Can Atheists and Muslims Compromise on Drawing Muhammad? May 18, 2010

Can Atheists and Muslims Compromise on Drawing Muhammad?

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day is on Thursday and different people are still deciding how to approach it. Do you draw a picture (or chalk your campus) or do you criticize people doing that?

In any case, I support it. And if you agree with me, I invite you to send me your Muhammad images by Wednesday so I can post them on Thursday. The ones I have received so far have been thought-provoking, funny, provocative, and artistic. I can’t wait to show them to you.

One of the college groups that chalked their campus with stick figure image of Muhammad was the Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chris Calvey, the president of that group, has written a letter to the leaders of the school’s Muslim Students Association to discuss a proposal for what to do on Thursday in a hope that they can achieve some sort of compromise:

… I have been struggling to develop compromises which will allow AHA to accomplish its goals while minimizing any disrespect shown towards the Muslim community on campus. Here is what I would like to propose: On Thursday at 7pm, both of our groups could meet at the steps of Memorial Union. As an acknowledgment of the distress depictions of Muhammad can cause, AHA will agree to only draw a single non-inflammatory stick figure. We understand that any depiction of Muhammad will be offensive, but you may recall that our stick figures were deliberately drawn without any obscene embellishments which would needlessly defame Muhammad or display him in an unfavorable light. AHA will also include a very descriptive explanation about the purpose of the chalking event, in order to provide context and ensure that passers-by do not misinterpret our actions as a sign of xenophobia, hatred, or intolerance. (The MSA could certainly chalk its own message explaining your disapproval.) Then, as a demonstration of your commitment to protecting the freedom of expression, the MSA would agree not to tamper with or our chalking in any way. Of course, it is well within your legal right to modify and even to erase our figures — but understand that we feel compelled to draw Muhammad only because our freedom to do so is under threat. Finally and most importantly — both groups would then proceed to an agreed-upon location and have a peaceful, respectful, and hopefully productive discussion about the many complex issues at stake.

I think it’s a very positive proposal from the AHA and I hope the MSA leaders take them up on it.


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  • Claudia

    Here’s hoping the MSA takes a deep breath and realizes that this whole issue will end only if they demonstrate that they will respect the free speech of others. The last time they didn’t rise to the challenge, but maybe this time they will.

    Of course, it would be enough if they didn’t tamper with the images and refrained from being threatening in any way. I do think that participating in the way the AHA proposes would be more productive for everyone involved though.

  • littlejohn

    I frankly see no opportunity for compromise here. When one side is utterly, obviously wrong, the other side has no obligation to accommodate them.
    What atheist would object to a black space labeled “god”?
    In the U.S. at least, the law is absolutely clear. You may draw anything you want and no one may stop you with threats or violence.

  • Bob

    I’m rather expecting the MSA to trot out another, “Your free speech must conform with our religious beliefs.”

    Anything else requires that the devout back away from their deeply held belief structure.

  • Valhar2000

    Yeah, this is unlikely to produce dividends. It would be much more effective for them to do nothing at all, since then the whole point behind the AHA’s actions would become null and void, and no-one would bother doing it again next year. However, as Bob says, they are required by their beliefs to voice disapproval in various ways, from the sedate to the bat-shit crazy, so they will, inevitably, validate the AHA’s position on this matter.

  • The problem being that Muhammed, as documented, is not a person worthy of respect with his child bride Aisha, having sex with her at an age which today would have him rightly arrested as a paedophile.

  • fea24

    I don’t see our freedom as being “so under threat”. I guess that’s the difference.

    But, as I’ve said before, if people choose the lame medium of chalk on the sidewalk,they can’t complain if it gets changed or erased.

    If they want to make a real statement, do it in a real way and not with something that is so temporary and borderline vandalism.

  • fea24

    In fact, the concept that our freedoms are under threat is just exactly like Christian whining about how their religion is under threat because we are against a National Day of Prayer.

  • NewEnglandBob

    Someone is starting early:

    Atheist Camel Mohammad Drawings

  • cypressgreen

    I already started. I taped up a picture at the local drug store on the message board. You know, “free cat,” “house painting,” “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day May 20th – with pic”…the usual.

