As any person with a moderate level of political and social awareness should know, some guy started a Facebook page encouraging "everyone" to draw a picture of the prophet revered by the world's Muslims. The reasoning behind this stunt is to push the belligerent and extremists among the world's Muslims into doing something stupid.
It isn't too far afield from the several "protests" held in the United States where people walk, ride bikes, go to work in the nude as a way of protesting....something. Their reasoning goes that if you are offended by the sight of female nipples, then the protesters are going to bombard you with lots of nekkid female nipples until your brain ess-plodes or you develop some tolerance for having nekkid female nipples within your field of view. Or penises.....penisi....
Or the Vag.
In any case, that is the logic...such as it is...behind that Facebook page. [now shut down.....Google is your friend]
Mark Steyn isn't enthused with the idea, but he does commiserate with these agents provocateur.
I'm bored with death threats. And, as far as I'm concerned, if that's your opening conversational gambit, then any obligation on my part to "cultural sensitivity" and "mutual respect" is over. The only way to stop this madness destroying our liberties is (as Ayaan Hirsi Ali puts it) to spread the risk. Everybody Draws Mohammed Day does just that. Various websites are offering prizes. I only wish we could track down those sicko Danish imams* who drew their prophet as a pig, and send them the trophy.Mutual respect should mean just that. An understanding that there are actions that are offensive and a mutual desire to avoid stepping on the other person's toes. Listening to NPR a little bit ago, I learned that the Muslims of Pakistan not only approved of their government's blocking access to Facebook, but they also view such things as acts of terrorism that require the immediate creation of international laws to protect their delicate eyeballs.
So we know freedom of expression isn't high on their list of priorities.
Ann Althouse is a bit more firm in her opposition to EDMD.
I have endless contempt for the threats/warnings against various cartoonists who draw Muhammad (or a man in a bear suit who might be Muhammad, but is actually Santa Claus). But depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats. In pushing back some people, you also hurt a lot of people who aren't doing anything (other than protecting their own interests by declining to pressure the extremists who are hurting the reputation of their religion).The trick, IMHO, is to get those millions of Muslims that do not threaten violence to perceive their "own interests" to be best served by actively opposing the few belligerent extremists instead of simply remaining quiet and on the sidelines. The intolerant are not deserving of tolerance.
That generates the larger question of when it is appropriate to do such things. I recall our beloved daughter telling the story about a class she took at UNLV where the subject of flag burning was discussed. Most of the class thought that flag burning was a right. She stood fast in her belief that you shouldn't burn the flag because of the emotional pain caused to those that possess a deep respect for the flag.
Stop for a moment and read that again. Those kids were having two different conversations. One wanted to talk about rights. The other wanted to talk about responsibilities.
We seem to do a lot of that these days.
In any case, I firmly support the right of anyone to burn the flag, show off their nipples, or to draw the so-called Prophet Mohammad. At the same time, such things shouldn't be done for purposes as low as "because I can".
The recent Facebook stunt seems to fall pretty well within that limit.