Atheist Dressed As Muhammad in Halloween Parade Gets Attacked by Muslim in the Crowd October 15, 2011

Atheist Dressed As Muhammad in Halloween Parade Gets Attacked by Muslim in the Crowd

At a (strangely early) Halloween parade last week, two members of the Parading Atheists of Central PA marched as Zombie Pope and Zombie Muhammad. The latter proclaimed, “I am Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. I’ve risen from the dead!”

Dickish? Totally.

Do I like what they did? No. I think they alienated more people than they amused.

Was it funny? Zombie-Pope-on-the-lookout-for-little-boys might be funny around people with that kind of humor… but not at a family parade. I’m still trying to figure out what the joke was regarding Zombie Muhammad. That’s probably why I don’t like what they did. Instead of entertaining families with clever, enjoyable costumes — which I imagine was the goal of the parade organizers — they used it as a place to make a statement about faith and get religious people worked up.

To be honest, I’m surprised they were even let into the parade, considering that the city’s registration form (PDF) for being in it explicitly said, “NO obscene, objectionable dress or displays, etc., are permitted.” Because it’s a family event, after all.

Still, that’s no excuse for what happened as they marched in the parade.

A Muslim man came out of the crowd and started to choke the atheist Muhammad (though you can’t really see that in the video). He also tried to rip off the guy’s beard and sign.

Michael Stone points out that a police report was filed and charges are pending. Good. Even if you’re being purposely offensive, you don’t deserve to get harassed or beaten up because of it.

Stone adds a salient point:

It does seem fair to say that the intention of the atheists was to poke fun at and offend Muslims. To be fair, there was also a “Zombie Pope” marching in the Halloween parade while claiming to be on the look out for little boys. No doubt, many Catholics found a pedophile Zombie Pope offensive as well.

Yet regardless of whether or not one is offensive in speech, there is no justification for violent assault in order to silence that speech. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is there not only to guarantee freedom of speech for those we agree with, but more importantly, it is there to guarantee the freedom of speech for those who we find particularly obnoxious and offensive.

Before people start complaining that I’m blaming the victim, I’m not. The fault here is entirely that of the Muslim attacker. That doesn’t mean I have to like the atheists’ costumes in this particular venue.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Florian Boyd

    Sorry, but both the pope and Mohammed are stupid. Gives atheists a bad name. Do something uplifting next time.

  • I agree. There’s really no point in being intentionally insulting. We make no friends with acts like this.

  • Annie

    I find what others say offensive on a regular basis… but it doesn’t give me the right to choke them.   Regardless of what the people were dressed as, people should not feel free to cause them harm.  I hope charges were filed.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s great what they did. But if you’re going to go around intentionally pissing people off you should learn how to defend yourself properly.
    Then instead of looking like a little bitch on camera you can send the message home that you have freedom of speech, and if someone tries to take that from you they’ll end up on the ground.

  • Florian Boyd

    Agree with this too. They seemed way too fast to call for “cops” when someone confronted them. What did they expect? Of course i’m not condoning a possible physical attack if that’s what actually happened. Hard to tell from the vid.

  • miller

    Forget freedom of speech, how about the freedom to not get assaulted? All other details strike me as secondary.

  • Brian Lynchehaun

     But if you’re going to go around intentionally pissing people off you should learn how to defend yourself properly.

    Yup. And women shouldn’t dress provocatively either.

    Way to blame the victim.

  • I agree that they shouldn’t have been assaulted, but I think there’s a difference between being offensive and being provocative. It almost sounds like they were hoping something would happen. If so, I hope they’re happy with the results.
    If the city politicians get some backlash over this (since it was a public parade) it will only hurt the atheist cause in the future. They’d probably rather have their city sued by atheists for not being allowed in future parades rather than being voted out of office by angry constituents.

  • Yakamoz

    Lots of people dress up like Jesus, and no one would say “what did they expect?” if someone assaulted them.  That’s because we don’t expect Christians to behave like violent morons at some dude in a fake beard. 