  • JohnFrost

    fea24, surely your head cannot have been so completely hidden under a rock that you’ve missed the threats and actual violence taken against those who have “dared” to draw Muhammed? Attacks, vandalism, and even murder occur when someone draws an image of Muhammed that is put in some type of national media. If that’s not freedom under threat, than what the @#$% is??

  • Bob

    @fea24:

    Great. Then I trust you’ll have no problems when I abridge your freedom in accordance with my Christian faith?

    The point is that a stick figure drawing can hardly be said to be threatening to anyone – there’s no context of violence or inherent hatred.

    What we’re seeing, however, is a unilateral ‘all drawings of our sacred buddy Mohammed are evil evil evil and you are a bad person for doing this.’ It doesn’t matter if he’s drawn as a stick figure or some bloated caricature with flames shooting out of his arse by a political cartoonist.

    So while doodling a stick figure may not meet your criteria for ‘making it count,’ it clearly shows the absurdity of one faith trying to impose its beliefs on non-believers.

    Yes, words can hurt. It sucks when someone takes your beliefs, tears them down and hands them back to you in a plastic baggie. At the same time, the AHA is not building a mosque, nor undertaking anything of which there is a reasonable expectation of input from the Muslim community.

  • There’s only room for compromise one way. Muslims (MSA)need to compromise. Compromise by the AHA negates and redefines the entire exercise and its purpose.
    It’s hard to take the AHA seriously after reading the word “compromise”.
    Very disappointing.

  • fea24,

    That’s not at all the same thing. There should be a clear difference between people saying “yeah, you can pray, but the government can’t endorse it” and having groups that have actively threatened (and in some locations actually attempted) to kill people for exercising free speech. Not the same thing at all.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Of course, it is well within your legal right to modify and even to erase our figures…

    Does that come from an in-depth study of UW policy for student groups, or is that Chris Calvey talking out his *ss? Interference with freedom of expression runs counter to everything a university should stand for.

  • Sebastian

    Since it is forbidden to produce a visual depiction of the prophet Mohammed, no one knows what Mohammed actually looks like.

    So when I draw a depiction of a man, say a bearded guy with a turban, and claim that it is Mohammed, how do the Muslims know when to be offended and when not to be offended? How do they recognize Mohammed from the image, since no one knows how he looks like?

    Is any depiction, even a stick figure, enough to be a depiction of Mohammed, only if I claim that it is Mohammed that I have drawn? What if I draw Donald Duck and claim that it is Mohammed? Will someone take offence, or will Muslims just say to me “That’s Donald Duck and not Mohammed, stupid!”

    Similarly, if I draw a man that has the general appearance of a Muslim man, but I would claim that it is Ahmed that I have drawn, does that entitle Muslims to take offence if they recognize the man in their mind as Mohammed?

  • Claudia

    @The Godless Monster,

    I don’t see them as compromising on the core message. They’re basically taking every step possible to make it unquestionably clear that their actions are meant exclusively as a declaration of freedom of speech. The way its being done (stick figures only, no denigrating messages, reaching out to the Muslim group etc.) makes it so there is simply no legitimate way that their action can be portrayed as being an attack on Muslims as a group, or at least no sane human being would buy such a portrayal.

    If, having done all of this, the MSA still acts like immature children and defaces the figures, there will be no question as to their core values; they believe and plan on enforcing their religious laws on others to the detriment of the right of freedom of speech. They will be unable to argue that they’re fine with freedom of speech but this is “hate” speech. I think it’s rather clever, myself.

  • I’d love to chalk it up. However, chalking is against grounds use policy on Texas Tech campus. I’m sure many other universities have the same rules.

  • Shawn

    I think they’re being disingenuous. From the first draft:

    Finally and most importantly — both groups would then proceed to an agreed-upon location and have a peaceful, respectful, and hopefully productive discussion about the many complex issues at stake

    “…over a beer.”

    🙂

  • Gaian

    One of the key points here is “As an acknowledgment of the distress depictions of Muhammad can cause”. It may be a bit difficult for us atheists to accommodate this, but certainly any of us who used to be religious can appreciate the distress that a sin (or whatever)can cause a truly religious person.

