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:

1 – 200 of 339   Newer›   Newest»
A.W. said...

Well, if you disagree with Ann and you would like to participate in everyone draw mohammed day, please go here.

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/

As for your arguments, I still believe your views are fatally undermined by your inability to present an alternative. I lay out my views, here:

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/2010/04/mission-statement-always-on-topcheck.html#more

But I will also reiterate that i greatly respect your willingness to be criticized here. that is very cool of you.

Maguro 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".

Treacle said...

How is sucking on a crucifix any different than dunking it in piss? Maybe the fact that, as a taxpayer, I had to pay for the latter but not the former?

And anyway, Catholics believe we literally eat Jesus at Communion. Try again, Ann.

Pogo said...

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

No, they define themselves that way. Islamists use our concept of Enlightenment against us. They will not offer the same courtesy to us, notably.

The Constitution and religious tolerance are not a suicide pact, and it does not demand that we tolerate intolerance, especially of those who mean to kill us all.

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

I have Taranto! What say you now?!

You still don't have me.

I don't care any more about Muslim sensibilities than Muslims care about mine.

Original Mike said...

@Maguro: I agree. This is about defiance of intimidation, in order to stop it. Any hypo that doesn't include that aspect misses the mark.

Ann Althouse said...

"As for your arguments, I still believe your views are fatally undermined by your inability to present an alternative."

If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm. The default is nothing. (The Party of NO!)

There's a problem, so we must do something, and here we have something, so we must do it. That's the reasoning I have heard over and over from President Obama, and it is something I truly loathe.

Do you defend it?

Would you follow such a principle about important things in your life, such as whether to have a medical treatment? It's a bad treatment, and it will only make things worse, but, after all, you have a disease, and you need treatment.

William said...

Is it still a desecration of the American flag if I draw a crude cartoon version of said flag and then burn it? The spirit of the protest was not to mock Islam but to mock people who wish to murder cartoonists.

Triangle Man said...

If you disagree with Althouse and you are male, then you should wear shorts.

mariner said...

If you were really a conservative, ...

And you, a law professor!

Your argument as I understand it, that we are grasping at anything, just anything, in order to do something is a straw man.

Original Mike said it: this is about defiance of intimidation.

To me it's also about opposing demands for "tolerance" made by the murderously intolerant.

Quayle said...

The issues is the threatened violence, not the fact that some things are very sacred to Muslims.

Ann is right on here.

Respecting other people is respecting what they think is sacred, because they think it is, not because you think it is.

But violence should not be tolerated at all.

Therefore, we should have a "everyone make veiled threats to a Muslim group that made veiled threats" day.

"Boy, I should wouldn't want anything really bad to happen to a Muslim who wished Matt Stone and Trey Parker harm."

Lincolntf said...

What's the fixation with hypotheticals? We're dealing with a real piece of art (SP episode), real death threats, real censorship, real push back, etc.

The fact that American citizens, whose freedom of expression couldn't possibly be more well established (given the Government funding of Piss Christ, etc.), have been silenced by threats of violence deserves a better treatment.
Simply looking for a past parallel in order to relieve oneself from having to actually think about today's issue is a cop out.

The PC culture that we've quiescently allowed to surmount our Bill of Rights is why it's so difficult to push back these days.

I say draw, draw, draw!

Salamandyr said...

I think a spin-off of Ann's point is that, while we want to offend those ignorant yahoo's who threaten us with death because our women show a little leg, we wind up offending the sensibilities of every Muslim, and wind up alienating moderates who we might otherwise reach.

However, in counterpoint, moderate Muslims have shown little to no desire to denounce their more violent co-religionists. Christian groups regularly denounce those who seek to do violence in Jesus' name. I have seen no such loud denunciations from any Muslim community. They're either more scared than we are, or they're not really moderate. Which is it?

Fred4Pres said...

How about telling jokes about Terrorist Day? Let me get the ball rolling.

You might be Taliban if:

Your home doesn't have drapes, but your camel does.

You can't have sex with your first wife until she turns 13.

You have at least four brothers named Mohammed.

You refine heroin for a living, but have a "moral objection" to beer.

You own a $500 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

You believe masturbation is evil but beating your wife is OK.

Your mother would be happier if you blew up into a million pieces.

You have more wives than teeth.

You think vests come in two styles, bullet proof and suicide.

You'll kill anyone that says you’re not peaceful.

You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon unclean.

KLDAVIS said...

In college, I got in a long argument with my roommate which nearly culminated in me burning a cross on our front lawn in order to attempt to prove that such an act was possible without racial animus or attempt to intimidate anyone (Virginia v. Black had recently been argued and the result was still pending). He managed to talk me out of it...

I think the makings of a hypo are there somewhere.

Fred4Pres said...

Q. What do you call a jihadi who owns a camel and a goat?
A. Bisexual.

Q. How do Taliban practice safe sex?
A. They mark the camels that kick.

Q. What do you call an al Qaeda member who owns 6 goats?
A. A pimp.

A member of al Qaeda in Iraq walks into his local mosque with a big grin on his face.

"What are you so happy about, Abdul?" Asks the Imam.

"Well, I'll tell you," replies Abdul. "I live by the railroad tracks and on my way home last night, I noticed a young woman tied to the rails, like in the American movies. I cut her free and took her back to my humble abode. Allah be praised - we made love all night, all around the tent. We did everything, me on top, sometimes her on top, every position permitted by Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him!"

"By the most Merciful," exclaimed the Imam, "you have been blessed. Was she as beautiful as a desert flower?"

Abdul grimaced, "By the Jinn, I do not know - I never found her head."

the quietist said...

Ann,

I appreciate your level-headedness on this matter. And I think you (and Taranto) are correct.

Frankly, the only things that will truly make a difference will have to happen elsewhere in the culture:

a) professors have to give up braindead multiculti relativism -- especially its reflexive knee-jerk inability to face the issue by retreating to "well, Christians do it too!" Um, no they don't, at least, not anymore. (More pathetic, yet just as often, is "Christians have a violent past also!"...as if anybody is disputing that, or as if what happened 500 years ago is really relevant anymore.)

b) artists and entertainers need to quit congratulating themselves for their "bravery" for attacking George Bush, Christians, tea partiers, etc. It's simply not brave, so quit pretending it is. Instead, recognize it for what it is: cheap and easy. (When you can ridicule Bush to his face on live TV -- as Colbert did -- it's hard to take seriously all the lefties who scream about Bushitler and creeping fascism in America (i.e. Naomi Wolf, the SPLC, my university colleagues). NOTE: this is different than saying they should NOT make fun of Christians or whoever. They can and should. But don't pretend you're being "brave" while doing so.

c) non-fanatical Muslims will have to finally speak out. (I know, I know, where are these "moderates" we always hear so much about? I don't know. But Europe had its Reformation 500 years ago. Islam is about 500 years younger than Christianity. So maybe it's time for Islam v2.0?)

Jacq said...

Everybody draw He-Who-May-Not-Be-Shown day aims not to offend, but to challenge the powers that be (i.e. the fatwa-ists).

It's a species of civil disobedience. If only Matt and Trey (or whatever the hell their names are) have the fortitude to offend everyone equally, then they can be targeted more easily.

First prize, of course, would be if atheists and iconoclasts (but I repeat myself) stopped mocking God and Christ (but I repeat myself) too.

But that will never happen, because how would we then know how brave and daring they are?

Fred4Pres said...

Q. What do you say to a Pakistani at Christmas?
A. A quart of milk, a loaf of bread and a pack of Marlboros please.

(sorry that is not a terrorist joke, but it is funny)

rhhardin said...

The flag analogy is fine.

Burning the flag is the canary in the mine of free speech.

It gets the right people really mad, and is appropriate when there's yet another amendment proposed to ban it.

Drawing mohammat is the canary for this case of this banning.

Beta Rube said...

Tim Robbins spoke at a podium festooned with a bank of microphones, with TV camers in the room, and said there was a chilling of speech in America. His sense of irony had taken the day off.

When Ari Fleisher suggested that people be careful with their words in a sensitive post 9-11 environment, you would have thought that jack booted thugs were standing astride the First Amendment.

When Muslims kill and/or threaten to kill publishers, movie makers, and TV show producers, there is a strange silence that leads to acquiescence.

The Draw Mohamed day is an "Army of Davids" response. It is ordinary folk taking on a task abandoned by the elites.

It is in this context that it makes sense to me. This event would not exist if Hollywood and the press were standing in solidarity with the show's producers as they would most certainly be if an attack on Christian or traditional American beliefs were being censored as offensive.

We are calling out our own homegrown hypocrites as well as the murderous few who make and carry out threats.

roa said...

If America’s supposed defenders of free speech, the media, had acted responsibly there would be no need for Draw Mohammad Day. Unfortunately they did not and something needs to be done to demonstrate we cannot be intimidated. Draw Mohammad Day is as much a slap in the face to all the newspapers that refused to run the Mohammad cartoons, Comedy Central, and Yale University Press as it is to Muslims.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Professor let me point out part of your premise that I think shatters your entire argument.

But depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats. In pushing back some people, you also hurt a lot of people who aren't doing anything (other than protecting their own interests by declining to pressure the extremists who are hurting the reputation of their religion). Emphasis mine.

I’ll have to assume you are not familiar with the phrase, “if you’re not part of the solution than you’re part of the problem”. The way I see it, those millions of ‘moderate’ Muslims who are protecting their interests by not pushing back against extremists are part of the problem and I have no issue whatsoever in hurting their tender feelings. Help me out Professor, why should I care? They evidently don’t care about our feelings (or lives for that matter) and after all, it’s other Muslims who are hurting their reputation; not Christians, not Hindus, not Jews. If they don’t have the testicular fortitude to stand up to those who tarnish the supposed religion of peace I honestly fail to see why they should get exorcised over a Draw Mohammed Day and if they do, why I should care?

I don’t have to provide an alternative hypo because none of the alternatives involve factual incidents Christians threatening to behead the heretic.

bagoh20 said...

"do no harm"

Where is the harm? How far must you go to try and make this ridiculous point? Nobody gets hurt.

The point being made is: This is our world too, learn to live in it peacefully.

These people are like the Christian Fred Phelps idiots: they are not following their religion they are making one up, and doing it simply to control free people.

The EDMD is simply standing up and saying we will not submit, this cannot work in a free society. If they don't want a free society then stay off the Internet and don't watch TV. You don't get to enjoy the benefits of a free world and then dictate the rules to destroy it.

Their rules are incompatible with free peoples and this just shows them that, which apparently, they don't get.

There is no better method. It's harmless, it's clear, it proves it's point.

You think we are being emotional, but this is logic. Your position is emotion, concerned mostly about "harming" someone. Your deep liberal core always feels compelled to be compassionate to the evil at the expense of the good. It's an inextinguishable tell.

The Pagan Temple said...

So what changed from the following post-

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/04/comedy-central-cowers-in-face-of-murder.html

Look, if you don't want to participate in EveryoneDrawMohammedDay, and you want to speak against it, that's certainly your right. I won't participate in it, but frankly I won't do so because I'm afraid Google will delete my blog, probably without warning as per their TOS, as they did to a fellow blogger with whom I am familiar-

http://sonia-bell.blogspot.com/

Don't bother going there, there's no longer a there to go to. Unfortunately, she was a relatively unknown blogger, so Google probably did not feel the need to give her a warning. I'm sure they would not have any compunctions about removing my blog any more than they did hers.

Nor am I particularly fond of the idea that any one or more of a group of savages that make up twenty percent of the 1.4 billion Muslims on the planet might find out who I am, hunt me down, and hack my head off with a dull sword, to say nothing of killing my family.

What I will not do is try to pretend that I'm not participating out of some so-called conservative need not to offend a religion which is by its nature offensive on so many levels it would take a small book to list them all.

If EveryoneDrawMohammedDay was sponsored by the NEA I might agree with your point, but so far as I know, this is private bloggers working on their own initiative to make a point about censorship. Although I won't participate I do support them, and their right to do so, and wish them the best of luck. They are probably going to need it.

virgil xenophon said...