    To say they should have expected that from Muslims is demeaning to the vast majority of Muslims that don’t react with violence to some dude in halloween costume they don’t like.

    What did they expect?  To be able to exercise their freedom of speech.  To fault them for not expecting violence is A)victim blaming and B)siding with the instigator of violence.

  • Draw Muhammad Day, as I understand it, was a direct protest concerning threats of violence sent by radical Muslim groups to the cartoon ‘South Park’ for even depicting Muhammad. The depiction ended up being edited out due to fear of those threats.
    Draw Muhammad Day was a statement that it is wrong to use threats of violence to force others to follow the edicts of your religion and stifle speech, that we will stand up to violent attempts to limit free speech without fear and without backing down. The drawings themselves were generally benign stick figures (I didn’t see all of them, so I can’t say), to make the point of how absurd it is to attempt to kill someone over something so non threatening. 

    It seemed like they were going for a similar message here, but without a connection to an event, and their depiction of Muhammad seems very intentionally provoking. I do agree with Hemnat that a family parade is not an effective time or location for this sort of display, it does not do us any favors to be certain, and there were far better things they could have done given their slot. In short it simply was not a very good protest, but he most certainly did NOT deserve to get attacked, ‘little bitch’ (way to use a female term as a derogatory, very classy…) or not. If anything, all their attacker did was prove their point in the first place.

  • “Hemant, Why are you so against this but in favor of Draw Muhammad day? It’s the same thing in principle.”

    It’s actually not the same thing in principle.  The point of draw mohammed day isn’t, let’s gratuitously offend all
    Muslims; it’s to say, “No, you can’t use violence to suppress free
    speech. ” If this starts becoming a regular thing, I’d hope Hemant would support a Dress as Zombie Mohammed day. 

    That would be the same thing in principle as draw mohammed day: a mass statement to the few violent wanna-be theocrats who think if they make an example of a cartoonist/parader, we’ll all happily stop doing whatever it is their victim was doing.

  • The point is, we should be ABLE to go there — down that road — intentionally thumbing our noses at very solemnly held LUNACY… that is the entire point of it. 

    It’s only when we treat others’ madness as respectful that their ridiculous beliefs have weight and power in the community.

    And ridiculous, by the way, means “deserving of ridicule”… and that is a very important thing to be able to do in a free society.

  • Who’s trying to make friends?

  • Ridiculous superstitions deserve ridicule.

  • I think the joke is that Mohamed never died but allegedly ascended directly into heaven?  Or maybe it’s that in spite of having died centuries ago he haunts us to this day?  But that doesn’t explain zombie pope.  Zombie Elijah, or even zombie Jesus,  would have been more analogous.

  • I don’t see what the big deal is with them dressing up as the pope and Muhammad. How is that obscene? Just because Islam forbids depictions of Muhammad? This doesn’t sound any different than Draw Muhammad Day. It’s Dress as Muhammad Day!

    Oh no, it’s a family event. What does that even mean? Does that mean we’re all supposed to dress as “nice” characters?

  • Tom

    Negative.  I’d rather have freedom of speech than the freedom to not get assaulted.  The point is moot, though – he should not have been attacked for offending someone.  When will people understand, you DO NOT have the right to not be offended.

  • Tom

    That’s completely irrelevant.  No one has a right to not be offended, much less the right to attack someone because you’re offended.

  • Erik

    If people wanted to use their costume to mock a celebrity or a politician, they would probably not have made a spectacle. Popes and prophets don’t deserve special consideration. Whether or not they were being dicks is irrelevant, free speech laws are there to defend people who want to be dicks in public, that’s part of their purpose.

    We don’t have to choose between disagreeing with them and supporting them. It’s okay to just look at what they did and say “that’s interesting”.

  • Robert Thille

    If you can never be offensive in your speech, there’s no point to freedom of speech at all.

  • Bob Becker

    Your right, of course, but that in no way alters the fact, I think, the the costumes were a bad idea for several reasons.   

  • Tom

    Sure they were, but so what?  Who hasn’t had a bad idea, and, especially when young, done something “provocative” that was, in the harsh light of reality, nothing more than “stupid?”