    However the correlary is for the Muslims to ask “WHY IS THIS A SIN?”. What is it that causes my distress over this? And also, “is my self induced distress more important than taking away that individual’s right to draw something?”.

    If answered honestly I would hope they’d say “No, my distress is not more important than your rights, draw whatever you want”. In which case everyone would probably go home happy and find more important things to draw and debate.

  • teejay

    I’m sure for the longest time in Christianity that graven images were off limits, otherwise it would not be a commandment, but somehow graven images were allowed eventually. Islam is just going through it’s own reformation yet the Muslims don’t even realize it.

    If a Muslim sees a drawing of Mohammed they should feel the same way as a 19-year-old Afghani girl seeing an episode of “Sex and the City” – offended at first, then enlightened and empowered.

  • Bob

    I’m leaning towards drawing an empty box.

    What you see in that box is entirely up to you, no matter what label I put upon it.

  • defiantnonbeliever

    It seems to me that compromise with religion is compromise with the long fought search for reality, justice, and a humane, better life. Are people to say, ‘ok you can only maim and murder women’, or that evolution is merely how god does life(creationist evolution)? I think that’s a inherently one way street and a slippery slope trap for the foolish.
    The solidarity of everyone standing up to the fanatic twits by a draw Muhammad day is a great idea that may save some creative lives. Why not make it annual and or more inclusive of other tyrannical congame religions?
    btw how does one send a drawing, and how can we sign them to be in real solidarity?

  • @Claudia,
    Thanks for your input. I do understand your points; I’m thinking I didn’t get mine out there as well as I could have. What I get from your comment is that what the AHA is doing is a good thing from a PR standpoint. Maybe so, but who is supposed to be impressed? Not the Muslims, I hope, because that isn’t going to happen. If you mean the general public, then understand that this stunt is just another version of the same experiment that’s already been run by others. You know what the results were; we all do.
    How many times do we need to run this experiment before we finally accept the results? This constant re-inventing of the wheel by some people is one of the most frustrating things to witness. Methinks it’s becoming more about publicity at this point than making a definitive statement.
    Finally, the concept of compromise wouldn’t be pointless if both sides were communicating in the same “language”. They are not.

  • The Captain

    This is a fundamentally bad compromise. Part of the idea of free speech and expression is… you get to “offend” others. Sorry, but that is part of the deal with free speech. The mohammed as a stick figure campaign is great way to show the ridiculous extents that muslims can find “offense” at everyday silly things and bully people to stop them (and for the unartistic, easy to draw). But that doesn’t change the fact that no matter how “offensive” something is, they have no business shutting down that speech either.

    All this public “compromise” does is say “we will use and fight for, our freedom of speech only up to the point that muslims will allow us”! It gives credence to the idea that muslims are right when they burn the houses of cartoonist that can draw better than stick figures because this group by trying not to “offend” is saying that those cartoons are offensive, and shouldn’t be done. Well they may be “offensive” but I thought the point was even if something is “offensive” muslims need to grow up and get over it. This is still fundamentally caving in to muslim bullying.

  • @The Captain,

    All this public “compromise” does is say “we will use and fight for, our freedom of speech only up to the point that muslims will allow us”!…This is still fundamentally caving in to muslim bullying.

    I couldn’t have put it better!

  • Epistaxis

    fea24:

    If they want to make a real statement, do it in a real way and not with something that is so temporary and borderline vandalism.

    Actually, chalking sidewalks is a popular way to get the word out on university campuses, and is explicitly permitted (and regulated) by the relevant bureaucrats.

  • Renton

    I feel that these students have taken entirely the wrong approach in this situation. Their apologetic manner suggests that there IS something wrong or offensive about drawing Muhammad, when the exact opposite is true. As far as I can see, the whole point of “Draw Muhammad Day” is to ridicule and undermine the notion that depictions of Muhammad are blasphemous and offensive. The feelings of the MSA are extactly the ones that this even is designed to confront.