Pogo hits the bulls-eye here. It's all a one-way street with Muslims. Believing Muslims, whether moderate or extremist, ALL believe that Islam and the Koran are the ONLY solution to societies ills, i.e., social problems are caused by a lack of Islam.

In the West religious moderates are people who are willing to allow the separation of religion from civic life, or even its subordination to the civic code. All Muslims, given their druthers, would impose religion on civic life. By this standard there is virtually no such thing as a "moderate" Muslim because Muslims do not recognize pluralism and the 1st amendment. "Moderate" Muslims are "moderate' only in the sense that American "cafeteria Catholics" consider them selves good Catholics while ignoring/disregarding/rejecting some of the most basic bed-rock tenants of the Church. There are, by this definition, undoubtedly many "moderate" Muslims, but that term cannot be used to describe the Koran or the basic tenants of Islam.

Islam is an ideology about conquest and submission dressed up in the trappings of religion. It is less about faith than it is about governance. Not recognizing any difference between church and state, Muslims are bent on forcing submission of the State to the religion and IT'S laws. (Sharia)

These are TOTALLY irreconcilable world-views. Islam and Western societies CANNOT co-exist unless one or the other accepts the other's way. There is NO MIDDLE GROUND. And NUMBERS COUNT. We would not be having this discussion if there were only one person of the Muslim faith living in the US, would we?


Anne Althouse, you are profoundly, sadly, misguided. You might be the most brilliant person on Earth. Unfortunately you are also BRILLIANTLY WRONG!!!

A.Worthing said...

Ann

This is A.W.

Well, yes, you are correct to say I am proceeding from the assumption that something must be done. We can’t just let this keep happening. So we need an alternative.

> Would you follow such a principle about important things in your life, such as whether to have a medical treatment? It's a bad treatment, and it will only make things worse, but, after all, you have a disease, and you need treatment.

Well, I think your metaphor here is not apt. Yes, there is undeniably a cost to everyone draw mohammed day. But I don’t believe “it will only make things worse,” as you say. I think the worst possible outcome is doing nothing.

The metaphor I would use is chemotherapy to treat a cancer. Chemotherapy is really poison. You take enough of it, or for long enough, it will kill you. But it is used to “treat” cancer, the idea being that the Chemo will kill the cancer long before it kills you.

And the default is “do nothing?” The argument proves too much. By that logic, we should never have fought back against terrorism at all. And for that matter, we shouldn’t have even freed the slaves in our country. There is never any situation where we can be 100% certain that we are not doing more harm than good. Human society is too complex to even pretend to calculate that precisely. So to try to apply the Hippocratic oath to this means that we will never do anything.

There is no question that good Muslims who love their prophet and freedom of speech will be offended by some of the cartoons I am already getting to post on my site submitted by others. To them I can only say, I am sorry, but this is the price of standing up for freedom of speech. And if I could think of another way to do this, I would support it.

I would add that if the authorities in New York State got their thumbs out of their collective keisters and arrested everyone involved in the threats, that maybe this wouldn’t be necessary. Here’s a hint to the geniuses in charge, there: you don’t have to make the threat explicit for it to be extortion. Implicit threats count, too. Twelve ordinary New Yorkers can figure out the difference.

And you might see a contradiction between my support for freedom of speech v. my support for locking these bastards up. But your freedom of speech ends when it infringes on my freedom of speech.

Bob Ellison said...

Taranto and the Professor seem to confuse tolerance and respect. I tolerate Muslims' idiotic religious notions, but I find them stupid and am happy to violate them for even a small porpoise...and sticking it to these fanatics is no small porpoise.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, you do not tollerate threats of violence for speech. Sorry, the flag and Serrano examples are not at all on point. In fact, when people threaten violence...say over abortion (rare but it does occasionally happen) we collectively condemn it and the full weight of law enforcement is applied.

Now Europeans are giving lip service to protecting Danish publishers who ran the Mohammed cartoons and Salamon Rushdie and trying to prosecute the killer of Theo Van Gogh. But you miss the point. The Jihadi intent of quashing free speech worked and they will use this tactic again.

So while I do not want to offend Muslims over Mohammed (because I do not want to be rude) I also do not want to kow tow to terrorsts. I do not want some Muslims (and I recognize it is a minority) thinking it is okay to threaten service animals, or Somali cabdrivers in Minnesota refusing to take fares because they have alcohol from duty free, and a host of other small indignities that this vocal minority of haters thinks is okay.

AllenS said...

Define "Hate speech"

jimbino said...

How about an Everybody Draw Child Porn Day? Everybody Yell "Nigger" Day?

Bob Ellison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuck b. said...

I don't understand why religious people deserve special treatment. How exactly are they "harmed" by drawings of Mohammed? If it wasn't a religion we'd call it a ridiculous superstition. Meanwhile, these Muslims who will be most offended like to kill people. You want to let the people who will be most offended drive the outcome.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

"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.

Well we would certainly hope that sympathy toward those who would murder those that drew an objectionable cartoon is far, far outside our common culture.

Jim said...

Let's see here...

"Everyone Draw Mohammed Day"

Is that a government-sponsored national holiday?

Are any governmental bodies involved whatsoever?

So, where's the issue here?

It offends Muslims? You're going to have to do a whole lot better than that.

Let's take a look at popular culture over the last 30 years or so. Can you even begin to count the offensive ways that Jesus has been depicted? Jokes that have been told about Christians? Entire movies made about parodying Jesus specifically and Christians in general?

And that was all "free speech" and perfectly within the bounds of what is acceptable - often times, even considered desirable - in our culture. But Islam is supposedly so innocent and pure that to poke fun at Mohammed or his adherents is taboo and needs to be debated ad infinitum?

That this discussion is even taking place is ludicrous.

Let's make a deal: you go tell all those Muslims who are issuing either direct or indirect death threats - and those who are actually carrying them out every day across the globe - to those who dare criticize their idols or their faith to stop doing that and then we can talk about what people put down on a piece of paper.

How about if we're going to make religion of limits for mockery or challenge of any kind, that we extend that to ALL religions - including Hare Krishnas, Scientologists, Fundamentalists, Mormons, Jews, etc.

Oh...you're not willing to do that? Then shut up about drawing Mohammed. Just shut up. You're embarrassing yourselves.

And let's not forget: the purpose of "Draw Mohammed Day" isn't purely sport or entertainment: it's pushing back against fatwas and other threats to actual human life. This ISN'T A HYPOTHETICAL THREAT. It's real. People are REALLY dying.

Hypotheticals? Talk to me about hypotheticals when Muslims stop ACTUALLY killing people who dare not share their beliefs.

Ann, and Taranto too, should both know better than this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Make a hypo that is the same but without the Muslim element, and seriously test your thinking on the subject.")

This cannot be done because the radical islamofascist muslims do not think or react in the same ways as even radical christians react to insults to their religious beliefs.

With the possible exception of those anti abortion fanatics who consider murdering abortionists as just retribution, there are no parallels. They are both insane groups who should be locked up.

The point of everybody draw Mohammad/Muhammed/whatever is to point out this ridiculous, irrational,over the top and actually quite insane reaction to the cultural differences between them and ouselves.

Everyone SHOULD draw Muhammod/whatever until all of the islamofascist heads explode or until we have adequate cause to explode them ourselves.

They need to learn to "take a joke". Or as they say in East L.A. "get over yourself". If we don't push back and fight this insanity, if we cower down before the abusurdity of death threats for cartoons, we are a just a bunch of pussies who deserve to lose every freedom that we have ever earned.

vw: manticar. like manbearpig, but half automobile.

Richard Dolan said...

The difficulty in coming up with an appropriate example results from two asymmetries. This is the first: "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."

There is no taboo in Western culture against depicting anything. The problem is not that "the taboo against depictions of Muhammad is not a part of America's common culture," but that any such taboo contradicts a central element of American culture.

The closest hypo I can think of involves various Eastern orthdox churches and orthodox Judaism, where there is a taboo against certain pictorial representations of the Divine or the speaking of the Divine name. Similarly, some years ago the worthies at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine displayed a crucifix on which the figure of Jesus was depicted as a woman. As I recall, that didn't go over too well, even with all of the cathedral's own officers or congregation.

The problem with making a hypo out of one of those examples is that adherents to those orthodoxies (Christian or Jewish) don't demand that non-adherents observe their particular customs about reverencing the Divine image or name. Same with a female crucified Jesus. A violation of the taboo by a non-adherent is just a tasteless display, nothing more.

The uniqueness of the Muslim example is that the fringe element that issues threats (and the even smaller fringe element that carries them out) when the Prophet is depicted insists that the entire world observe their taboos. You won't find a convincing non-Muslim hypo unless you can come up with another group that demands universal observance of some taboo that contradicts a central element of the majority culture.

The second asymmetry lies in the response to any violation of the taboo. The larger Muslim community (I suspect) responds to violations of the no-depiction-of-Muhammed taboo like most Christians or Jews do to violations of their taboos about depictions of Jesus, or use of the Divine image or name -- they may not like it, but it's not a big deal. You have to reach very far back in history to find examples where a violation of those taboos would have generated a strong response (think of the Albigensians, the Cathars, and earlier the Arian and Monophysite heresies).

The world, especially the Western world, has moved on from medieval taboos. A part of the Muslim world (the fringe that we are talking about) hasn't. Since that's the basic reality, it's no surprise that it's hard to come up with a convincing non-Muslim hypo.

A.Worthing said...

DBQ

Btw, this is A.W.

But 100% agree on the hypotethetical. All this search for a hypothetical has proven is that this is a pretty unprecedented situation. I can't think of an example of private violence being used to intimidate like this, on such an organized level, to suppress a view point.

The best i can come up with is the KKK killing anyone who stood up for black equality. But Ann is right to say that the difference is that the message of black equality doesn't offend any sensibilities that we care about. i don't want to offend good muslims, but what other choice do we have?

Fred4Pres said...

The Anchoress is on it (and she links to this post too).

bagoh20 said...

"How about an Everybody Draw Child Porn Day? Everybody Yell "Nigger" Day?"

This is a lazy and lame comparison. Blacks and children are not threatening to kill anyone for... well it's so lame a comparison, I can't even follow it.

Those against EDMD seem to be stuck on: " I don't want to insult anyone, not matter what or who." Get over yourself. You are not a pure beacon of compassion even if that was a compassionate stance, which it is not.

If you are not willing to insult anyone over anything, then you are worthless to goodness in our world and are a tool used against compassion.

Slow Joe said...

ok, he's got a point.

But if those opposed to flag burning were threatening to hunt down your family and kill you if you burned the flag, maybe I'd burn a flag.

The radicals who want to kill over this are particularly worthy of being discriminated against in the minor aspect of being offended. And perhaps some less minor aspects.

I know many Muslims probably object to these drawings and have done no wrong, though, so I guess I'm being a dick when I draw Muhammad, the way South Park is a dick when they draw Jesus being gross or when a hippy burns a flag.

In this case, I'm being that minor dick in pursuit of solidarity with many who oppose radical Islam. And the 'good' muslims know it (or they should... I call on them to join me.

This is unlike the N word or holocaust denial because I judge this effort to be worthy and thoughtful.

PatHMV said...

The fundamental distinction between your Christian example and the Everybody Draw Mohammed day is that there are not large numbers of self-professed Christians who routinely threaten violence or prosecution for being insulted.

Censorship and self-censorship in the wake of self-styled Islamic violence and threats of violence is in fact a problem in the West, and it's appropriate to take unusual steps, steps we might find offensive in other contexts, to combat that problem.

Moreover, the day is not "Everybody Insult Mohammed Day." Not all traditions of Islam forbid any depiction of Mohammed, and historically many Islamic cultures have produced great artwork of Mohammed and other religious figures.

bagoh20 said...

Here's my hypo:

A bunch of gays flamboyantly parade around the Fred Phelps church.
Guess what, I don't think many Christians outside of that church would be insulted and would definitely not be hurt.