    The thing is, we live in a society where people can march down the street wearing white sheets and proclaiming the superiority of the their own race without fear of being assaulted despite the despicable, offensive nature of their beliefs.  That’s how it should be.  If we could just assault people because they’re offensively stupid I would assault a lot of people like, seriously, all the time.

    A bad idea those costumes may have been, but there is no doubt in my mind that the right to wear those costumes is something that is to be defended to the utmost by anyone who values what our culture really stands for.

  • Nordog

    What’s wrong with making friends?

  • Bob Becker

    I agree. Nothing I said about the costume choices being bad ideas suggested those wearing them should not have been allowed to wear them or that anyone attacking them should not be arrested and punished for so doing.

  • Anonymous

    If he was being a dick about a non-religious figure, he probably wouldn’t have been attacked.

  • Joel Guttormson

    Need I remind everyone that just existing offends these people? See reaction to every “Don’t believe in God?  You’re not alone” billboards.  Get over it.

  • Anonymous

    I get Zombie Jesus. Zombie Pope? Not so much

  • Dan W

    The costume is not the issue. The issue is that nobody has the right to not be offended. Too many religious people are willing to throw away freedom of speech when someone does something they find offensive.

  • Erik

    Right, Emperor Palpatine pope is funnier.

  • Andie Ro

    The best way to mess with people’s heads on Haloween, I’ve found, is to go as other fanciful characters from other holidays. One year I went as Santa. So I’m not totally against the idea behind these guys dressing up as who they did, but they probably could’ve done it… Classier.

    And really, someone attacking Zombie Muhummad is way oveer the line. Mainstream Muslim communities aren’t doing themselves any favors by acting out in this way.

  • Bo Tait

    uh, I think you missed the point of what CanadianNihlist was saying. I read it as he/she merely suggesting that if you are purposely stepping into dangerous territory you might want to know how to defend yourself for your own personal protection. 
    I don’t think CanadianNihlist was saying anyone being provocative is responsible for being attacked. 
    Comparing this to provocatively dressed women is pretty apples and oranges. 

  • Tom

    Not communities – at least, not just yet.  This appears to have been just a single angry theist who can’t handle frustration (though there’s certainly no shortage of people who lack that ability, in all walks of life).
    The muslim community in the area doesn’t come under scrutiny as a whole until it takes some stance on his behaviour (or fails to do so).

    Also, going as Santa at halloween?  Genius.

  • Tom

    Although, given most all religions’ claims to be the ultimate moral authority, I suppose one could rebuke the Muslim community for subscribing to a system that makes such a bold claim and yet evidently not instilling in this person the really quite basic moral notion that it is wrong to violently assault others just because they make you angry.

  • Mr Z

    Why the hell should anyone do anything to suit you? Having to modify behavior to suit your sensibilities is absolutely NO different than having to modify behavior to suit the sensibilities of religions. Get over yourself. What they did was no harm to anyone. 

  • Anonymous


    extremists of all religions regularly say, and more importantly are given free media time, to promote the idea that i should be killed, simply for being what i am. of course that “offends” me, and more. yet i am not supposed to suggest that hate speech and pogroms are wrong? fuck that noise. 

    if i’d been in the parade, i would’ve been with this guy in a costume of the prophet’s youngest wife. you know, the 9 year old. 

  • Anonymous

    However you have to remember a lot of bad ideas turned out to be good ideas later on. Gay pride might have been and probably still is considered a bad idea by some. Women fighting for voters rights was a bad idea too. More freedom of speech without the threat of violence is always a good idea, unless of course it impacts your authority or control.

  • Sailor

    This kind of thing is needed. Because if ALL  Muslims (I assume many are already) are ever going to turn into reasonable human beings they need to learn anger control. A little time in the courts helps with showing society will not tolerate this kind of violence.

  • Achess

    If, and as long as, been offensive towards a religion is met by violence then being offensive is necessary.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “Way to blame the victim”

    That is not how I read it. Its a hope for the best but expect the worst scenario. In a perfect world people would not give in to emotional impulses, the reality is that not everyone has that kind of self control. If a person knowing creates a situation where temperance is tested they need to be prepared for the likelihood that some MAY fail the test. 