  • Parse

    @The Captain:
    I disagree. If the AHA was willing to not chalk Muhammad at all, then I’d agree – but they aren’t. If the AHA changed their plans to only do the single chalking, whether or not the MSA went along, then I’d agree – but they aren’t.
    They’re saying that if you find it offensive, work with us and we’ll do something that’ll give the same message, but will respect your sensitivities more. It also gives the MSA a chance to oppose those who use Islam for hate – to show that the extremists don’t speak for everybody.
    But I’d put the odds of the MSA cooperating somewhere between ‘slim’ and ‘none’. It’s far easier to get outraged and offended. I hope they prove me wrong, but I won’t expect it.

  • I really don’t see how depicting Mohammed is any more offensive than eating pork. It’s a rule that Muslims need to follow, not everybody else.

  • Mak

    @PrimeNumbers

    You realize that child brides were (and in many places sadly still are) a common part of the culture, right? I mean, be offended at the idea all you like, because it’s pretty damn creepy, but Muhammad was not some random pedophile. He was following the same societal rules everyone else did. Not that it’s admirable to go along with something like that without protesting, but traditions have almost a gravitational pull to them. It’s kind of bizarre to expect a guy who is, after all, just some random guy and not holy at all, to suddenly become an activist centuries ahead of his time.

  • Robert Thille

    I wish I was artistic. I’m thinking of an image of Mohammed holding a sword in one hand, and a head in the other while the headless body stands there with a digital camera in hand. The caption: “You shall make no images of the prophet!”

  • The Captain

    @ Parse

    The problem I have is the draw muhammed campaign is basically making two important points. 1. That muslims take “offense” to too much stuff. A stick figure, really???? This shows the absurdity of them and their controlling attitudes. But just as important is the second point. 2. Muslims have to learn that in western societies, you do not have a right not to be “offended”. And they certainly do not get to act violent at others because they get offended. By going out of their way to work with the MSA to not offend them, the AHA is saying that the boundaries of speech at a public protest on free speech, should be dictated by the MSA.

    They in effect have taken the muhammed stick figure and turned it from a symbol of free speech, into the limits of free speech.

  • fea24

    @Epistaxis

    You should look up how many people have been charged with misdemeanors due to chalking, in MANY places it is considered vandalism and is not protected speech.
    AZ, TX, CA, NY, to name a few states where this has happened.

    I encourage anyone who wants to chalk to check out their local ordinances.

  • Claudia

    It’s kind of bizarre to expect a guy who is, after all, just some random guy and not holy at all, to suddenly become an activist centuries ahead of his time.

    Yes but Muslims claim that is isn’t some random guy at all, but the holy prophet on who’s life the measure of being a good Muslims should be measured forever, not as pertains to the given culture. The point is that his raping of Aisha shows him to be anything but holy, because someone who was holy would live life according to values recognized as universal, not “because everyone is doing it”.

    This is besides the fact that no matter the culture, being attracted to pre-pubecent girls is not normal. Most men, of any age, do not feel such attractions. 14 year old girls maybe according to culture, but 9 year olds?

  • What is the “logic” behind the restriction on Muhammad pictures anyway? If Muslims don’t want images of Muhammad then they should definitely not draw them. Non-Muslims can draw whatever we like and they don’t get a say in it. We may be willing to curtail our artistic attempts in the interests of peaceful coexistence but that’s only going to happen if peaceful coexistence is an option.

  • Ben

    If you mean the general public, then understand that this stunt is just another version of the same experiment that’s already been run by others. You know what the results were; we all do.
    How many times do we need to run this experiment before we finally accept the results?

    It’s not an experiment. The goal isn’t just to “see what happens”, it is to change the way Muslims view freedom of expression and what really is their religious right in western society. They think drawing and criticising their prophet and their religion is offensive. Law says that offence is not reason enough to silence other points of view.

    This is why it needs to be done, over and over again, with increasing frequency and scope. So long as Muslims react threateningly (either passive-aggressive, or full on aggressive) towards people who draw their prophet, and claim that their freedom of religion extends to forcing others to abide by their dogma, then this is action that needs to be taken.