Ok?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I appreciate the concerns and sympathize, but still disagree with the prof. I was thinking of a hypo this morning, and wondering if it was too late to add. Here:

All the Althouse commenters attend a prom in a town with a lot of conservative Christians. Titus wants to dance with his Indian husband, but this offends the conservative nature of some of the attendees. Most just express that it makes them uncomfortable; a few threaten to "beat the homos."

In response, I grab Synova, Dustbunny Queen grabs Freeman Hunt, FLS grabs Garage Mahal, Meade grabs Pogo, somebody sufficiently hairy grabs Peter (ironrails), Sir Archy grabs Blogging Cockroach (is BC male? I'm assuming), and so on, and we all dance together as couples, sex be damned.

It says A) same sex dancing doesn't hurt anyone, so you can deal with it; B) we stand in solidarity with Titus and his hubby; and C) you can't beat up us all.

Professor Althouse, would you object, in this hypo?

- Lyssa

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well we would certainly hope that sympathy toward those who would murder those that drew an objectionable cartoon is far, far outside our common culture.

There is sympathy and there is indifference, neither of which is particularly helpful in combatting extremism.

Chip Ahoy said...

The example given is that burning the flag ran counter to the law of the land. That's the whole point. It was the law of the land and now it's not. Because people burned it.

Drawing Mohammad is NOT counter to the law of the land, although extremists would have it so. They want us to bend to their law. Piss on that. Some scrawny little converted emo issues a threat in the form of a warning and cowers a whole network. It's required of us to demonstrate that attempt will backfire.

Dex Quire said...

Ann,

As comment pusher # 403 or something like that let me add:

This whole thing is not really about Mohammed. It is about stopping thugs in their tracks. It is about standing up to bullies and guys who threaten murder over cartoons. Why shower them with an undeserved legitimacy by fearing them? Extendig supposed Christian forbearance to guys who have scoured all human attribute from themselves is seriously misplaced 'forgiveness.'

The situatiion demands our ridicule and contempt.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hypotheticals? Talk to me about hypotheticals when Muslims stop ACTUALLY killing people who dare not share their beliefs.

Ann, and Taranto too, should both know better than this.


I know and I am at a loss as to how they can't see this obvious flaw in their argument.

Scott said...

Does anyone remember the Seattle Tacoma Airport Christmas tree brouhaha?

1. Rabbi threatens to sue airport for holiday decorations that don't include a Menorah.

2. Airport pulls down all holiday decorations.

3. Rabbi realizes, belatedly, that the airport director bitch slapped him. Hilarity ensues.

The dynamic of the South Park kerfuffle is exactly the same. By censoring the Mohammed-themed episode of South Park, Comedy Central ended up bitch slapping all American Muslims, who have been put in the odd position of having to defend, by their deafening silence, the radical group that made the death threats.

The Rabbi was able to walk back their position, to protect the integrity of the Jewish community in Seattle. By contrast, no major Muslim group in the United States is able to do this. The damage to Islam in America will be lasting.

By censoring the episode, South Park Studios and Comedy Central did a very sly and passive-aggressive assault on Islam. I wonder if Comedy Central intended this outcome?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Moreover, the day is not "Everybody Insult Mohammed Day." Not all traditions of Islam forbid any depiction of Mohammed, and historically many Islamic cultures have produced great artwork of Mohammed and other religious figures.

Excellent point. Not all Muslim sects are anti depiction. Not all Muslim sects are repressive, violent, mysoginists.

The question is.....where are they? Silence can be construed as consent. Do they agree with killing over cartoons? OR....are they the craven cowards that Althouse and others want us to become?

Adam2Smith said...

The conceptual difficulty here is applying "law professor" thinking to an issue that concerns everyone.

Looking at the commenter population as a whole, very few think like lawyers - or mathematicians, or physicians, or whatever, simply because of their background.

A "hypo" is a meaningless construct to a scientist, or indeed to almost any non-lawyer. It's not how we think - we understand that it may be useful in some dry, backwards corner of the law where you can drudge away in a stack of precedents to your heart's content, but it's simply not applicable to the way non-lawyers evaluate general situations.

This particular situation does not require too much thinking at all. Since a symmetric response (cutting their heads off) is not what we want to do, a large, highly vocal response "I'm Spartacus!" is emotionally appealing and in fact, from the mathematical point of view, rational in that it provides these guys so many targets they get confused.

These Islamic nut jobs are cowards anyway - it's clear that they don't blow themselves up - they brainwash somebody else, who's a little deficient upstairs, into blowing themselves up. Or they take hostages and force a family member to blow themselves up. Most people know from common experience that bullies melt away when faced with numerous opponents.

Same strategy that all herd animals adopt - make it hard for the predator to identify a single target - with the added advantage of some of the targets being armed and dangerous.

And of course telling a lawyer they don't understand how some other profession thinks is a red flag of the highest order - they will insist they do!

Jim said...

I'm sick and tired of hearing about how militant Islam is such a small and tiny percentage of Muslims.

Here's a shocking fact: it's not.

If it were, then they would be marginalized in their own countries. They aren't. They are IN FACT in charge of the vast majority of Muslim nations - either directly (Iran, Syria, etc.) or indirectly (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.).

The REALITY is that NON-militant Muslims are the minority.

Where is the outrage by Muslims worldwide when beheadings, bombings, genocide, etc. are committed in the name of Islam?

It's there if you look hard enough: but that's the point. You have to look hard to find it because THOSE are the marginalized voices in their religion.

Enough with the politically correct picture of Islam, because that's not reality. The REALITY is that peaceful adherents of Islam aren't a problem, but they are the minority - not the majority.

Fred4Pres said...

Scott, I remember the SeaTac "holiday" incident. I would not describe the Port of Seattle as being smart. The only reason that rabbi walked it back was because he was an idiot who was loudly criticized in the media (and presumably by his congregation). The Port was also criticized too, and rightly so.

Lincolntf said...

This debate among largely conservative bloggers/posters/editorialists, etc. has added another dimension to the larger story. If the "Ban the Drawing" movement wins in the court of online public opinion, then that'll set the precedent for years to come. Anyone attempting any push back against the threats and violence will be dismissed as "too insensitive" if not outright racist.
So now we've gotta "win" this thing not only for the South Park guys, but for ourselves.
Sharpen your pencils, America, it's time draw.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Go Chris!!

mariner said...

jimbino:
How about an Everybody Draw Child Porn Day? Everybody Yell "Nigger" Day?

I'd be delighted to see "Everybody Yell 'Nigger' Day", and I'd yell myself hoarse -- for exactly the same reason I'll participate in Everybody Draw Muhammed Day.

I'd pass on the child porn thing.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"I have Taranto! What say you now?!"

I'd say the both of you are wrong and that it took days for you to scour the internet until you found the one person in the world who agrees to be a dhimmi with you.

I'd say that there is no point in reasoning with you because you have ulterior motives for holding the opinion that you hold that you won't admit and cannot admit.

If you came out in support of Everybody Draw Mohammad Day, you would face serious consequences at work - and that is the only reason you have deliberately decided to become a dhimmi. You're scared.

I understand.

So, I say that I pity you.

You are a political prisoner. I hope one day you can be free again.

And don't worry about America. We'll defend it for you since you're too much of a coward to do it yourself.

Franklin said...

Ahh, yes, Ann. Discretion is the better part of valor, you know. Don’t let those bloody dervishes get you down. Stiff upper lip and all that.

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

@Fred4Pres: I think the airport won that one. The Rabbi was exposed to be a major prick, and the port authority commissioner showed that she had some balls. Politicians always get criticism. Feh. I think the incident was career enhancing for her.

Jim said...

How about this?

EDMD is actually about speaking truth to power.

There is a line from Frank Herbert's "Dune," that I have always remembered because it is so very true:

He who can destroy a thing, controls that thing.

And that's exactly what we're talking about with Islam and their threats of violence against blasphemers. By threating to destroy those blasphemers and demonstrating their willingness to carry out those threats, they gain control over that thing.

So EDMD is about ending that control. It's about proving to these wanna-be controllers that Americans WILL NOT be controlled. That the more they push to control, the less control they will have.

So if my drawing a cartoon picture of Mohammed helps prove that point even a little bit, then I'll draw a mural on the side of my house with Mohammed wearing bunny ears, clown shoes and his underwear over his skirt until they understand that their threats will not stand.

Period.

Any other questions about your hypotheticals?

SMGalbraith said...

Ann is right here (and it seems to me this is as much a cultural matter as it is religious).

An analogy might (might) be for those of us horrified by Fred Phelps, he of the "God hates fags" movement, who respond by drawing pictures of Jesus having sex with a man. Or just portraying Jesus as a homosexual.

Sure, our intention is to challenge Phelp's ugly views but there would be a lot of Christians who would suffer, let us say, collateral damage.

The Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis has pointed out that we in the West have to repeatedly realize that Islam has attracted billions of followers of various races and ethnicities and cultures for more than 1,500 years. The religion may be quite alien to us but it has provided great relief to billions of our fellow humans for centuries.

Dismissing it as an anachronistic belief system misses a great deal.

bagoh20 said...

Ann cashes in again by losing the argument. That IS a lot easier and a business plan I would invest in if Meade had not beat me to it.

El Presidente said...

Martin Luther was deliberately confrontational to the catholic Hierarchy when he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of church in Wittenburg.

Jesus Christ was deliberatively confrontational to the Jewish Hierarchy when he drove out the money changers (among others occasions).

When religious custom becomes so offensive to justice and cultural norms it is time for a change. That change cannot be driven from within the Muslim community because the punishment for perceived apostasy is death.

The American blog community stands ready to save Muhammad from Muhammadamians. The challenge to the Muslim hierarchy and the launch of the Muslim Reformation is too important to be left to the Muslim community.

There are now eight dirty words you can't say in television, "Muhammad" has been added to the list by those who would worship him.

ken in sc said...

To those who think Islam needs a reformation, I say until I read the Koran, I thought so too. However, I now understand that they have already had it and the result is radical Islam. When some Christians went back to the original texts of the New Testament, they created Protestantism in all its many flavors. When some Muslims went back to the original texts, they took up jihad. Despite what some Christians have done, Jesus did not call us to kill anyone. Mohammed does.

rdkraus said...

DBQ

That was great.

BLT - LOL.

High chair !!!

LOL

Oh, Mo, I needed that.

The Crack Emcee said...

PC drives me crazy. You guys always miss the plot. Let's see:

It offends me - a black man - to have to read and write babytalk, like "n*gger", in place of a word my friends and I say everyday, in all kinds of contexts, but, even though you "know" me and that I hate it, you're still insisting on doing it - which is the same as insisting it should be done - where's the consideration of my feelings, or free speech, or linguistics, or the work of Paul Mooney, or Rap Music, or literature? I say you disregard all that for one reason: nobody's threatening to kill you over it.

Another thing: you, and Taranto, assume that everyone who participates in "Draw Mohammed Day" wouldn't be a Muslim - as though there can be no solidarity with, say, Muslim comedians - that no Muslims would participate and all Muslims would be offended. That assumption is wrong on it's face.

And, lastly, you both ignore the most crucial fact in all of this: there is no Mohammed. (Just as race doesn't really exist - this "black man"'s included, so shut up about it.) This constant harping - on who's upset over nothing - is our collective descent into NewAge madness. It's the same impulse that didn't allow criticism of global warming (also a religious impulse) unless one were a "denier" - something those of us on the opposite side beat by continuing our criticism.

I'm sorry, but whether the topic is global warming, homeopathy, Barack Obama, or Mohammed, demanding we bow to nothing, because someone might get upset, is just a demand we not admit these many Emperors - that have been chosen for us by the previous generation - have no clothes. I'm not willing to do that. I see things differently than you, Ann. I hear a racial slur and keep right on steppin' - it has no power over me. While you, Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Breitbart, the Democratic Congress, and the President of the United States, continue to feed the beast. Sometimes to my amusement, most times not. "Beer Summit", anyone?

