“100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”
Here’s Maryam Namazie’s answer to that question.
“100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”
Here’s Maryam Namazie’s answer to that question.
Molly Norris is the Seattle dog walker-cartoonist that came up with the concept of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” with a simple cartoon. Those who followed the events subsequent to her cartoon going viral know that only 2 days after an interview she had with Dave Ross of KIRO radio on Friday, April 23rd, 2010, she changed her mind and decided to back out, stating fear as the reason.
Taking a position and then changing one’s mind is no “sin”. In fact, lack of certainty is often a sign of an open mind, not cowardice. Fear is also an understandable reaction to the very real possibility that one may be killed for expressing one’s ideas. I certainly do not condemn a young woman for being afraid.
However, I have some issues with Ms. Norris. Not because she backed down, but because she followed up with attempts to undermine others who chose to publicly express our opposition to religious censorship by grossly misrepresenting her initial position and misrepresenting her initial stated reason for backing out in the first place…fear. When one compares the statements she made in her radio interview with what she now states she said, it’s difficult to come to any other conclusion than that there is an intentional effort to mislead.
Here’s a portion of her April 23rd, 2010 radio interview with Dave Ross:
DR: “…. Really Molly? You sure you wanna do this?”
MN: “Yeah, I wanna water down the targets.” (The intent and desire for mass participation is clearly stated –not just implied.)
DR: “Yeah, so how does ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’ work?”
MN: “I haven’t really, um, organized it yet, I…I…I posted it on Facebook and I have gotten a couple drawings of Mohammed, but I guess I oughtta follow through and really, um collect them and, ya know, put them on a deck of cards or something…“ (A reasonable person hearing this would take this comment to mean that she intends to distribute these images commercially.)
Molly Norris lost her nerve and two days later, declared that she was distancing herself from the project and was not involved at any level. After reading so many negative posts and comments assailing her character. I gave my own take on the situation and made a statement I would later come to regret:
“She has since become frightened of the possible ramifications of her actions and is now distancing herself from the whole idea. It’s unfortunate that she has decided to back down from the project, but seeing as she is not a celebrity with vast resources to hire security protection, it is understandable. She made her point and I respect her decision to bow out.”
Of course, others took up the cause and Molly’s star began to fade…and Molly wasn’t going to have any of that.
Instead of moving on, she launched a campaign to force the spotlight back on herself. With a new page on her site, she backpedaled from her original position and disowned her earlier comments. As stated before, she wasn’t just content to misstate her original position, but also felt a need to draw attention away from the fact that she backed down because of fear of Muslims. Now she presents her change of heart as being due to concern over offending Muslims.
“My cartoon was the beginning and end of expressing my personal views about Comedy Central’s South Park censorship. If I had wanted my one-off cartoon to be the basis for a worldwide movement to draw Mohammed, then at this moment I should be thrilled,” Norris tells Comic Riffs today. “But instead I am horrified! My one-off cartoon that was specifically about Comedy Central’s behaviour vs. Revolution Muslim’s threat leading to a slippery slope of censorship in America is not good for a long-term plan. The results have shown to be vitriolic and worse, offensive to Muslims who had nothing to do with the censorship issue I was inspired to draw about in the first place.” Molly
She also writes,
“I regret going on the Dave Ross radio show on April 25th, before my cartoon went viral; my ego took me there.”
Ms. Norris was perhaps correct about her ego (maybe it took her to later interviews as well), but this interview with Dave Ross happened on April 23rd, not the 25th. A simple 30 second check of the station’s website and podcast schedule confirms that.
She obviously has a poor opinion of others’ abilities to discern truth from bullshit. No matter, most folks would just shrug this off as someone trying to cover her tracks and save face. Good enough.
However, Ms. Norris couldn’t resist taking this to the next level. She asked “that this ‘day’ be called off.” Molly Norris was uncomfortable, so the rest of us better just STFU.
No such thing was going to happen, of course. The event was a done deal and had the support of some of the most influential theist and atheist voices on the web and in print. And happen it did.
I lauded the young woman initially for her bravery in coming out against Islamic bullying. I supported her publicly when she became frightened and backed out due to security concerns.
I now criticize Ms. Norris for not leaving well enough alone and for making a shameful and deceptive public display in which she impugned the integrity of thousands of free-thinkers who decided to stand up to Islamic threats against free speech and expression.
“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” was one of those events that were inevitable. Eventually, at some point in time, it was going to happen with or without Molly Norris. Free thinkers just can’t be kept down and they won’t be silenced. Ms. Norris got frightened. I get that, but she shouldn’t have asked the rest of us to share her reaction to fear and then condemn us publicly if we don’t.
On May 20th, 2010, millions of Muslims worldwide cried out like infantile idiots over scribblings that were not in any way directed at them, but at an idea that is anathema to those who cherish freedom; the idea that religion is off-limits to criticism and that those who dare to criticize it should be silenced or killed.
It’s guaranteed that most Muslims came away from the day’s events with nothing but an increased hatred for the West and contempt for democratic institutions. It doesn’t matter, that was a done deal anyway. The coalescing of the Islamic world into a definitive, destructive force against the West is a process that was begun 14 centuries ago and was only briefly interrupted by the Crusades and then later, by European & Soviet colonialism.