    The written law is very clear, but even our governments are allowing themselves to be cowed into submission.

    I say to these students: keep at it. If we bow into something as simple as this, then how far will we let them go when it comes to things more important? The line must be drawn, and it must be drawn here and now.

  • Casimir

    Since it is forbidden to produce a visual depiction of the prophet Mohammed, no one knows what Mohammed actually looks like.

    Haha. They should draw stick figures and write “Is this Muhammed?” underneath. If it’s defaced, then it really was Muhammed. It’d be like Schroedinger’s Prophet.

  • Erp

    @claudia – Mohammad’s marriage to Aisha was in large part political and she is the only child he married (all the rest of his wives were older and had been previously married). A real pedophile in his position of authority would have had many more children as wives. As it is it may seem a bit odd that he only married one given the number of prominent men who would want to have him marry their daughters.

    Were the customs of that time barbaric by our standards? yes, however, I wonder what customs we have now will seem barbaric in a 1000 years.

  • L.Long

    Basically the islamics can go pluck themselves!!!!
    There are NO MODERATES!!! Where are they in the other parts of the world when the assholes are stoning someone??
    As far as islam is concerned there are two types…1)there aren’t enough of us to start kicking ass so wait & 2) there are now enough of us to start kicking ass. Need proof look around the world!! I’ll change my opinion of them when I see them allowing their women out of their tents and marching in a gay rights parade!!!
    So being ‘nice’ to these people about their pedophile leader’s picture is the same as being nice to the guy with a gun to your head. Be tough and made fun of their sorry excuse of a religion as often as possible, just as we do to others.

    Someone said…Yes, words can hurt. It sucks when someone takes your beliefs, tears them down and hands them back to you in a plastic baggie…..BS!!! There is only one way ‘words hurt’ and that is as lies, i.e. criminal court. Other then that you can say anything about me you like and I will not hurt anywhere. Saying something like—‘you’re a bastard’ or ‘your g0d is a pile of schite’ cannot hurt unless I allow it to because I feel guilty about it being the truth. In which case tough!

  • Brian Macker

    @Mak,

    Baloney, marrying a child even raised eyebrows at the time and was against the norms of even the, hated by Muslims, Idolaters. Muhammed had to justify many of his norm violations (like taking more than 4 wives) by putting words in the mouth of Allah via Qur’an verses that specifically gave himself exception from norms. Exceptions that allowed him to do things like violate the taboo of fighting during the holy month, nullifying the rights of his wives to divorce, norms on destroying date palms, and the like.

    Not only did he violate the low standards of his own tribe but also there were other contemporaneous tribes, religions, cultures and men with far higher standards than those shared by his primitive tribe.

    Don’t speak from ignorance.

  • Casimir

    A real pedophile in his position of authority would have had many more children as wives.

    What exactly is the minimum number of nine-year-olds you have to marry before you become a “real pedophile”?

  • Gibbon

    If this really is about criticising Islam and free speech as many have suggested, then why not produce depictions of Allah rather than Mohammed. As it is, you can easily get away with depicting or criticising Allah, especially since the Qur’an is his word and not that of the Prophet’s.

    I will also point out that technically depictions of Mohammed are forbidden only in Sunni Islam; there is not nearly as much of a problem with Shi’a Muslims since they already treat the Prophet with a level of reverence that Sunni’s would equate with idolatry.

  • ckitching

    As far as islam is concerned there are two types…1)there aren’t enough of us to start kicking ass so wait & 2) there are now enough of us to start kicking ass. Need proof look around the world!!

    Try being a less paranoid xenophobe, please. There’s enough to criticise based on the topic Hemant wrote about without inventing conspiracies.

  • Hitch

    There is a broader point about religious certainty versus pluralism that has nothing to do with Islam.

    If you hold that X is true, Y is a prophet and, Z is holy. This is not something believers tend to hold contextually. It’s universal. The conclusion is that people who do not hold these propositions are wrong, misguided, or worse mean, intolerant etc.