Stop living in the world of delusion, Ann*, and, even more importantly, stop demanding the rest of us do as well. You've been spinning to spirits in your house, seeing kindness in Barack Obama (and probably thinking I'm a jerk) imagining racial slurs in concrete faces, going through multiple marriages, and worrying about American Idol. What do you know about wanting you to stop and think? Not just be an idea machine, or Glenn Reynolds' style of law professor (who throws things out there without a care if you're wrong) but someone who can admit when they're wrong. You're wrong on race. You're wrong on religion. You're wrong. And having Taranto on your side doesn't make it less so.

Again, sorry, but pushing back - even if it occasionally makes us "act like inconsiderate jerks" - is The Macho Response.

*Congrats on the plug, though, blogger to blogger.

Rialby said...

The rule against drawing Muhammed is FOR MUSLIMS ONLY. The analog is... if it's against the law to burn the American flag IN AMERICA, then we have no say when people burn the flag in foreign lands.

Similarly, it's against the rules for Christians to desecrate a crucifix. When atheists do so, there's nothing Christians can do except ask that they do not have to pay for it.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm.

Absolutely nothing is conservative about that statement.

Being conservative means that we believe that the government is not the answer to all of life's problems.

And nobody has asked the government to draw anything. We are not demanding anything from the government except that it do that which it promised to do - which is to enforce our laws against issuing death threats.

The government (of which you are a member) refuses to do that. So we will engage in an act of civil disobedience and deliberately offend Muslims. Mad Muslims should be angry with the government for giving us no other alternatives. Since our government refuses to enforce the laws it promised to enforce when we elected it, we'll act on our own.

The harm is allowing Muslims to threaten us if we engage in our rights. They must know they will not succeed here in the way they've succeeded elsewhere using these same tactics.

Conservatives are willing to defend our rights ... even if that means having a war and killing those people who would deprive us of our rights.

That is not a threat against Muslims.

It is a fucking promise. Backed up by 225 years of American History.

You are the government, Ann. So, I don't expect you to understand these things. You're the enemy of free speech. It's in your interests to not have freedom in the United States ... because you are the government.

But us on the other side still expect our government to arrest those who have threatened Comedy Central. If they will not, then we'll deliberately provoke a fight with the Muslims and however the chips fall, they fall.

If Muslims don't like it, they can try to do something about it.

HokiePundit said...

"Everyone Draw the Virgin Mary Having Sex Day" would have the same blasphemous element, at least for Catholics and (I think) Orthodox. Protestantism might be too diverse for such a Day, although "Everyone Draw Jesus Having Gay Sex Day" might be close.

You could have "Everyone Pronounce YHWH Day" to be inclusive of the Jews, too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The religion may be quite alien to us but it has provided great relief to billions of our fellow humans for centuries.


Really?

In what way?

LOL--------> verification word: orele

holdfast said...

The problem is that Muslims have set themselves up to get offended and angry.

Jews believe that you should not make images of god, and in fact synagogues tend to have no images of any people or animals, just abstract art. I suppose you could say that a visual representation of god would be offensive to an Orthodox Jew, yet you don't see threats to kill the producers of travel shows where the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is shown.

Muslims believe that so long as there is a single Muslim around to be offended, that we should all be subject to their religious laws - look a the US where government offices now discourage people from eating in the office during Ramadan. My Catholic friends don't require that I give up meat during Lent, my Orthodox Jewish friends don't freak out that I eat bread during Passach, and my Hindu buddies don't get into a snit about my burger habit, so what makes Muslims so goddamned special that we have to censor our culture just for them? Nobody is forcing them to watch South Park.

And where are all the moderate Muslims condemning these threats? Nowhere to be found because outside of a few truly "radical" Muslims like Irshad Manji, those moderates agree as to the offense, if not the threat.

Michael said...

I don't think there is a perfect hypothetical involving any other religion since no other religion has an "off with their heads" theological component. Christians would not be offended by the suck a crucifix day since they have long since gotten used to abuse.

Hoosier Daddy said...

An analogy might (might) be for those of us horrified by Fred Phelps, he of the "God hates fags" movement, who respond by drawing pictures of Jesus having sex with a man. Or just portraying Jesus as a homosexual.

Well since Fred Phelps has been pretty well marginalized by...well...everyone, I'd say that analogy is a fail.

Again, that is kind of the point in which providing a hypo to Draw Mohammed Day doesn't work. There are no factual analogies, at least that I can think of with Christianity because those 'extremist' groups within Christianity are already marginalized among the broader community.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Everyone Draw the Virgin Mary Having Sex Day" would have the same blasphemous element, at least for Catholics and (I think) Orthodox. Protestantism might be too diverse for such a Day, although "Everyone Draw Jesus Having Gay Sex Day" might be close.

And yet.....you don't have hordes of Catholic Nuns threatening to kill you if you do any of the above.

Fail as an analogy.

Catholics would more likely pray for you to receive guidance for your blasphemy instead of blowing you and your family into itty bitty pieces or cutting your head off.

Pastafarian said...

Lyssa at 9:59 has the best hypothetical. (Despite the fact that it sounds like a screenplay for a disturbingly bad Kevin Bacon movie, even with hot DBQ/Freeman Hunt girl-on-girl action).

I can understand Althouse's argument, and I've been reading here long enough to know that she's taking this stand out of principle, and not out of cowardice. Althouse is no coward.

I have to fight my own prejudices against religion, and my natural tendency toward defiance against thugs, in assessing her arguments; but I'm forced to conclude that she's wrong.

The harm done by EDM Day (offense to a few hundred million innocent Muslims) is trivial compared to the good that it can do: It disarms the cretins who currently use threats of violence as a weapon.

Right now, Muslim fanatics have a strong motivation to murder Stone and Parker and others like them, as they did Van Gogh, because they know that such a murder will serve to control millions of other people; but when millions stand up and tell them to pound sand, despite their murder of Van Gogh and countless others, what reason do they have after that to murder any individual cartoonist, or writer, or reformer?

They can't saw off all of our heads, after all.

Almost Ali said...

Drawing/depicting Mohammad is protected speech.

As is: "Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. Seize them. Beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them" (Qur'an, Surah 9:5)

Re: Religion should only be for Allah" (Qur'an, Surah 8:39).

Dark Eden said...

Its not about breaking a taboo or anything like that. Its about the threat of violence.

If for example there was a cult called the Sons of Liberty that was literally running around stabbing people to death for burning the flag, I would support an Everyone Burn the Flag Day.

If there was a cult of extreme Catholics murdering people who disparaged the Pope, I'd support a Slam the Catholics Day.

If there was a group of die hard steak lovers who were running around slitting the throats of Vegans, I would support Eat a Stupid Vegan Meal Day.

Do you get it? Its not the taboo, its the threat of violence.

"We will kill anyone who does ____"

"Oh yes, I'm here doing _____ come kill me then!"

Do you follow? Does this have to be mapped out any better?

Matthew said...

how about "everbody draw a christian fish symbol with legs day" a la evolutionists. i am not religious but i alsways found defacement a wee bit insensitive and a mjor provocation.

Jim said...

Hokie -

"Everyone Draw the Virgin Mary Having Sex Day" would have the same blasphemous element, at least for Catholics and (I think) Orthodox. Protestantism might be too diverse for such a Day, although "Everyone Draw Jesus Having Gay Sex Day" might be close.

Welcome to American popular culture for the last 30 years....I don't seem to remember Ann (or Taranto) getting themselves too terribly exorcised about all the various blasphemies visited upon Christians during all those years....up to and including today.

I guess she just gets upset when people are threatening to kill those who don't toe the line. Maybe if Christians started regularly beheading people or blowing themselves up in crowds of innocent civilians then Ann would show a little more sensitivity about Jesus. It seems that's the only kind of squeaky wheel that gets Ann's politically correct grease of self-righteous condemnation.

Now THAT would be a parallel hypothetical that Ann wouldn't dare entertain because it would expose just how far out on a limb she is with her position on EDMD.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The religion may be quite alien to us but it has provided great relief to billions of our fellow humans for centuries.

Unless of course you're a woman, a homosexual, a Jew or an atheist or...

In anticipation of the treatment of the same under Christianity, I will pre-empt with point taken, however, I am talking about the here and now and not the Medieval or Renaissance period.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I know and I am at a loss as to how they can't see this obvious flaw in their argument.

They are wearing liberal goggles.

I care not one whit about constructing a hypothetical when the murder of Theo Van Gogh is a reality.

Art is protected speech in America, remember? A drawing of Muhammad is art; protected by the Constitution. Do you want to make an exception for art that Muslims don't like? Really?

You may like creeping sharia, I don't like it and don't want it, period. I will draw a cartoon of Muhammad. I have that right in America. And I'll think of Daniel Pearl while I'm drawing.

I'll also think of those fools who are unwilling to defend that right without demanding that I construct an absurd hypothetical for making s simple drawing.

And you, fearless appeasers, just go ahead and draw a cartoon of L. Ron Hubbard or someone whose followers don't look all scary.

HokiePundit said...

Its not about breaking a taboo or anything like that. Its about the threat of violence.

Actually, it isn't. It's about the extremists in this case getting upset about the non-depiction of Mohammed as though it were a depiction.

It's not unreasonable to me that a Muslim, whether pacifist or violent jihadi, might consider such an image blasphemous, regardless of how nice it looks. What is unreasonable, though, is taking offense for something that didn't actually happen.

This is why the target of our opposition must be the extremists and not all Muslims. EDMD is overbroad and inapposite.

Ah Pooh said...

Gee, I guess I missed the news about the beheading of the guy/gal who burned the American flag. We're talking degree of negative response here, and the seriousness of how we view these responders. If you don't like my picture of Mohammed sue me.

The Crack Emcee said...

""Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. Seize them. Beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them"

Whoa. I actually like the sound of that,...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This is why the target of our opposition must be the extremists and not all Muslims. EDMD is overbroad and inapposite.

Until the silent moderate Muslims speak up, they get caught in the whirlwind too.

If they never speak up: then we can assume they don't exist and are a fiction of the liberal's imagination.

Stand up against the terrorists or be counted as one of them.

Briane P said...

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.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"It's a bad treatment, and it will only make things worse, but, after all, you have a disease, and you need treatment."

Ann, this is the flaw in your logic.

You assume that drawing Mohamed will "make things worse." That it is a "bad treatment."

It isn't.

We on the other side of this issue believe strongly that to NOT draw Mohamed is what will make things worse. That is the bad treatment.

Not drawing Mohamed sends a signal to the Muslim community that if you want something, all you need to do is threaten people and you'll get it. And that this tactic will work against Americans.

You wish to allow them to threaten with complete impunity. Now, I understand why you have to take that stance. For you, working for the government, in the academy, there is no alternative. You are not free to offer any other opinion, and for that, I pity you.

I understand why you persist with a position devoid of any logic or reasoning besides "it will upset some people." What you don't really get that we WANT them upset.

That's our goal.

We want to upset all of them. That sends the signal that threats death against people who draw Mohamed will only get you more of that.

Your goal is to let them have the power to regulate our speech.
So it's obvious that we can't agree since our goals are 180 degrees divergent.

You are willing to sacrifice our speech to their threats.

OK. That's an opinion.

It seems to be one not shared by many people outside the government you are a member of.

bagoh20 said...

"Well since Fred Phelps has been pretty well marginalized by...well...everyone, I'd say that analogy is a fail."

Head chopping Islamists are not exactly mainstream either.

The analogy holds. It's a fanatical group claiming to hold the larger group's religious principles, but is only defiling them. Both should be faced down by those who truly care about people and freedom. The only difference is that liberal thinking people in the west only respect those religions not close by. The elites love the exotic, noble savages and all that.

AG said...