  • No, the joke is that Hemant published this cartoon almost four years ago and religion still doesn’t get it. 

    And we are expected to shut-up and not “offend” religion? I think not.

  • Exactly. Halloween is about dressing as whatever you like, and that includes a lot of gory, scary, potentially offensive characters.

    What if dressing as Muhammad became a fad and thousands of people did it for Halloween? I don’t think all the offended Muslims would be able to beat up all of them…And maybe “dressing up as Muhammad is offensive to Muslims” would lose its sting a bit, just because it became so common.

    Something to think about as you are deciding who you want to be for Halloween.

  • Anonymous

    He didn’t confront him.  He battered him.    It’s a crime and the police should be called in for sure.

  • Free speech versus violence. No contest, imho. 

  • Anonymous

    Yes, you guys are correct.
    Brian Lynchehaun is either misreading my comment or intentionally misrepresenting what I said.
    I’m on the victims side in this. But it’s always better safe than sorry.Women are allowed dress as provocatively as they want. But that carrying mace with them isn’t a bad idea.

  • Ronlawhouston
  • Anonymous

    Well this is a protest of the threats of physical violence sent by mainstream Muslims to those who don’t respect their founding huckster and mass murderer.

  • Anonymous

    This is just Draw Mohammad Day without the vandalism of public property.   How can you be for the former and not the latter.

    To be honest, I’m surprised they were even let into the parade, considering that the city’s registration form (PDF) for being in it explicitly said, “NO obscene, objectionable dress or displays, etc., are permitted.” Because it’s a family event, after all.

    Are you saying you are surprised they were let in, or that you personally feel that their costumes were worthy of banning?

  • Anonymous

    “Catholics found a pedophile Zombie Pope offensive as well.”

    Yes I can see how the they would question and be offended by the Zombie part. Rational thinkers might be too.

  • Why do I have to be uplifting?  To me, that sounds a lot like, “You’re so much prettier when you smile.”  It suggests that I should avoid this behavior because it may upset my social superiors.  This line of reasoning presumes that placating the first class citizens is the atheist’s movement’s highest priority.

    What gives atheists a bad name are religions who call us evil fools who deserve to be shunned at best, and murdered in all sorts of ways.  This gives us a reputation for being irreverent.  What’s so bad about that?

  • How?  That’s actually what women are told.  And those are also dressed up as “mere suggestions” that if we step into dangerous territory (e.g., a bar, or a frat party, or a bad part of town) we learn how to defend ourselves by knowing the importance of not getting drunk, watching our drink at all times, using the buddy system, not dressing ‘like a slut,’ etc. etc. etc.

    What makes this comparison valid is that A)this shouldn’t be dangerous territory and that B)it’s only “dangerous territory” for  a particular class of people and that therefore C) enabling those who make this territory dangerous by telling the targeted class of people to alter our behavior blames us for their misbehavior.

    Hence, victim blaming.

  • Yea, you’re totally on our side.  We better carry mace, so we don’t look like a little bitch when we’re attacked.

    Being an ally: you’re doing it wrong.

  • Andrew_EC

    Hemant — you are just dead wrong on this one.  Atheists decided to make costumes based on their personal preferences.  Maybe they weren’t that funny; that pretty much happens every year.  In 2008, I didn’t find the onslaught of “sexy Sarah Palin” costumes (mostly by liberals) particularly funny.  But you know what?  On Halloween, you get to pick a costume *you* find fun.

    Now, would something definitely obscene be appropriate around children (i.e., dressing as genitalia or something)?  Of course not.  But — and this is the point you gloss over in telling the story — the ORGANIZERS ALREADY APPROVED THE MUHAMMAD COSTUME for children.  It wasn’t objectively inappropriate.

    There should not be *any* criticism directed at the atheist victims here, and shame on you for suggesting there is.

