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.
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.