I don't have a problem with the idea that Islam is outside of our culture. It is. "Deserving of our courtesy?" I think that phrase needs to be cleaned up. We should agree, as a culture, that Islam is problematic in many ways. Its contemporary inclination toward terroristic violence is the prime example. Should we make broad gestures to highlight this Muslim inclination? Perhaps. In other words, Muslims aren't analogous to American patriots of Catholics. Those groups are contained, more or less, inside our culture.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"It says A) same sex dancing doesn't hurt anyone, so you can deal with it; B) we stand in solidarity with Titus and his hubby; and C) you can't beat up us all. Professor Althouse, would you object, in this hypo?

Of course not, because where she works, homosexuals get rights nobody else gets - even if that is illogical.

Where she works, this is the politically correct stance of the moment.

Logic doesn't enter into Althouse's equation. She will never, ever come out and admit that she is wrong ont his issue because to do so she would have to pay too high a price. She would have to quit her job or risk being "lynched" by her colleagues and roasted on coals by The Isthmus.

We should pity her. Because reasoning with her is pointless.

Skyler said...

You likely won't find an example of upsetting christians, because one of their first teachings is to turn the other cheek. It's a basic part of the religion to not get upset about such things. There have been different levels of tolerance throughout christian history, but that's the main rule.

The day they outlaw flag burning, I will become a flag burner. I say that as a Marine who loves our flag as much as anyone. But the flag is a symbol of freedom, and if I have to burn that symbol to demonstrate my freedom, then I will.

HokiePundit said...

And yet.....you don't have hordes of Catholic Nuns threatening to kill you if you do any of the above.

Fail as an analogy.


Actually, it answers the question presented. Some Muslims believe that drawing Mohammed is blasphemous. Some Christians, being doctrinaire Catholics, believe that a depiction of the Virgin Mary having sex, even with Joseph, is contrary to dogma and is thus blasphemous. Both groups take offense. That some of one group act out violently is a separate issue; the issue here is the taking of reasonable offense.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

I'm no more tolerant of Islam than I am of the KKK. Or skinheads. Or neo-nazi's.

They all want the same thing.

Purity.

Islam demands that nobody draw Mohamed, but in Islam, it's OK to draw Jesus.

Because there's nothing special about Jesus.

G Joubert said...

There is no Christian corollary, or any other.

bagoh20 said...

No one is outside anyone's culture anymore. We now have a global culture and it will have defining norms. This battle is over what those norms will be. On this issue there simply cannot be compromise. There is no way to respect the no-images-or-you-die rule in a free world. It's simple and clear. Pick a side.

SMGalbraith said...

Really?

In what way?


The reaction, for me, to the observation to Lewis's statement about Islam is analagous to the reaction of the "new atheists" (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris) and religion.

I.e., if you only see Islam (or Christianity) through political or cultural lenses - and modern, western ones at that - you really miss the vast and rich history of that religion.

Not to be dismissive (truly), but Lewis explains it quite well. And the explanation can't be summarized in a post (he points out the key differences between religion and belief and worship).

Try this speech by Lewis: Islam and the West.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Both groups take offense. That some of one group act out violently is a separate issue; the issue here is the taking of reasonable offense.

You stopped short. Why? We don't mind of Muslims are offended. It's OK that they are offended.

Where we draw the line is what they do in response to their offendedness. Many Muslims believe that simply because they are offended they can threaten to kill people to shut down speech they (claim to) disagree with.

No other religion attempts that.

If they succeeded, it would only be a short time until other speech was similarly "off limits." And soon enough, being a Jew would be an offense.

Nazi, Germany all over again. It's a shame Ann isn't willing to stand up for the Jews any more.

We have to teach Islam that is an inappropriate response to threaten others just because you have taken offense ... just as you would teach a spoilt child that they cannot kill someone just because they are mad.

Islam is a two-year-old having a temper tantrum.

It needs to be spanked. Hard. So it remembers not to do that again.

And we mean to fucking spank it.

Jim 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."

Nice troll attempt fail.

Show me the violence from those objecting to ObamaCare. I can show you actual arrests for actual violence committed by those who support it though.

Bet you can't do the same...

Next time you attempt to troll a thread, perhaps you should bring some actual facts rather than just an incredibly lame talking point.

Skyler said...

Dust bunny wrote:

Until the silent moderate Muslims speak up, they get caught in the whirlwind too.

If they never speak up: then we can assume they don't exist and are a fiction of the liberal's imagination.


They exist. I was proud to serve along side a company of Azerbaijani soldiers in Haditha, Iraq. Fine men, all of them. And all of them were Muslims. They spoke by helping fight against Al Qaeda.

They were very clear to me that they did not like this sort of fanaticism. I don't know their reaction to the EDMD, but I'm pretty sure they would be pretty laid back about it.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I don't have a problem with the idea that Islam is outside of our culture. It is. 'Deserving of our courtesy?' I think that phrase needs to be cleaned up. We should agree, as a culture, that Islam is problematic in many ways. Its contemporary inclination toward terroristic violence is the prime example."

Having someone rifling through your cupboards, looking for evidence of pork, is another. You guys just don't understand.

SMGalbraith said...

Interesting point from Bernard Lewis:

Insulting the Prophet is something that has been going on in Europe for a very long time. In Dante's Inferno, if you're interested in the 28th Canto, where Dante is being taken on his conducted tour of hell and guided by Virgil, he comes across the Prophet Mohammed in the course of his eternal damnation. He is punished — I quote Dante's words, as a "seminator di scandalo e di scisma," a sower of scandal and of schism. Now, this is very insulting. In the great Cathedral of Bologna there is a wonderful set of pictures painted, if I remember rightly, in the 15th century depicting scenes from Dante's Inferno, including some very graphic pictures of Mohammed being tortured in hell by the devil — very graphic.

Nobody did anything about this. A couple of years ago, the leaders of the Italian-Muslim community sent a polite request to the cathedral saying these are insulting to Muslims; would they mind covering those pictures. The cathedral administration said they would consider it. Nothing happened. The pictures are still in view.

edutcher said...

You can't come up with a hypothetical situation analogous in Christendom because we went through all that in the last 250 to 1000 years ago. It was beaten out of us in the Crusades and the religious wars of the Reformation.

As I noted in the original post, there was a movie about Mohammed's life about 40 years ago and Moslems merely noted you weren't supposed to show the Prophet in any way. No violence, no problem.

What happens these days is reminiscent of the riots concocted by Al Sharpton or the shakedowns of Jesse Jackson. Pick a straw man and get everybody wound up about it. The imams doing all of this are worried about losing their power in a world increasingly unwilling to bow to them. So they issue fatwas about the Prophet's image.

And just because Taranto agrees with you doesn't make either of you right. That is a fallacious justification of your argument.

And, you, a law professor.

PS Loved the jokes, Fred.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"
And yet.....you don't have hordes of Catholic Nuns threatening to kill you if you do any of the above.

Fail as an analogy"

Actually, it answers the question presented. Some Muslims believe that drawing Mohammed is blasphemous. Some Christians, being doctrinaire Catholics, believe that a depiction of the Virgin Mary having sex, even with Joseph, is contrary to dogma and is thus blasphemous. Both groups take offense. That some of one group act out violently is a separate issue; the issue here is the taking of reasonable offense.

No it doesn't and you are completely missing the point.

Wooosh.

The issue is that a violent group of religious fanatics is attempting to control the rest of the world by not just taking offense BUT by threatening death and destruction because their "wittle feelings" have been offended.

The issue is that we CANNOT allow ourselves to become cowed by a group who acts out violently.

I can be offended by the Piss Christ and other examples, but I'm not threatening to KILL YOU.

That you don't even see the difference is very telling about you.

HokiePundit said...

Where we draw the line is what they do in response to their offendedness. Many Muslims believe that simply because they are offended they can threaten to kill people to shut down speech they (claim to) disagree with.

And where will you be drawing Mohammed, then? On the walls of caves in Afghanistan and in the sands of Saudi Arabia? Or will it be in the United States? Have you noticed most Muslims in America threatening to kill people? 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.

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.

Slow Joe said...

Once we've saturated the internet and airwaves and walls with blasphemy against Islam, maybe they will learn not to threaten to kill us for that kind of thing and we can all live out merry or unmerry lives.

Until then, it's time to terrorize them. If they threaten to kill people, we depict Muhammad. That's as far as we're going, and yes, some good people will be bothered.

Is this rudeness worth it, to reduce the effectiveness of terrorism? If you have to ask, you are beyond hope. The real question is whether it will actually make a difference, and I think the answer is probably yes.

Pastafarian said...

Hokie said: "And where will you be drawing Mohammed, then? On the walls of caves in Afghanistan and in the sands of Saudi Arabia?"

No, on these here interwebs, where Muslims in caves in Afghanistan and in the sands of Saudi Arabia can, you know, see them.

I'll not be stretching my neck across a chopping block as I draw them, either, no matter how many times you double-dog-dare me.

"You're targeting is overbroad and does not properly address the problem."

What precision laser-guided response would you suggest? I mean, I'd hate to produce such heinous collateral damage as "hurt feelings" when all we're really dealing with here are millions of zealots bent on world conquest who routinely saw people's heads off.

Dark Eden said...

New Ham says it better than I could if I took all week to compose my thoughts.

You have to stand up to threats of violence. Its regrettable that doing so offends people who are not violent, but that's the price of living in a free society. People offend me all the time but since I don't cut their heads off when they do so, no one gives a damn about my delicate sensibilities.

AllenS said...

A society that has hate speech laws is a society that does not have free speech.

The Crack Emcee said...

"And where will you be drawing Mohammed, then? On the walls of caves in Afghanistan and in the sands of Saudi Arabia? Or will it be in the United States? Have you noticed most Muslims in America threatening to kill people? 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."

The threat to South Park came from New York City.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

That you don't even see the difference is very telling about you.

Oh, they see the difference.

What is telling is that they do see the difference. And they still take the position we should be shut down.

That is what is telling.

They not only want to surrender, they want to force us to raise our white flags so their cowardice can be camouflaged.

They're quislings.

Joan said...

Hey look, Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the WSJ is advocating much the same thing as the Everybody Draw Mohammed folks. (via Powerline):

Another idea is to do stories of Muhammad where his image is shown as much as possible. These stories do not have to be negative or insulting, they just need to spread the risk. The aim is to confront hypersensitive Muslims with more targets than they can possibly contend with.

Another important advantage of such a campaign is to accustom Muslims to the kind of treatment that the followers of other religions have long been used to. After the "South Park" episode in question there was no threatening response from Buddhists, Christians and Jews—to say nothing of Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand fans—all of whom had far more reason to be offended than Muslims.


I know this is an appeal to authority and thus a rhetorical flaw, but I'd say that Ms. Ali trumps Althouse + Taranto.

Lincolntf said...

If drawing a simple picture is "going too far", then what is the superior alternative?
Passively accepting Sharia edicts is not an option for me.

Lockestep said...

(posted by accident on the old thread, reposting here)

I'll take a stab at the analogy challenge.

I liken the situation to the Abolitionist movement in England. Slavery was basically out of sight to the common Englishman. No one saw the everyday life of the West Indian slaves. The system benefited a few (plantation owners, slave traders) while economically repressing the common man by artificially lowering the cost of labor.
Into this situation stepped (mostly) the Quakers, who produced pamphlets and books which scandalized the people. The Quakers were attacked for producing the material which offended the majority, who had little to do with the minority responsible for the slaves, but through their inaction allowed slavery to continue.
Eventually the shock was enough to cause more and more people to turn against the system, and eventually it was destroyed.
Similarly, the majority of Muslims remain silent about the excesses of those who would impose their morals on the world. Until that majority is moved to force changes, until the enablers say "no more", the violent will hold a disproportionate share of power.
The cartoons are designed to shock, and to cause discussion among people who never heard of Theo Van Gogh. Just as the drawings of William Blake shocked the English.
Is the analogy perfect? No, but I think it comes closer than the Piss Christ. Thoughts?

Pastafarian said...

Here's a question for participants in EDM Day: How will you depict the Prophet?

I'm thinking of taking my avatar (Militia Fail) and crudely photoshopping a turban onto his head.

