I honestly didn’t want to address this, but I’m going to do it anyway. If you’ve been living under a rock for the last week or two, you should be told that tomorrow is “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” on Facebook. The group was started by Molly Norris, a cartoonist who was offended that someone would try to tell her what she can or can’t draw. As of today, there are nearly 48,000 people supporting the effort.
I’ve had a hard time reading the comments on the site. A lot of them are incendiary and hate-filled, and I’m just not down with that. Some of them, while not overtly hateful, should give us pause:
Brothers and sisters.now you have alerted us the need to spread islam to every corner of the world as faster as possible and i hope every muslim here accept that.and you have induced more non muslims to learn about islam who didnt even know a trifle about it.so im thankful to the creator of this page.but nobody produced a clear reason or evidence for their accusations against islam.thats a shame..
We shouldn’t brush this sentiment aside. Like it or not, America has become the best recruitment officer in the history of both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Now, the American public is getting their chance to vocally oppose Islam, and they’re jumping at the chance. This little public protest probably will generate more interest in Islam. From where they sit, we are the devil. They are as brainwashed as our own right-wing extremists. Maybe more. Think of our own Fred Phelps. Every time he’s garnered media attention, he’s upped the ante. He’s used opposition to fuel the fires under his own parishioners.
We are proving to the extremists that we are evil. Their resolve is very likely to strengthen. They are very likely to try to get back at us for this.
Actually, this is the main reason I was moved towards this topic today. This kind of organized protest is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s practically impossible for Muslims to even identify, much less kill, the tens of thousands of people all over the world who are participating. It’s a great way to call attention to the absurdity of making such an arrogant demand of all the world’s citizens. It’s also a great way to let the majority have their say from the comfort of their own living rooms.
But it’s also a bit like cornering a wounded beast. Can you imagine what would happen if thousands of people all over Texas started marching down the street with pictures of Joseph performing an abortion on Mary? There’s a good chance some deranged wingnut would go out and kill an abortion doctor out of spite.
Let me put it more plainly. Some daft Muslim somewhere knows someone who’s depicted Mohammed on Facebook. He’s got a gun and a knife, too. And he’ll have plenty of chances over the next few weeks to build up a good head of steam and put that knife right in some poor guy’s neck. And we need to realize this. There is a very good chance someone (or several someones) will die over this.
I’m not suggesting that the event should be called off, or that it’s wrong to do it. I am concerned, however, that a lot of people are not considering the reality that there are extremist Muslims in America. It’s easy to track down facebook users. Someone will do it.
What will happen if someone dies? Is the general public ready to denounce Islam? Or will they say that it was deserved, that it was wrong to insult Muslims just for the sake of insulting them? I don’t know the answer, but I’m genuinely afraid. Holy wars are not pretty.
In any case, if something does happen, it’s important to remember that Muslims are using a clever blame-shift in their threats. When a Muslim says he’s not threatening, but rather warning of the inevitable consequences of actions, what he’s really saying is that it’s the infidel’s fault that he will be killed. No. It’s the Muslim’s fault. To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been a “World Resolution” giving extremist Muslims the authority to rule the world. Until and unless that happens, they have no right to say what we in the rest of the world do, and we have no obligation to respect them or their religion.
But we do have the ability to pick our battles, and to weigh risk vs. reward. I hope the reward is worth the risk in this case.