  • Thesaintsrevenge

    Dearest FriendlyAthiest/Hemant Metha, 
    I am the Zombie Mohammed who was being, and is being “dickish” in every government sponsored parade this month in a 2 hour radius of my city. I contacted you to write about this story because back in 5/2010, I noticed that you told me, as a reader to stand up to the muslim community with Draw Mohammed. I was the first person in the world to draw mohammed on a iPad and put the video online. Not only that, but I took it a step further and Drew Mohammed and pressed my drawing on T Shirts and wore them in public. I have protested the murder and slaughter of Theo Van Gogh, Hersey Ali, and countless others in open public by dressing up as Mohammed in public for the last two years. The blood of fallen Van Gogh, the torture of Hersey Ali, and even some of my close friends who have escaped Islam has brought about a public action in my life that depicts that “I CAN AND WILL” offend muslims, because “MUSLIMS SAY WE CAN’T”. Sound familiar Hemant? It should. You said for us to take this action right here, where you also said from your own site on 5/2010 Why we should Draw Mohammed Hemant Metha “You know what is offensive?Killing or attacking people because they draw a picture.Censoring people who are exercising their right to free speech — as if free speech is allowed only when it doesn’t upset your personal sensibilities. It’s ridiculous thatPakistan censored Facebook altogether because people would be drawing pictures of Muhammad today.I’m also offended by anyone calling the courageous people who risk verbal threats and physical harm by drawing these mild images “jerks” and“bigots.” You say that I and The Parading Atheists are being “dickish” and are guilty of “alienating more people than they amuse”. I find it interesting you also say, “If moderate Muslims truly believe in free speech, they ought to be supporting the people who are drawing these images, even if they don’t necessarily like them. I welcome their criticism of my atheism, because my convictions are strong enough that a drawing or a book isn’t going to turn me into a loose cannon. I believe god doesn’t exist and my logic, reason, and evidence are stronger than anything you can throw at me.I stand by all those who dare draw Muhammad today.”So Mr. Hemant, please tell me why it is ok to stand by those who draw Muhammed in public and you will even stand against the attackers when the freedom and safety of the artist is at risk,but when Atheists march in the name of Freedom of Speech in a spooky halloween with many evil witches ghouls and goblins we are being dickish and others aren’t? You see, what is an atheist to march as in a ghoulish parade? You even said for us to get a Jesus costume with a dinosaur for halloween, which is the same thing as Mohammed. You stand behind those who depict Muhammed whether he’s angry or smiling or not even human (Zombie), you say we are being Dickish and alienating people. I think the people who drew Muhammed alienated people and were dickish while forcing students at colleges to see their  prophet depicted on a drawing.So you know what is offensive Hemant? When you are the first to say we are being jerks and dicks while you yourself have been a jerk and a dick by your own omission since 5/2010. I think your readers will agree that Drawing Muhammed alienates atheists and makes us look like dicks, but in the Name of Theo Van Gogh and Hersey Ali and countless other murdered humans and ground zero it is Time for Muhammed to appear all over the USA, maybe then you could ask your readers to submit their own pictures to you. In the Parading atheists of central PA we call our actions American and No government sponsored parade will kick us out without a lawsuit! That is why we were allowed in, American Atheists, Inc., assisted us in writing letters to the government who sponsored that parade! Was I choked? Yes I was.  Was I attacked? You bet I was. Did I finish the parade? Yes I did. Will I go again? You bet I will. Am I afraid, not really!  Why did I scream for the police? I could have kicked that little muslims ass, however I resort not to violence but to the LAW! I live in America, the Land of the Free, Home of the BRAVE.Sincerely, Zombie Muhammed aka Ernest!

  • Anonymous

    If you want to go out and make a target of yourself with no form of defense that’s your business. So long as I don’t have to hear you cry about what happens after.

  • Heidi

    I almost bought your I-didn’t-mean-it-that-way act. Then you said this. Congratulations. You just proved their point.

  • Being an ally: you’re really doing it wrong.

    What a great example of the first rule of holes: if you’re in one, stop digging.