Dark Eden said...

If I can manage it I'm going to do Buddy Mohammed. "Kill the Infidel, with Kindness!"

if that's too much I was just going to do a standard smiley face with an arrow and a caption saying, 'this is the prophet mohammed.'

here: :) <-- Mohammed

HokiePundit said...

Surely people here aren't so dense as to think that those opposed to EDMD are trying to force them to do anything.

If you think my attempt at persuasion based on EDMD being moronic and likely to backfire is the same thing as Islamofascists wanting to cut your head off then, well...I'm not sure there's anything more to be done.

Lance said...

I'm a nobody, with no discernible cultural or political influence. How do I express my displeasure with appeasers like Comedy Central, Yale, etc.? Write them a scathing letter? Submit a letter to the editor of my local paper? Call my Senator or Congressman?

And what about the extremists themselves? Do they have a suggestion box set up? How do I communicate with them? Do I have no other option than voting for Presidents who start wars in the Middle East?

Pastafarian said...

Dark Eden, I think a frowny face might be more appropriate. And dignified.

Death to those infidels who give the Prophet a smiley face!!

El Presidente said...

Mathew wins: "everbody draw a christian fish symbol with legs day"

It just doesn't seem like a good analogy because fundamentalists grumble under their breath or if they are True say a short prayer for the person that thought defacing a Christian was a intelligent statement.

WV: jowlyted mocking the image of a beloved liberal lion?

rhhardin said...

The way I see it, those millions of ‘moderate’ Muslims who are protecting their interests by not pushing back against extremists are part of the problem and I have no issue whatsoever in hurting their tender feelings.

Islam is organized crime.

It's too dangerous to oppose.

Unless, of course, you take out the leaders.

HokiePundit said...

If drawing a simple picture is "going too far", then what is the superior alternative?

Doing exactly what South Park did: not showing Mohammed by using the most absurd means possible.

I think a superior alternative would be trying to get everyone to refer to Mohammed as "That Guy We're Not Supposed to Say." Eventually it becomes a mocking not of Mohammed but of the extremists.

So what's the goal? The subjugation of Islam as a belief system or the defanging of the terrorists? EDMD seems more geared to do the former, but it's the latter that's the ostensible goal.

Lincolntf said...

Hokie, the cartoonist who began "EDMD" is now advocating for (and contributing to) the "BAN EDMD" Facebook page.
So while not everyone opposed to the idea wants to squelch free expression, some certainly do.

Pastafarian said...

No, Hokie, I see your argument, and Althouse's argument, as a reason for not participating yourselves; and an argument that others that participate might be doing something counterproductive.

I disagree. I don't think you're saying that you want to shut us down and prevent us from participating in EDM Day.

But a big part of such an action is solidarity, so every person who fails to participate does diminish the action a little bit. But that's OK. I'm sure that when everyone else was standing up and announcing "I am Spartacus" and "No, I am Spartacus", there were a couple of people in the back quietly muttering "Umm, no, I'm not Spartacus, I'm Milo. Definitely not Spartacus."

Flexo said...

I have Taranto! What say you now?!

Who the hell is Taranto and why the hell should anyone care?

peter hoh said...

Despite claims to the contrary, moderate Muslims exist. There's a value to maintaining a good relationship with them. They are the ones who gave British intelligence the info about the liquid bomb plot. And, as Skyler points out, they are fighting alongside our troops.

I attended an interfaith dialogue a few weeks after 9/11. To the claim that they hadn't spoken out against this act of violence, one of the Muslims said that they were speaking, it's just that the media weren't interested in picking it up.

"Imam says terrorism is bad" doesn't make for a compelling headline.

Lincolntf said...

Geared to do the former? By who?
We've all made very clear our reasons for participating. It seems to me that you're projecting an ulterior motive onto our statements in order to justify your position.
(Yes, I know that there are some wild statements flying around, but those come with every topic. The trick is figuring out who is sincere and who is just a shmuck, I think most people here are being sincere.)

Pastafarian said...

peter hoh said: "Despite claims to the contrary, moderate Muslims exist...And, as Skyler points out, they are fighting alongside our troops."

And, as Skyler pointed out, they'd probably not be all that upset about some crudely drawn cartoons, particularly when they bear in mind the actual impulse (a push-back against totalitarian douchebags) behind them.

blake said...

Two words:

Boner Christ

Hoosier Daddy said...

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.

Is it? Is the pedophilia scandal within the Catholic church even remotely in the same vein as threatening death for insulting Islam? In any event, Catholics as a faction and Christianity as a whole are denigrated all the time. Just ask Joy Behar or Bill Maher who won't pull any punches as to what they think of Christianity.

Last time I checked they haven't needed 24/7 police protection for their anti-Christian views.

HokiePundit said...

But a big part of such an action is solidarity, so every person who fails to participate does diminish the action a little bit.

Ah, accusations of cowardice. Real nice. From a Combox Warrior, no less.

Shall I come with you, for fellowship?

Slow Joe said...

Why would this be on the same level as burning a US Flag anyway?

Why are so many of you accepting that as logically similar? Not only do I not want to murder flag burners, but Muhammad being depicted AT ALL is far less confrontational or angry than burning the flag, which is a statement of extreme intolerance.

That's like saying showing a picture of Bush is equal to burning a picture of Obama.

Muhammad is significant enough historically that we should know what his life was like and be able to depict his image. That's just communication. People like Althouse are saying that NOT censoring that communication is offensive.

No, it's the censors who are offensive. Don't tell me what I can and can't depict. If you want to tell me that it's offensive to show Muhammad doing something gross (the way South Park shows Jesus), then that makes sense, but the people who are sensitive to Muhammad being shown at all ARE WRONG about what constitutes an offensive image.

It's not merely in the eye of the beholder. There's no REAL way to make this equal to a swastika.

Slow Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HokiePundit said...

they'd probably not be all that upset about some crudely drawn cartoons, particularly when they bear in mind the actual impulse (a push-back against totalitarian douchebags) behind them.

Oh, totally. And if you wanted to stomp on consecrated eucharistic wafers out of completely justified anger at the bishops who covered up the sex abuse scandal, I'm sure a Catholic like me wouldn't be all that upset. Probably give you an attaboy and drive you to and from the chapel myself, seeing as your impulse is good.

Hey! While you're drawing Mohammed, maybe you should make sure to bring a copy to all the Muslims you know. I mean, how else are they going to get motivated to speak out? Surely their discomfort at being singled out and given material they might find offensive is worth it when the threat is terrorism! You're going to do that to them, or to the folks at your local mosque, right? I mean, isn't expressing our First Amendment and spurring those Muslims enabling by their lack of megaphone to do something what this is all about?

Lincolntf said...

Hokie, you're accusing us of deliberately trying to "subjugate Islam", essentially calling us aspiring tyrants and practicing xenophobes.

Wouldn't think you'd be so sensitive to criticism with a position like that.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Muslims are not allowed to have, create, or view pictures of Mohammad. They therefore have no idea what Mohammad looks like.

If I draw a picture and label it "Mohammad", how will any Muslim be able to determine whether it is, in fact, Mohammad? They have no way of knowing.

And why would they take my word for it, since I am an infidel?

Duh.

Slow Joe said...

I think it's preposterous to say moderate Muslims don't exist or that some of them don't condemn terrorism.

Who gives a shit? They aren't moderate if they aren't adapted to live in a world where we do not observe their religion. Just showing Muhammad is hardly an attack. They have a rule that is silly and they shouldn't care that much if non believers don't observe it.

THAT'S what defines them as moderates. Thus, it is impossible for a non offensive Muhammad picture to harm moderate muslims.

Pastafarian said...

Hokie, I don't see any accusations of cowardice there. Sorry if I gave offense -- shit, you're not going to saw my head off, are you??? I mean, I've offended you. That's the worst thing in the whole wide world that I could have done.

I stated fact -- when an action relies upon solidarity for maximum effect, those who choose not to participate are not really very helpful. And I do see your position as roughly the same as that guy in the back saying "Nope, my name's Milo. Spartacus who?" If you see that position as cowardly, that's on you, dude, not me. I'm sure it takes some balls to say "Milo" when all those around you are saying "Spartacus".

In fact, I salute your courage.

And what's a combox?

Hey said...

Until the "moderates" hunt down and kill the extremists in the Muslim world and thoroughly shred the terrorist mouthpieces in the west, they should be treated as nothing more than accessories to the violence of the Salafists. That is what they are, as they hope to gain from the intimidation of the Salafists, just as many "peaceful" political movements use their violent wings as leverage.

It is an existential struggle, and we need to make it clear to the "moderates" that they either join the side of the west or face annihilation. Nagasaki and Dresden were amateur hour. We can make Tamerlane seem ineffective. If they do not clean up their act we can and should enact saturation nuclear bombardment of EVERY Muslim country.

Everyone Draw Mohammed Day is a measured response to the pervasive violent response of Muslims to offense. Someone draws an icon - death, your daughter smiles at a boy - throw acid in her face, someone decides to convert to another religion - death.

We cannot share a world with people like that, and apologizing for them and trying to protect their sensibilities makes you part of the problem.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Grab your paper and pens, stand up and shout "I am Cartoonicus!"

Slow Joe said...

"and if you wanted to stomp on consecrated eucharistic wafers out of completely justified anger at the bishops who covered up the sex abuse scandal..."

Another dumb straw man.

Sorry, if someone draws muhammad being stomped on, then your comparison works. If someone draws him being burned, or burned the pic, that's like burning a flag.

Just drawing him is hardly like stomping on Jesus wafers.

And also, offensive language against your religion is tolerated in the United States by moderate members of every religion, including Islam. Muslims tolerate all kinds of ugly comments. Just as Christians do. This is a peculiar point of view, that moderates can't also tolerate non muslims ignoring a pretty ridiculous ban on even polite depiction.

peter hoh said...

Michael Hasenstab, the prohibition on depictions of the prophet are not universal to Islam. According to a scholar who has studied these things, it's a fairly new development.

Link with details.

Slow Joe said...

"Until the "moderates" hunt down and kill the extremists in the Muslim world and thoroughly shred the terrorist mouthpieces in the west, they should be treated as nothing more than accessories to the violence of the Salafists. "

Lots of Muslims in the US Military, all but a couple so far are patriots.

But no, it's not my responsibility to hunt down bad Christians either. I ask moderate Muslims to tolerate people not following their religion. Draw what they want, wear what they want, eat what they want, etc. It's not that big a deal.

Every good person, muslim or not, condemns killers. But I hardly demand everyone constantly hunt them down.

blake said...

>>if you want to tell me that it's offensive to show Muhammad doing something gross (the way South Park shows Jesus),<<

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

In the tradition of The Simpsons' early years (and the tales of Gotham), "South Park" is about a town of fools (a world, really), and Jesus is just one mild voice of reason that the world ignores.

Now, they've portrayed priests as sinful, and everyone else, come to think of it. But they've always been pretty respectful about their portrayals of Jesus.

Pastafarian said...

Hokie: "And if you wanted to stomp on consecrated eucharistic wafers out of completely justified anger at the bishops who covered up the sex abuse scandal, I'm sure a Catholic like me wouldn't be all that upset."

So...my labelling a crude drawing "Mohammad" and posting it on the internet is the equivalent of going into a church, taking their property, and destroying it?

Alrighty then.

What if radical Muslims decided that they were deeply offended by the fact that you, Hokie, do not bow to Meccha every morning? Would you bow?

And if not, what's the difference? They've arbitrarily decided that they're offended by something (my depiction of the Prophet) that affects them not at all. What's to prevent them from deciding that they're also offended at your non-bow?

A.W. said...

Ann

You will see me here as “A.W.” and “A. Worthing.”

The more I think about it, the less this comment makes sense:

> If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm. The default is nothing. (The Party of NO!)

You didn’t apply this analysis to the show South Park. You made it exceedingly clear that Matt and Trey were justified in showing Mohammed because they had an artistic purpose. But 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.

