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Drawing Mohammed, Round 2

Remember when I said Draw Mohammed Day could have serious repercussions?  Well, it still might.  The Friendly Atheist reports:

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is being investigated by Pakistani police under a section of the penal code that makes blasphemy against Muhammad punishable by death.

Will Mark be joining Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali in protective seclusion for the rest of his life for the crime of allowing freedom of expression?  I don’t know, and it hardly matters.  The fact that a country’s police force is investigating him for the crime of talking bad against an unsubstantiated deity?  That matters a lot.

I’m honestly having a hard time thinking of anything to say about this.  Does anyone have any problem understanding the significance of tolerating this kind of intolerance?  Anyone?



One thought on “Drawing Mohammed, Round 2

  1. We’re isolated in North America. Our culture is irreverent, even when it’s religious – sides scream at eachother and all of it is simply noise, signifying nothing. We mock everything. Liberals mock conservatives, the religious taunt atheists, the haves and have-nots throw barbs at eachother; sarcasm is a part of our collective unconscious. Sometimes it gets serious, but even when it does, it’s viewed as an abberation. Irreverence and intolerance are accepted in our society as part of standard discourse, but we can never forget than not everyone and not every culture shares our cynicism or our particular outrage, even when it may be justified.

    I’m another of those who thought that Draw Mohammad Day could only end badly, but not necessarily because it would inspire any extremist action. Islam is more than a religion in the way that we think of Western Christianity. It is a way of life, a set of laws and beliefs and yes, in some ways, a culture entirely of its own. That’s not to say that there isn’t a great deal is difference between groups; rather that each group has much more invested in their method of relationship and societal governance that thr religious west does in their (primarily Christian) faith. Draw Mohammad Day is an insult, not just to radical Islam, but to mass Islamic culture. It further alienates a group that already feels negatively towards much of the West.

    I’m not, of course, referring here to assimilated Western Muslim culture, though I’d frankly be shocked if Muslims in the US and Canada didn’t feel discriminated against and at least a little resentful. Instead I’m talking about the peoples in self-proclaimed Muslim nations. In a very real way, this kind of organized belittling of a culture creates radical Islam. And as long as we continue to think of the Muslim peoples as an adversary, we will continue to feed and grow the radical hatred that we are trying so hard to combat.

    The indignations that Draw Mohammad Day represent – qualms about freedom of speech and of the press – are not illegitimate, but they are petty in that they are only relevant to and within our own culture. Given the current polarized climate, they can only do harm.

    Posted by Peter R | June 21, 2010, 12:34 am

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