If we didn’t convince the Muslim community that we were right, then what was the purpose of all of this? What was the point?
As with the “Don’t believe in God?” billboards, this was a way for so many of us to let others in our community know that they are not alone. We’re in this struggle together. That’s the point.
Together we sent out a message to those who would rely on violence to force their way of life on us:
As the build-up to tomorrow’s “event” reaches something of a frenzy, I’m being inundated from every corner of the universe with imagery of the “Prophet”.
I’d like to comment on some of the drawings that I’m seeing out there. Some of these drawings are just offensive and disgusting, and I don’t mean (only) from an aesthetic standpoint, but morally.
I take no issue with anyone drawing Mohammed in any way they see fit, but it is also my right to comment on these expressions of “free speech”.
Many of these works are clearly inspired not so much by a desire to protest Islamic bullying, but are motivated instead by a deep hatred of Arabs and/or disdain for Middle Eastern culture.
It’s my hope that as some of these works come to light that people are discerning enough to see the difference between the two, and moral enough to state that this kind of bigotry is counterproductive and harmful to all parties.
I support the event unconditionally, but ugliness is lurking in the shadows…
I’m sure this comes as a real shock to my readers, but Muslims don’t like me very much. Quite a few of them do like to follow me online, however. I wonder why. That’s okay, little buddies, I can and do follow you, too.
One Pakistani gentleman who is watching me likes something posted by a fellow Muslim on Facebook. (See partial screenshot to your left)
Now, I don’t have a problem with the Muslim boycott of Facebook on May 20th. If they want to do that, fine by me.
But look at the lower left of the screenshot and the reference to Jews. Please, tell me…what do Jews have to do with any of this? I’m no fan of the Zionist state, but this is ridiculous, and unfortunately, all too familiar a sight.
Also, note that this person is trying to get other Muslims to report other Facebook users who disagree with their point of view and get them banned. Nice. They were partially successful with this tactic on YouTube. I’m not aware of their level of success, if any, on Facebook.
The best thing Muslims could do on May 20th is express themselves openly and legally without trying to censor others. I’m not asking them to STFU…just to respect other’s right to express themselves openly and freely without being threatened with harm.
UPDATE: Looks like the bastards get their way in Pakistan…read about it here on Jihad Watch.
Here is an interview with Pam Geller and Mike Ghouse on the Sean Hannity Show, concerning the planned mosque at Ground Zero.
If you have read any of my writings, either here or on other blogs, you know I’m no fan of Fox News. I find them to be little more than a tool of the Republican Party/Tea Party and a mouthpiece for Christian extremists. However, sometimes they cover subjects that others are afraid to cover.
The planned 13 story mosque at Ground Zero is one of those stories that have not been covered enough in the media. If not for Fox News, there’d be almost no coverage at all.
I’m still stunned by the brazenness of this act. The ideological source of the 9/11 tragedy will be located at the very site in which this act of inhuman barbarism was perpetrated. It’s like putting up a billboard depicting a rapist’s face right across the street from where his victim lives. To me, this is just unthinkable and it’s intolerable.
This is unquestionably the biggest outrage committed against the United States of America and its citizenry since the attacks of 9/11. If anyone can think of a more insensitive act that could be perpetrated by “moderate” Muslims against the United States, then I am all ears. Please, enlighten me. They want special treatment and understanding when they go apeshit over a few cartoons, yet they say we are out of line to complain about a mosque being built on the ground where so many people died because of the jihadist message that Islam preaches.
To the arrogant, self-assured primitives who see no consequences arising from your actions, know that there very well could be negative consequences. I call on you to abandon this destructive notion of forcing your ideology on a culture that cannot and will not accept it without a struggle. Back off. Do not build this mosque on Ground Zero.
Finally, I ask my fellow atheists…where’s the anger? Where’s the outrage? If a Christian so much as sneezes we all pile on. The hypocrisy sickens and disgusts me.
Followers of the “religion of peace” are at it…still. Check out the video at the bottom of this post. And yes, that’s “Allahu akhbar” you hear being screamed by the group both during and after the attack. Disgusting. Wanna know what’s almost as disgusting? The multi-culturalist whiners that refuse to acknowledge the truth about this bullying, brutal cult of death. Read the story below…
While giving a lecture on artistic freedom at Uppsala University, cartoonist Lars Vilks was savagely attacked by a group of Muslims who attended with the sole intention of disrupting the lecture and preventing the artist from speaking.
Lars gain international notoriety in 2007 after a newspaper published a cartoon of his depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog.
Mr. Vilks has been under constant threat of death and assault, but this was the first successful assault perpetrated against the artist.
I’ve got many issues with this piece, but I’ll just touch on three:
1) “Islamic atheism”? Wow, talk about oxymorons…
2) Nowira gushes about a period of enlightenment, (specifically citing the works of Muhammad_ibn_Zakariya_al-Razi) yet completely ignores the centuries-long persecution of Zoroastrians in Persia. Granted, the 10 century wasn’t AS bad as the ones prior to and afterward, but that hardly makes for an extended gilded age of tolerance for all non-Muslims.