And, by the way, what is the point of that episode? To strike a blow for freedom of speech. They were trying to embarrass Comedy Central into showing the mohammed cartoon to express solidarity with others who have been threatened. And the distinction between that, and those of us participating in the Everyone Draw Mohammed protest is a difference without distinction, in my mind. Let’s not forget that this movement is actually doing almost precisely what they seem to have asked for.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hokie, I don't see any accusations of cowardice there.

Here is one then.

People who cave into these threats and insist that other people also cave in....are cowards. Not only are they cowards, they are undermining the sacrifice of generations of people who died to keep us from totalitarian rule and those who are dying right now.

Pastafarian said...

Hokie's plan for encouraging reform in Islam:

1) Acquiesce to the demands of murderous fanatics.

2) ???

3) Prophet!

HokiePundit said...

You realize there's a difference between tolerance and not being offended, right?

I'm pretty sure the moderate Muslims in America and elsewhere are going to tolerate EDMD. They're not going to go cut off anyone's head or even threaten to do so.

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.

Paddy O. said...

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

There isn't one in our day and age.

Historical examples abound, to be sure, but those only loosely relevant for contemporary society and considerations.

Historically, the most obvious comparison would be the iconoclast controversy.

More recently, there might be various violations of the "sabbath" that would get people into legal trouble. But that's not true anymore.

Maybe gay marriage? There's a religious outrage against the idea that two men could get married, even if those men are not Christian. Of course, the battle over this is certainly within the bounds of civil disagreement, with protests, votes, and legal cases the peak of response.

Michael Hasenstab said...

....the prohibition on depictions of the prophet are not universal to Islam. According to a scholar who has studied these things, it's a fairly new development.

Better tell the rest of the jihadis, because the ones threatening the beheadings haven't yet received the memo.

HokiePundit said...

Dust Bunny Queen

Who's caving? Is anyone saying that we shouldn't be doing this because we'll make the extremists even madder?

The arguments I'm seeing being made against are that it's stupid and likely to backfire and that it's unworthy of the American spirit. The argument isn't "Don't make them mad!" but "Surely we're better than this."

Fen said...

but that it defines those others--Muslims--as being outside of our culture,

No. It will out the radicals infesting Islam. It will show whether those "moderate Muslims" we hear so much about are truly moderate, or just Little Eichmanns of the Jihad.

unworthy of the courtesy we readily accord to insiders.

Islamists demand our death for not supplicating ourselves and our values to their God. The People of Islam have refused to correct this and therefore forfeit any right to courtesy as we correct Islam for them. We will be more polite when their mess is cleaned up.

I can't understand why the Atheists and humanists who so routinely parrot "separation of Church and State" are not on the front lines of this battle. One has no choice but to assume that "the Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about".

"Be nice to Bully and don't offend his friends" says the Left. "Bow deeply. And do burkas come in sizes?"

"Pay the Cultural Danegeld else you risk offending his pals and radicalizing them into Bullys..."

It is an unwise message to send,

Wisdom? Frog in boiling pot.

"Death to those who draw the Prophet!" is part of a list. Look it up. Its a long list - tell me something "wise" about lists, James?

assuming that one does not wish to make an enemy of the entire Muslim world.

I think its time we finally find out where we stand with the entire Muslim world.

And like Bernard Lewis, I believe that the People of Islam are not so ignorant or barbaric that they cannot understand why we must do this.

I think they will understand that Mohammad is being disrespected because they have failed to take a stand.

one does not wish to make an enemy of the entire Muslim world

If you truly believe that, why not apply it to the Jihad: "the radicals that have hijacked Islam have made an enemy of the entire Muslim world."

And what has been the response of "the entire Muslim world" so far? Did they drive Wahhabi Islam out of Saudi or did they export it all over the world? Did they destroy Al Queda in place or did they aid them? Are the "arab youths" torching cars to protest the rise of Islam? Are the islamic "No-GO Zones" spread all over Europe, are they just cultural

James, if you yield to this one small request of "earth and water" your great-granddaughter will be stoned to death for showing too much ankle.

[...]

There is a silver lining. I'm watching my country being taken over by Marxist/Socialist/Leftist's who will fall to radical Islam within my lifetime. Interesting times.

I'm wondering what an Islamic Fundamentalist America would look like. Would there be a Resistance? Or will we even notice before it can't be stopped?

blake said...

"Surely we're better than this."

You know, the tea tax—the one that spurred the original party/terrorist act—really wasn't a very big deal, on the scale of things.

Someone is presuming to have power over our freedom of expression. That's not the way it works here. A lot of blood has been spilled to make this place different.

Are we "better" than this? Some of us are, some of us aren't. But we all have the same right of expression.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Despite claims to the contrary, moderate Muslims exist."

Really? Can you name even one?

I ask this because I've heard this claim before. But whenever I ask the claimant to name an actual moderate Muslim, besides Ayaan Hirsi Ali, they go blank for some reason.

So, I defy you to tell me the name of a moderate Muslim who might be offended by you drawing Mohamed, but who would profess their desire to fight to the death for your right to do so as an American.

I submit such a Muslim does not exist, and that if they did exist, they would be labeled an apostate by their fellow Muslims and be killed by their own fellow "tolerant" Muslims.

Islam itself is designed to be intolerant of other viewpoints. That is why you cannot build a Christian Church in Saudi Arabia.

They have no desire to co-exist with any other religion.

A.W. said...

Blake

Comedy Central should be better than they have been. Our newspapers should have been better. They should have at least reprinted the offending cartoons. Yale Publishing, when making a book about the cartoon controversy should have good enough to include the cartoons that started all this.

And for that matter, the new york authorities should be better and arrest everyone involved in making the threats against matt and trey.

There are alot of failures here, but hopefully "we the people" can fix it. if anyone wants to participate in this protest, my blog is one resource you can use to do it:

http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/

Skyler said...

Also, I have no intention of creating a hypo to challenge my position on the argument. I'm not your student. If you want to get off the hook for your untenable position on this matter, it's up to you to come up with a hypo that makes your point.

A.W. said...

New Hussien

i can name a moderate muslim:

Ayan Hirsi Ali

Mind you, she has had death threats, but there is one.

And really i work with several muslims and they all seem pretty cool.

peter hoh said...

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

Greenwald found a recent example.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"The argument isn't "Don't make them mad!" but "Surely we're better than this."

And these sorts of arguments are based on emotion, not reason or logic. They pay no heed to where that road leads.

And therefore those advancing them cannot be reasoned with.

They're not listening to reason.

They're reacting emotionally.

Have you ever had an argument with your girlfriend while she's cramping on her period?

Ever win that argument?

Ann is cramped.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

I repeat:

"I ask this because I've heard this claim before. But whenever I ask the claimant to name an actual moderate Muslim, besides Ayaan Hirsi Ali, they go blank for some reason."

madawaskan said...

What philosophy believes in a "special class" of people-artists-having a greater right to free speech than others?

That's where Althouse's position is fatally flawed.

Skyler said...

I can't understand why the Atheists and humanists who so routinely parrot "separation of Church and State" are not on the front lines of this battle. One has no choice but to assume that "the Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about"

Here we are. But don't assume that we're all leftists.

peter hoh said...

Ham, I never claimed that I knew moderate Muslims who would be offended by a cartoon depiction of Mohammad.

I don't know the sensibilities of those Muslims who warned British officials of the liquid bomb plot. Do you?


Michael, I am well aware that terrorists and the Taliban are not "on board" with the scholarship that demonstrates that Mohammad was depicted in Islamic art in the past. Your comment doesn't refute the facts, however.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"And really i work with several muslims and they all seem pretty cool."

I didn't ask you if they were "cool."

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.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

deincertitudine said...

Seems to me the "drawn" child pr0n analogy might best illuminate the cultural divide with respect to taboos.

This guy was sentenced to prison for manga books containing cartoons depicting children and animals in sexual situations. This guy was convicted for having a Simpson's parody cartoon on his computer.

A lot of people find prosecutions like this appalling. There are long comments threads on metafilter and boingboing expressing this point of view. So why didn't anyone propose a "draw pictures of children in sexual situations day"? There isn't an answer. No one would do it; no one would think of doing it. If anyone did do it, the denizens of the internets, even, perhaps, some of the same ones who complained about the prosecutions, would be screaming for their blood; and there would, I imagine, be more than a few out there who would express the opinion that such people deserved not just imprisonment, but death.

Ann could say "I disagree with the prosecutions myself, but this method of protesting it is unwise," and I doubt she'd get much disagreement. Also, btw, at least one of the arguments in favor of such bans (that such material incites abuse of real children by contributing to the market for such interests) could quite easily be used by those wishing to outlaw depictions of Mohammed, if you assume (as many do) that Muslim cultures and the ethnicities of those who belong to them warrant protection from "abuse."

peter hoh said...

Fen wrote: I can't understand why the Atheists and humanists who so routinely parrot "separation of Church and State" are not on the front lines of this battle. One has no choice but to assume that "the Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about".

You have to ignore Hitch and Dan Savage and numerous others in order to write that statement.

A.W. said...

New Hussien

Okay, a zero for me for reading comprehension.

And while i won't name them, becuase that is not my place, by "cool" i meant my muslim coworkers are moderate.

And for that matter, that muslim dude on the Daily Show.

Moderate muslims really do exist. its unfortunate that in running my everyone draw mohammed site that i will inevitably offend them as collateral damage. but that won't stop me.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

The KKK offends me.

Skinheads offend me.

Mormons offend me.

The University of Wisconsin offends me.

Ann Althouse offends me.

But they all have the right to be offensive and it's just my tough shit. And I'll gladly go to war to defend that right. I have to be offended and learn to live with it. That's why I chose to live in America.

So do Muslims, or they are free to leave.

What they are not free to do is threaten murder. Or otherwise terrorize us into doing what they want.

madawaskan said...

There's this comment from the original thread-

Ann Althouse said...
You don't really want to talk with a law professor, it seems.

4/24/10 5:25 PM


As a Constitutional Law professor from what part of the Constitution are you getting the foundation for your belief that it is okay for artists to have the freedom of expression , yet there should be certain limits on everyone and anyone else?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"And while i won't name them, becuase that is not my place, by "cool" i meant my muslim coworkers are moderate."

No, they aren't. And I can prove it.

I define moderate this way: A moderate Muslim would be offended by you drawing Mohamed, and they might even tell you they are offended. But they would nevertheless fight a war to protect your right to do that.

By that definition, your friends are not "moderate." And I defy you to pose that question to them. Yo will find they are radical.

You will find they believe others should be prohibited from free speech if that speech is offensive to them (and they get to decide what is offensive to them).

You can claim your friends are moderate (or cool) ... but they aren't.

Go ask them.

I'll wait.

peter hoh said...

Ham, how about this guy?

lemondog said...

I'm wondering what an Islamic Fundamentalist America would look like.

First thing would be to destroy the North Frieze on the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC featuring a bas-relief sculpture of Mohammad.

close up

What would we do if challenged on this?

Roger J. said...

Apologize for not reading thru the entire thread and there were certainly worth comments before i scrolled to the bottom to post my comment.

The legal profession seems to thrive on hypotheticals--but please someone correct me if am wrong--but hypotheticals are simply reasoning from analogy, which IIRC is a logical fallacy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't know the sensibilities of those Muslims who warned British officials of the liquid bomb plot. Do you?

I'll take a guess that those Muslims who warned the Brits about that plot are also unlikely to be offended by a drawing of Mohammed either. Or put another way, if they were so offended and decided to withold life saving information in the future then I would not consider them very moderate.

As a Christian I tend to have fairly thick skin when it comes to the denigration of my faith. That being said, if I learned that a some Opus Dei fanatics decided to go self detonate at a Gay-Lesbian parade that depicted pregant nuns or gay priets I'd notify the cops because I don't believe people should be murdered because they're tasteless bufoons.

SMGalbraith said...

The argument isn't "Don't make them mad!" but "Surely we're better than this."

Hear, hear.

