Everybody Draws Mohammed Day

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Posted on : 5/29/2010 12:10:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , , , , ,

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".

Mostly.

The recent Facebook stunt seems to fall pretty well within that limit.

A Fact Free Debate

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Posted on : 5/25/2010 07:55:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Sadly, that seems to be what some folks want to have these days. The most recent evidence of that is this recent story in the Washington Post that suggests that the Texas state school board's curriculum changes are harbingers of the end of our Republic.

The WaPo editors and writers are apparently unconcerned about the lack of facts and outright errors in that article. Error number one occurs in paragraph number one:

The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards that minimize the separation of church and state and say that America is not a democracy but a "constitutional republic."

We are a "constitutional republic". That is a very specific form of democracy that is designed to limit the size and scope of government. We are not a democracy and we would rue the day should we ever become one. The tyranny of the majority occurs in the 51st voting percentile.

Ann Althouse has a great run down on the other errors in the WaPo's hit piece.

I'm not wildly in favor of all of the changes to the Texas curriculum. But most of them do seem to be aimed at restoring some historical accuracy that has been lost over the years.

This hit piece of the Texas curriculum reforms is ridiculous:

"In this kind of world where knowledge is growing, we should be paying more attention to how to help students deal with knowledge, helping them understand it," he said. "There's nothing in the standards that would help someone Google search George Washington... how do I know which is the good one? That's the kind of skill I think we have the opportunity to teach and we're missing the opportunity."

Well, perhaps if schools taught enough factual information about George Washington, then students would be able to recognize a good search result as opposed to a bad one. But no, instead of History Class focusing on actual historical figures, lets have History Class be about the proper uses of Google.

Is it too much to ask that this sort of media criticism actually cite the offending passages? Is it too much to ask that they link to the entire document?

Or.....not unlike the recent imperfect immigration legislation passed in Arizona or the Citizens United Supreme Court decision....is it enough to simply "feel" that a decision is bad without actually bothering to read it? At what point did it become acceptable to launch into criticizing public policies without first reading, comprehending, and analyzing them?