3) Completely ignoring her own religion’s law of abrogation, she claims that if current Muslim scholars just look to the past for inspiration, they could put Islam back on track. In other words, Islam can be fixed.
“It might be reasonable to suggest then that the problem of Islam does not lie in inherited texts and traditions, but in interpretation.”
Points 1 & 2 are interesting, but it’s point 3 that really sticks in my craw. Most Muslim scholars divide the Qur’an in two sections. There are the verses from Mecca when Muhammad was weak and he was more likely to negotiate and compromise, and the verses from Medina, when Muhammad’s influence and military strength were much greater. Guess which verses were more militant and called for lots of killing, torture and persecution? If you guessed the latter, you guessed right. How do Muslims justify these inconsistencies? They do it via the law of abrogation, in which later dictates of the “Prophet” negate or replace (abrogate) earlier verses. This is justified by at least 4 verses in the Qu’ran.
* When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things? 2:106.
* When we replace a message with another, and God knows best what he reveals, they say: You have made it up. Yet, most of them do not know. 16:101.
* God abrogates or confirms whatsoever he will, for he has with him the Book of the Books. 13:39.
* If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to you. Then you will not find anyone to plead for it with us. 17:86.
Whether the good professor wants to acknowledge the facts or not, the truth remains that there is the theoretical Islam of the university and the Islam of the mosques, madrassas and streets.
Abrogation is a real religious concept that’s commonly accepted and taught. Many Muslims, even “moderate’ ones, feel violent jihad is justified, even if they don’t have the nerve to carry it out themselves.
Nowira ends her piece with the following:
“There is little doubt that Islamic scholars have the task and the responsibility to review tradition and re-emphasise(sic) the human values of tolerance and freedom of thought. They do not have to look far for these values. All they are required to do is to reach deep into their own cultural coffers to retrieve the pearls and discard the dregs.”
The attributes of tolerance and intellectual curiosity that Nowira applauds in al-Razi are secular, not Islamic and she does admit that. However, she seems to credit the mullahs of that time and not the men such as al-Razi who bucked the establishment and spoke their minds. That men like al-Razi happened to be heard despite Islam is a testament to the human will and intellect and nothing more. Of course, the fact that these men were powerful and influential when their works were published didn’t hurt, either. No matter how you cut it, Muslim clerics deserve no credit for the works of secular genius.
I remember standing alone at night on my parent’s porch back in the late summer of 2003, mourning the break-up of my first marriage. My uncle came out to join me, and said something that has stuck with me to this day. “You don’t miss your wife; you miss something that never was. It’s tough to deal with, but get over it and move on.” He was right. My marriage was a sham and I was reminiscing about a relationship that existed only in my mind. It was good advice. I got over it and moved on.
Nowira wants to resurrect something that never existed and her admiration is (at least partially) misplaced. It’s time for intellectuals in Muslim societies to face the reality of what Islam is. If they truly want to see free thought establish a foothold in their countries, they need to get over Islam, “move on” and start leading from a secular perspective.
There is an artist from Seattle who recently went public with a cartoon of Mohammed and promoted the idea of a “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” for May 20th, 2010. She stated that this was in reaction to the threats leveled against the creators of South Park by homegrown Muslim extremists living in the United States.
She has since become frightened of the possible ramifications of her actions and is now distancing herself from the whole idea. It’s unfortunate that she has decided to back down from the project, but seeing as she is not a celebrity with vast resources to hire security protection, it is understandable. She made her point and I respect her decision to bow out.
Several others have since taken up the baton and are requesting that images be sent to their websites or Facebook pages.
I will not list them because I have very strong suspicions that one of them is the Facebook page of a xenophobic, teabagging racist who contributes frequently to comments on an anti-Islamic website. I’m anti-Islamic, but this guy is just a bigot, plain and simple. Overall, I don’t suggest sending anything to websites promoted by individuals unless you know these people personally or they have an established presence and public history. Things can often come back to bite you in the ass.
Not all of us are artistically inclined, anyway. What else can we do for the cause of freedom? Express your disgust with Islamic bullying by writing letters to the editor of local newspapers or contribute your comments to blogs covering the subject. Organize protests outside of local mosques that have not publicly denounced violence (or threats of violence) and invite the media to attend.
If you have investigative or technical abilities, put them to work (LEGALLY!) to unmask those who operate undercover to promote Islamic violence against our democratic institutions. In this particular case, it turns out the issuer of the threat is a 20 year old European American, loner, loser and convert. That still does not absolve the Muslim community from responsibility, however. He got these nutjob ideas from somewhere, and they weren’t from the U.S. Constitution.
If a Muslim makes a threat in the media, call your local mosque and ask for their reaction. Ask them what they have done in order to counter this type of negative behavior. Call them out on their complicity by silence. Ask local news media to cover stories like this more frequently and in greater detail. Ask them to start asking the hard questions and get some real answers. Islam shouldn’t get special dispensation merely because its followers threaten violence to those who question its supremacy.
We all need to do our part to expose these cockroaches to the light and show them for what they really are.
Let’s make every day, “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”.