    Of course in reality there just is no pluralism if people demand that absolutist mandates hold. That is very much the friction. Whether certain more devout Sunni Muslims want nobody to draw pictures, or fundamental evangelical Christians want sex ed to be scrapped, the underlying principle is the same. One of profound assumed certainty driving a universalizing intolerance.

    That’s exactly why I don’t like when Muslims come out and claim all this is necessary anti-islamic. It’s not. It’s about actual pluralism and tolerance.

  • Slickninja

    I’m sorry for my lack of political correctness, but I can only thing of one religion with a stick wedged up their ass so far as to be offended by something innocuous as smiling stick figures.

    While I fall in into generally the extreme liberal, the right to not be offended isn’t a right. Where I differ from many of liberal comrades is I may find discrimination unappealing, I also find that working around special interests to not be offended is wasted. People who disagree with me are entitled to their views as much as I am to mine. Just as sure someone can say Jesus loves me, I’m free to tell them there is no god. I find the tolerance movement beneficial and at the same time deplorable. Cultural awareness and sensitivity can be positive, but it often lends special groups getting special interests…. which is bad.

  • @Slickninja,
    Argued like a bonafide liberal, bravo. I breathe a sigh of relief every time I read a comment from someone who seems to understand the meaning of the word and the principles behind it.
    The pseudo-liberal multi-culturalists are more concerned with the appearance of moral superiority than anything else. It’s intellectual posturing and dogmatic, moral snobbery, plain and simple.

  • Ian Kendall

    The Qur’an condemns idolatry, and pictoral forms are seen as ostensibly close to idol worship. These are found in Ahadith [plural of Hadith]: “Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger having said: Those who paint pictures would be punished on the Day of Resurrection and it would be said to them: Breathe soul into what you have created.”

    This, however, needs to be put into context.

    Muhammad lived at a time when idolatry was rife. This is why he was so set against depictions of the human form. He was especially worried that the Islamic faith would degenerate into the hero worship of himself. Hence, rules against his picture.

    But, what has happened. Muslims have surrendered their own dignity and invested this emotion in the dignity of the prophet. Indeed the notion that Mohammad could do no wrong is enshrined in the fact the sharia law is based on the actions of his life. Is this not the very soul of Idolatry?

    Pictures that ridicule Muslims are certainly not any form of Idolatry. Indeed, ridicule of a Idol is probably the best cure for Idolatry.

    Muslims seriously need to re-examine their faith. Even without the benefit of pictures, Muslim “fundamentalists” (don’t make me laugh) have degenerated so far into Idolatry, they will murder and destroy anyone or anything that defaces their graven image.

    The cartoons are a wake up call for how far you have wandered from the path.

    Your faith is only superficial. You do not understand the deeper meaning.

  • Killer Bee

    To anyone who really knows about Islam,

    Every time I hear some gawd-awful thing about Islam, it seems like it always originates in the Hadith and not the Koran – which, to my mind, means it’s debatable, correct?
    Is there any chance that Islam can ever be mellowed down the way Christianity and Judaism have been?
    I like the sort of argument from within the box Ian Kendall posted. But, I don’t know if that tack has any meaning or relevance to “real” Muslims.

  • GSW

    Pictures of Mohammed have been drawn and painted in the middle east since his death, both by and for mohammedans.
    This has nothing to do with ‘offence’ – which is just the PC word they consider the most effective. It has to do with softening up the free world for shari’ah.
    If you don’t obey our laws – to the detriment of your own – we get all offended. Hell, we might even cry.
    Please go ahead and be ‘offended’ and cry. But violence MUST be challenged with the full force of law – OUR LAW.
    Being ‘offended’ gives no one the right to kill.
    Since I am daily offended by misogyny, if this were a justification, most of them would be dead.
    PC Offence is irrelevant – we should stop pandering to it.

  • Ian Kendall

    I agree. PC is a very superficial form of morality. What ever happened to “Saying what you mean and meaning what you say”. From that point of view PC is actually immoral.

    I know that my previous argument may not affect many Muslims but it may affect those who have a more considered morality.

    I think the time has come to reopen the debate on morality. It is time to reject the half-assed moral standards presented by ancient cults and show them that the evil currently afflicting the modern world is a direct result of their moral inconsistencies: not the progress of science.