  • Anonymous

    So better safe than sorry is not something that’s big in the USA?

    I don’t even care anymore. My original point was the guy dressed as Zombie Muhammad has a right to dress and say what he wants. But it should be no surprise if you go out of your way to offend people that something bad might happen.

    If I did it, I would be sure to defend myself if someone attacked me as I’m not fond of being a victim.

    For those that don’t agree with that please go fuck yourselves and cry to whoever will listen when you go out of your way to be hurt with no protection.

    For anyone with the Balls to stand up for yourself when someone attacks you. Congratulations, the world needs more people like you who won’t play the victim card.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t sound on his side when you said he sounded like a “little bitch” on camera.   

    First off, you can’t just retaliate without first drawing attention to the fact that you are a victim.  If you just start punching a guy out people will perhaps not notice him choking you but instead turn their head when you look like the assailant.    Not going to look very good when you have zero marks on your neck, he is a bloodied brused mess, and all the witnesses saw some nut dressed as a zombie Mohammad assaulting a poor minority Muslim.

    So always if you are in a crowd and are threatened (assault) or battered, then shout out “Leave me alone”.  Give the perp a chance to disengage, and witnesses to turn to see (they will have already heard your remarks).   Then you can use offensive defense.

    Of course, I’m not saying you can’t block a punch, but don’t first hit them so hard the “end up on the ground” as you have advised.

  • If you’re on my side, then I’m on the wrong side.

  • Anonymous

    So I guess in your world any little old ladies who are atheists should just shut their traps about their beliefs.    Plus girls that are petite and cannot defend themselves ought to just stop wearing attractive outfits.    Wouldn’t want to force you to have to hear them crying.

  • Anonymous

    No in the US we understand that people have rights even if they don’t have the ability to defend themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Harmless stick figure Mohammads, harmless zombie Mohammads, what is the difference?   Nothing.   Both will get you stoned in Pakistan.

  • Sulris Campbell

    free speech means you CAN say whatever you like NOT that you SHOULD say it or that we have to support them for saying it.

    free speech means a protection against violence not condemnation.

    they should not have been attacked that doesnt mean they should not be called dicks.  this was not an intelligent display of athiest ideals.  their own party sure why not.  a parade for everyone?  kind of a dick move.

  • Anonymous

    Plus this is total nonsense to being with.  He was in a quite public place, and in fact someone in the audience yelled “This is America. Freedom of speech.”   It’s not like he took a hike on the border of Iran or something.

  • Anonymous

    So every attractive woman at this halloween parade should be carrying mace?    Or perhaps they should all be wearing burkas because it might upset this violent Muslim spectator?

  • Anonymous

    He didn’t look like a “little bitch” on camera to me.    He communicated that an attack was taking place.    I guess you’ve never experienced the chaos of an attack.  If you were paying attention the guy marching with him, Carl, asks “What’s going on” and he’s right next to him.   Screaming communicates what is going on.

    He’s brave enough to do this in the first place and even after being attacked he continues marching in the parade with this stalker following him for  three blocks.   Then he spots the police and presses charges, another ballsy thing to do.   

    He know how to “defend himself properly”.   Self defense does not mean that you get to use what ever force you can apply.    You have to be reasonable and apply minimal force needed to achieve the goal of defense and apprehension.  It is quite apparent with 20/20 hindsight that communicating the attack and getting the police was effective in stopping the crime and apprehending the criminal.    He made precisely the correct call.

    When attacked you don’t get to do what this guy did:

    McDonald’s Cashier Seen Beating Female Patrons With Metal Rod In Harrowing Video

    Sure he looks like a tough guy but he’s also in jail.

  • Anonymous

    He wasn’t advocating having no friends.  Just not befriending the wrong people.   Like those who would choke you.

    Besides, what’s wrong with making enemies, just so  long as they are the right enemies?

  • Anonymous

    You just called the Pope and Mohammad stupid and that was kinda uplifting, don’t ya think? Uplifting for those they denigrate unjustly.

  • Anonymous

    You didn’t name any reasons unless you are using a sock puppet or accidentally posted an anonymous comment.   So name your several reasons? 