Instead of hitting back at the radicals (who won't be dissuaded by this response, it seems to me), we'd be hitting at the moderates (or "less radical" or whatever term one wants to use) who are offended by the imagery but who also oppose the violence of the radicals.

Exactly whom is this action supposed to target? The radicals don't care and the less radicals are insulted (yes, too bad, but is the goal in mind here just to insult?)

Besides, it seems to me, the problem is that Comedy Central and other entities will still be afraid to show the images. Will this action give them backbone not to censor the images?

Slow Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buster said...

Taranto is no more persuasive than Althouse, which is to say not persuasive at all.

The "bad" Muslims are arguing that Americans should be prohibited from engaging in speech offensive to Muslims but not to Americans generally. Similar arguments by Christians, Mormons, etc., are routinely ignored, and the offense caused to believers is celebrated by non-believers like Chritopher Hitchens and others. That alone is reason to ignore the bad Muslims demands. Why should a minority sect of Muslims be treated differently from other groups equally invested in their religious beliefs?

Indeed, the bad Muslims' beliefs are entitled to *less* respect than other religious beliefs because they are agressive, oppressive, and are inconsistent with core values of American culture.

What is *much* worse, the bad Muslims are supporting their demands with threats of physical violence including murder. And they are making the threats in a world in which similar threats by bad Muslims are actually carried out.

Whatever offense is caused to "good" Muslims by EDMD, it is easily outweighed by the harm to free expression in this country that will occur if the bad Muslims succeed (not to mention the murders and mayhem that will occur if the threats are carried out - as they inevitably will be if they are not decisively defeated).

EDMD is the perfect weapon to use against the bad Muslims. Their attempt to restrict free expression depends on threats of violence against those who express themselves freely. If everyone defies the threats - even those who think offending religious believers is wrong - the bad Muslims will appear weak and impotent to themselves and everyone else. They will no longer be taken seriously.

It is possible, of course, that this will cause them to actually act on their threats in order to restore their credibility. This will show them to be the criminals they are, and will bring them within the reach of the law so that the law can remove them from our midst. Both good Muslims and Americans in general will be better off for it.

In the end, Althouse and Taranto's argument boils down to the intuition that the bad Muslims are trying to pick religious fights and we should not sink to their level because we are better than that. The issue is not religious disputes, but rather the use of violence to oppress others and to exercise power over those with whom one disagrees about fundamental values. If Mapplethorpe should be allowed to offend Christians in order to express his artistic inspiration, all the more we should be allowed to offend good Muslims in order to preserve the values that make the expression of artistic expression possible.

Althouse and Taranto are an excellent example of Osama bin Laden's principle that the weak get no respect.

Slow Joe said...

"
I haven't seen EVERY episode, but I've seen most of them, and Jesus has never been shown doing anything gross. (on south park"

BULLSHIT.

The last time Muhammad was censored, a year ago, the show ended with Jesus. Watch that episode and get back to me about whether throwing your shit at people and the US Flag is gross. In this recent one he was watching pornos, which isn't that big a deal, but still... makes my general point. South Park has done this kind of thing all the time, and I tolerate it. I even can appreciate some of the humor, but when I don't (usually when they mock my views and my religion), I am not harmed.

Anyway, you're a liar. You didn't watch the episodes related to this very topic, or many others, if you seriously meant what you said.

so many strawmen out on this one.

And I recall Althouse saying she has great admiration for the art of South Park, which is aimed specifically at the kind of offense moderates have to tolerate all the time. Althouse would admire it when South Park shows Muhammad they way they show Jesus? If not, why not?

How can you enjoy South Park and want to see more South Park and praise South Park, and also say a simple depiction of Muhammad is crossing the line?

Of course it will offend some people. That's OK.

bagoh20 said...

I'm still waiting for the better idea about how to handle this. If you don't have one and you still disagree with EDMD, then you have no problem with people being killed for drawing Mohamed or you value those lives and that freedom very little. If your justification is not wanting to insulting someone who could be insulted by depictions of Mohamed, then you need to examine that trade off.

It's a silly reason in such an situation.

Unless you have a better idea. I'm waiting...

buster said...

Althouse said to A.W.:

"If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm. The default is nothing. (The Party of NO!)"

A.W. is right. Althouse really doesn't have an alternative to propose, except just to stand there while free expression is attacked by credible threats of murder.

Xmas said...

I've found your analogy...

This scene on television had more than likely enraged violent White Southern Christians in the 1960s...

Sometimes, core tenets of your religious beliefs need to be...insulted.

lucid said...

I think your hypos are very confused.

The essence of the Mohammed depictions is that they are a very ordinary activity (image-making)that is not offensive to anyone except a sectarian, who is then insisting that everyone else observe their religion and preferences. It is an assault on pluralism.

The closest hypo would be if orthodox Jews were to insist that no one write the name of God, and that they then threatened to kill anyone who did write the name of God.

The purpose of having everyone do a depiction is not to be offensive, but to assert our refual to be controlled and threatened by someone whose beliefs we don't share. It is akin to non-Jewish Danes wearing Stars of David to deny the significance of a Nazi doctrinal imposition.

Lockestep said...

deincertitudine: So why didn't anyone propose a "draw pictures of children in sexual situations day"?

Perhaps if a group of religious zealots were murdering people who drew pictures of children in sexual situations, and threatening to behead anyone with a Simpsons sex parody, we would see the proposal.

SMGalbraith said...

If you don't have one and you still disagree with EDMD, then you have no problem with people being killed for drawing Mohamed or you value those lives and that freedom very little.

So, either we all draw Mohammed or you'll cut our heads off?

Sorry for the snark but c'mon.

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

Slow Joe said...

"If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm. The default is nothing. (The Party of NO!)"

Yeah, this is pretty stupid. A.W. is very sensible, and it's risable for Althouse to claim that being a conservative = being "NO" in all gray areas.

How does this do harm? It doesn't. It's basic freedom of speech. AW is a classic liberal, which is what is now called conservative. There are basic principles, such as everyone's right to free speech, that should be defended, in little ways like this.

If you don't grasp how this helps free speech, you're being obtuse on purpose. If you don't think this is consistent with being a 'conservative', you're being obtuse on purpose.

And of course, Althouse's shtick is often to be obtuse on purpose. She was PRAISING the depiction of Muhammad by the South Park celebrities, and now it's too harmful? She just wants this attention she's getting.

Kirby Olson said...

The Cross IS an offensive image. I think religion centers around the offensive image, and goes from there. It's disgust that pulls people together into communities.

This is why the cross is at the very center of every Christian church.

I don't know why the Muslims don't see this.

Theo Boehm said...

It must be true. There's strong anecdotal evidence on this very thread: Unemployment IS higher than statistics show.

deincertitudine said...

deincertitudine: So why didn't anyone propose a "draw pictures of children in sexual situations day?"

Lockestep: Perhaps if a group of religious zealots were murdering people who drew pictures of children in sexual situations, and threatening to behead anyone with a Simpsons sex parody, we would see the proposal.


I doubt that very much, actually.

Revenant said...

My take is this: it is not reasonable to be offended just because somebody drew a picture of Mohammad.

Thus, only unreasonable Muslims will be offended by "Draw Mohammad Day". I'm sick to death of unreasonable Muslims. I'm tired of tiptoeing around their feelings, afraid they might explode into rage at any moment. Enough, already.

I see things that offend my sensibilities every damned day. Heck, it deeply offends me that the words "under God" are in the Pledge of Allegiance. Life's tough; wear a helmet.

pduggie said...

There never can be a Christian equivalent. Christianity, at its core, welcomes and expects persecution. Our messiah died. Moslems reject the belief that Jesus (Who they claim to revere as a prophet) could ever have suffered so ignoble and shameful a death. So they claim he didn't really die.

In Islam, the prohibition on usury, or charging others interest, is turned into a rule that a muslim shouldn't let anyone charge HIM interest.

I object to idolatry myself, but it isn't a crime or offense AGAINST ME if someone engages in it.

The mideast is a shame/honor culture. The US, with Christian values, isn't a shame/honor culture.

madawaskan said...

Ann Althouse said...

[...]If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm. The default is nothing.[...]

Is there some law in United States that says you cannot draw certain things?

It is Althouse that is proposing some limit on this.

A change from the status quo.

Maguro said...

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

Sure, but what does your very even-handed tut-tutting do to alter the fact that radical Muslims are using threats and intimidation, backed by the credible threat of murder, to effectively enforce Islamic blasphemy laws right here in the USA?

That is the issue the EDMD is trying to address. Simply looking on from your morally superior vantage point and condemning everyone equally won't do anything to solve the problem.

And don't think that they'll chill out once we all agree not to draw Mohammed anymore. There will be another demand to restrict free speech for the sake of Muslim sensibilities, then another and another. It won't stop until someone stands up to them.

Lockestep said...

d: I doubt that very much, actually.

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?

SMGalbraith said...

I'm sick to death of unreasonable Muslims.

So is the target of EDMD "unreasonable Muslims" or those radical Muslims who threaten violence?

What's the goal here?

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

But it does mean that we target our responses at those that truly threaten us and not the ones we just don't like.

blake said...

Jeez, Slow Joe. Chill. I'm not agreeing with Ann. In fact, that's why my original post mentions (again) "Boner Christ" which she posted a few scant days before talking about how she felt it was important to try to respect others' religious beliefs.

I'm still waiting for that circle to be squared.

>>BULLSHIT.

Actually, not BS so much as having forgotten the one episode you mention:

The last time Muhammad was censored, a year ago, the show ended with Jesus.

This is true. They ended with a deliberately provocative image to point out Comedy Central's hypocrisy. Of course, television executives, lacking a soul, had no problem censoring a harmless image of Mohammed but allowed the offensive one to go on.

My point was that Jesus is generally a banal or semi-heroic figure on South Park, which I can back up with numerous references.

In this recent one he was watching pornos, which isn't that big a deal, but still... makes my general point.

I'm not sure what that general point is. Mine is that (granting a few exceptions, which I maintain were done expressly to make a point that Christians should embrace), Jesus is a sympathetic character—and one of the few the show has.

Anyway, you're a liar. You didn't watch the episodes related to this very topic, or many others, if you seriously meant what you said.

Nice, dude. Call me a liar. Just because you're not a terrorist doesn't mean you're not a jackass, you know?

I'll concede I haven't seen the latest season, and I already said that I hadn't seen every episode, but I stand by what I said.

Glossing over the initial short, Jesus is shown: celebrating his birthday alone, (literally) fighting the Devil (when the town all bets on the Devil), trying to meet people's expectations, saving Santa Claus from Iraqi torturers, rescuing people from David Blaine...

Irreverent? Sure. Silly? No doubt. But with the exception of that one bit at the end of that one episode(done with the whole purpose of exposing the hypocrisy of the special treatment for Muslims), Jesus is generally not being gross.

On another note, if it weren't for these threats, Muhammed would barely factor in to South Park at all. (Irony of its own.) Jesus is an important, recognizable figure in the US. Mohammed, not so much.

A.Worthing said...

Jesus H. Christ...

How can someone not know that South Park has been pretty offensive to christians, especially catholics.

I mean, hell, all you would have to do is watch the episodes we are discussing. 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.

Really south park has offended just about everyone.

blake said...

A Worthing,

Sure, I don't disagree that they've been offensive.

At the same time, I know lots of Christians who watch it, and I even know a pastor who cites South Park in his sermons and calls it the most moral show on TV.

I think this comes from the bulk of Christians not having a stick up their butts, despite the cartoonish representations of them in the media.

SMGalbraith said...

There will be another demand to restrict free speech for the sake of Muslim sensibilities, then another and another. It won't stop until someone stands up to them.

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

How is EDMD going to make CC change its policies?

Draw the connection, please.

Sorry, I don't think every response to the radicals makes sense. Some do, some don't. This one doesn't; but I'm willing to be persuaded.

And there is no moral similarity between radical Muslims and those who support EDMD. There, that's about as clear as I can make that point (a point I've never even suggested).

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