    The quality of thought that has gone into their moral and unfortunately legal systems is abysmal. This sort of quality in a science project would get you lambasted. During the Renaissance it was agree the Science and Religion would not interfere with each other. It is not the Renaissance now and Muslims were not part of the agreement, and certainly won’t keep to it. Worse, think of the evils that might have been avoided by active critique of the Catholic Church.

    The time has come to meet “righteous anger” with witheringly well founded judgment. The Bible says “Judge not if you do not want to be judged” I say why not be critical of something you find thoroughly unacceptable: something you would not dream of doing yourself. Islam is not a system for improving people. It is system that hungers for followers and will excuse any behavior that achieves that end.

    So don’t be afraid to say that such an entity is anti-human and no longer acceptable in the modern world.

  • Greg

    -MUSLIMS are NOT allowed to depict Mohammad
    -I’m NOT Muslim
    -The Free world doesn’t adhere to Islam & never will
    -God gave us Freewill & true Freedom of speech & religion
    -If you’re Muslim it’s HARAM to look at a cartoon of mohammad? Look away
    -If you look you might be offended
    -Muslims DON’T have a right to NOT be offended
    -I find what’s in the Quran offensive
    -I find 9/11 and all the Islamic terrorism offensive
    -So let’s start the cartoons, laugh. ENJOY or I KILL YOU!
    -Sticks and stones and may break your bones, but Words & cartoons will never hurt you
    -You choose to be offended that’s your problem
    -To make threats or kill people over a cartoons is NUTS

  • Greg

    Muslims are offended because that’s how they gain political power. RACIST! Well islam is not a race, unless you consider it is ARAB centric & Islam is decidedly anti-Judeo-Christian & West, which is predominantly white. So when they say racist? They’re RACIST. Muslims being OFFENDED is the excuse to KILL, Jihad, murder non-muslims anywhere they find them. That’s why death threats and murder against south park, cartoonist, film makers is not against islam. Mohammad murdered his critics, even an old lady. Besides MOHAMMAD IS A MAN NOT GOD. Why is he so sacred? It’s as if muslims think we OWE THEM? It’s the other way around. They should keep their head down and apologize daily.

  • Ian Kendall

    God is a thought virus inside you head. It can spread through indoctrination, particularly where violence and the threat of violence are involved – threats of eternal damnation are particularly effective in the very young and the very old.

    Guilt is also very effective. Foisting unearned guilt is so effective in religions that most politicians will use it to enhance their political clout.

    The only known cure for the god virus is disciplined integrated thinking.

    However, once the god virus is removed the de-corruption of thought processes accelerates and thinking becomes much clearer.

  • JROBERT

    I love fine art and drawing and I want to be an artist(as well as a author after I graduate from college)and I don`t think I would ever draw the Prophet Muhammad because I haven`t the slightest clue of what he looked like.It would be similiar-(and I`m not comparing them-because in Islam-Muhammad is just a man who served as a conduit for Allah`s will and spirit and in Christianity Jesus Christ was both the son of God and God himself-simultaneously-and in Islam,Muslims do think Jesus Christ lived-but not as the son of God but as a human prophet)to trying to draw Jesus Christ.

    I was a Christian up until my late teens and when I was in Sunday school we would always be instructed to color images of Jesus with brown crayons for his hair,blue crayons for his eyes and peach crayons for his skin(because Jesus was depicted as a white guy in my sunday school class-as he has been in many others).
    But if Jesus had ”King Of The Jews”etched onto the cross as he was being crucified wouldn`t that mean he was a Jew himself or looked like a Jew?I am neither a a Christian, a Muslim,a Catholic or a Jew but if Jesus lived should it matter what color he was?If Muhammad lived,should it matter what race he was? I won`t ask ”does it matter?”There may be an African-American in The White House and for that I am so proud but don`t kid yourself,we don`t live in a ”post-racial” era.
    All of that post-racial stuff is bulls**.
    Nascar isn`t post racial.The NHL isn`t post racial.The United States Congress isn`t post racial.

