega-spectacle of human misery!

Would God or Allah or Jesus Christ, or the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) see this as an act of wisdom, or as an act of the ego?

Although I am not a dogmatically religious person, I do recall what Jesus Christ said while being nailed to the cross: “Forgive them, father. They know not what they do!”

I say: ‘Live and let live.’ Literally, please!

This would be the greatest act of truth and humanity that any of us could perform.

The Front Porch Talker

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