  • Anonymous

    Any offense is not gratuitous.  It is justly earned by anyone who thinks a 7th century warlord slaver and mass murderer is someone to revere.   It is also earned by anyone who thinks that the Qur’an is the infallible word of Allah, who has either read it, or not bothered to read it.   Either way they have earned much mocking.

  • Nordog

    Having enemies is not good, even if one must have them.

    Having friends is good, even if one can’t be friends with everyone.

  • Anonymous

    That’s because you didn’t say anything about why the costumes are bad.

  • Sebastian

    Depiction of Mohammed is forbidden, which means that there is no image of Mohammed available. No one knows what Mohammed looked like.

    How did these Muslims that attacked then know that it was appropriate to take offense in someone dressing up in a Middle-Eastern costume, since they had no way of knowing if the dressed-up guy really resembled Mohammed or not? Yeah, the dressed-up guy claimed that he tried to look like and depict Mohammed, but since no image of Mohammed is available to compare to, how did the attackers know that he succeeded in depicting Mohammed?

    I mean, if the depiction was unsuccessful and the dressed-up guy did not really resemble Mohammed at all, there is nothing to take offense in, right? They could just laugh and point at him and say “Ha ha, look at that guy who tries to look like Mohammed, he is so way off, that’s nothing like the real Mohammed!”

  • Anonymous

    You are one brave SOB.   Thank you for helping.

  • Anonymous


    “Having enemies is not good, even if one must have them.”

    Having to pay to gas up the car is not good even if one must do so to get the gas.

    The world is complex.   The options are not so simple as you make them out.  I was adding some of the complexity back into the equation.  You seem to be trying to make it simplistic again.

    The US for example could have just sat out WWII and not made enemies with Hitler by helping Britain.   We could have not made enemies with Japan by placing an embargo on them when they were raping China.   

    FDR instead decided that it was time to make some enemies.

    You see sometimes to gain just one good friend, or maintain one good friendship, you need to make several enemies.

    Making the enemies is a good thing given the circumstances.  

    Your argument amounts to assuming we are all gods that can just will away those circumstances.

    Our relationship with intolerant ideologies like Islam that go out of their way to be offended can never be one of friendship unless they change, not us.    I’m not willing to sacrifice the truth to their hypersensitivity.   That wouldn’t make me a friend, but a hypocrite.

  • S. H.

    What exactly are “atheist ideals”??
    The only thing atheists have in common is the disbelief in gods.
    As long as the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and crutch, er, church groups are present, there’s no reason not to portray a negative image of “beliefs”.  Remember, which is worse:  Parody of imaginary friends in the sky (and their messengers), or condemning people to unspeakable torture for eternity?   Get back to me with your answer.

  • Nordog

    While it is right and necessary to not to be friends with some, to even be enemies, it is not as good as if we could be friends.  It really is that simple.  The reality is, and you rightly note, not that simple, and so we cannot be friends with everyone, and we must have enemies.

    But this simple fact is still true, friends are better than enemies.  It’s not that complicated.

  • S. H.

    Of course, it’s better to have friends than enemies…..until those “friends” try to limit your freedoms or threaten to do so.  From a Darwinian viewpoint, it’s probably best to have SOME enemies at all times, so that we can be more  prepared to defend against a larger attack.

  • Anonymous

    “It really is that simple. ”

    In the same sense as I gave with gassing up the car.   It really is a simple as, it’s better if I get the gas for free, if you think simplistically.

    It’s certainly true that not as good to pay for the gas than to get it for free, taken from a hideously narrow perspective.

    BTW, you have enemies even if you don’t recognize the fact, or even interact with them.   

    You don’t get to pick your enemies, and they very often don’t impact you.

    For example, a string of North Korean dictators have made you an enemy, and the only impact you feel is increased taxation to support some troops in South Korea.     The impact on me was greater.  They killed my uncle.

  • Anonymous

    I had these thoughts too.

  • Anonymous

    I responded to this prior above so it wouldn’t be wrapped tightly.

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