    Because the fact of the matter is race does still matter(not to everyone of course) and if it didn`t, students in my Sunday school class wouldn`t have had to draw Jesus as a white guy when there`s no way our teachers could`ve possibly known what color Jesus was and students in some sunday school classes across North America still wouldn`t have to color Jesus as a white guy when there`s no way sunday school teachers today could possibly know what color Jesus was -or is-or both if you believe that Christ lives.

    In the West,Jesus is popularly depicted as being white but I`ve heard that historians and religous scholars think that Jesus would have been a Galilean Jew.Personally,I`m not even going to pretend to know what color Jesus was-or is,if God exists and Christ really was God in spirit and the flesh-at the same time.Race matters for the drawing of Muhammad too-and people of all races can be Muslim-but don`t tell me that most Muslims really believe that Muhammad was a white guy or a Jew.I`m not a betting man but I`d bet the rent that most of the world`s Muslims believe that Muhammad was an Arab.

    Drawing Muhammad can be a slippery slope too,you wouldn`t want it to be like what Hollywood did with the new Prince Of Persia movie and have Muhammad looking like he could be or could`ve been a white guy.The Prince Of Persia,the movie adaptation of the popular video game of the same name,has Jake Gyllenhaal-a great actor but also a white Jewish actor playing Dastan-a sixth century Prince Of Persia.I get why the studio did it instead of casting an Arabic actor or an actor who could at least believably pass for an Arabic person the way Hispanic actor Antonio Banderas did as a Arab hero in The 13th Warrior because Gyllenhaal has name-brand fame but if Disney had more balls they would`ve cast an Arabic actor or a actor who could believably pass as an Arab and not have whitewashed the role Hollywood-style.

    It`s insulting to Persians and to white audiences because it makes it seem like white audiences can`t enjoy a movie without a white actor in the actor in the lead,as Jehanzeb Dar,a blogger and independent filmmaker said and we know that it`s just not true that a movie without a white actor in the lead can`t appeal to a mainstream audience(but admittedly,sometimes it can be harder)Bruce Lee,Denzel Washington,Will Smith,Morgan Freeman,Antonio Banderas and others wouldn`t have careers if it were true.
    Persia`s modern day Iran and there wouldn`t have been a white Prince of Persia-I`ll go see the movie but it really is a fantasy movie.

    But the popular ”postcard image” of Jesus is the caucasian man with shoulder length brown hair,matching beard and blue eyes.But that still doesn`t mean Jesus couldn`t have been a Jew.Jews can have brown hair,dark hair,blonde hair and blue eyes too or red hair and green eyes.Jesus`s race remains a mystery and a source of debate -people are just free to imagine for themselves what he might`ve looked like and they fill in the blanks with their own imagination.If I were to try to draw Muhammad-I`d have to do same thing.
    Fill in the blanks with my imagination.A lot of artists do that anyway with historical figures or fantistical or mythological creatures or fantistical or mythological beings and artists have been doing that for generations when imagining exactly what the dinosaurs looked like(fossils only give more of a general outline).

    I thought that Dreamworks took the smartest tact in 1998 Moses movie The Prince Of Egypt because in that movie you couldn`t tell what color the characters were.Are they black?Dark-skinned Jews?Arabic? Dreamworks could`ve really stepped into a minefield with the race issue but they treated the incendiary issue respectfully and downplayed it made the story and characters more important.

    I`m for freedom of speech and freedom of expression-politically correct or politically incorrect.I`m also a strong supporter of freedom to worship-which also includes freedom not to worship.If people of different religions or people who are atheists and agnostics want to draw Muhammad-not because they intend to be mean-spirited or malicious or satirical or take a knock at Islam but because they have the right to draw Muhammad,I think that`s great(I`m not Islamic if it sounds like I am).

    Islamic radicals threatening cartoonists just goes to show that you have to be careful about what you write,draw and put out there for public consumption but that freedom of speech and freedom of expression are universal human rights but sadly,they are not universally recognized human rights.

    And it bothers me when so many in Islam-but not all people in the religion,of course-in many Muslim countries seem to be against freedom of speech and freedom of expression.