The last few months have seen two grassroots stunt protests against Muslim extremism: Boobquake, and now Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.
If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don't, you should), you'll know that I was a bit hesitant to throw my full support behind Boobquake, despite the immense respect I have for Jen, the event's originator.
But as I thought about it, particularly after reading this persuasive post by Greta Christina, I found most of the criticisms of Boobquake to be nigh indistinguishable from the very sort of oppressive nonsense that Boobquake was in response too: e.g., women shouldn't wear revealing clothing because it will make men lose control.
So that brings up to Everybody Draw Muhammad Day, which is today! This event was started in response to the chilling effect over protests and riots over depictions of Muhhamad, the prophet of Islam. In particular, the decision by Comedy Central to censor an episode of South Park that depicted Muhammad out of fear of violent reprisal.
Again, I initially found it hard to throw my full support behind today: Comedy Central isn't a government, and it can therefore censor whatever it likes. It seemed, at first, more like "Everybody Needlessly Piss Off Muslims Day."
But then last week, Lars Vilks, one of the infamous Danish cartoonists, was attacked. This attack was caught on video (below). Then, Vilk's house was set on fire, and he was forced to go into hiding Vilks has since gone into hiding. So that he doesn't, you know, get murdered.
Over a cartoon. And not even a very good one. I'm reminded of Austin Dacey's stance on respect, and it's something I've tried to take to heart: all people are deserving of respect. It is paramount that we, especially humanists, respect people. But ideas are not deserving of respect. Ideas stand or fall on their own.
Not to overdo it on the video, but Rebecca Watson also helped win me over to EDMD.
And that's when I decided I'd participate in Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.
So, what did I do? I drew Muhammad, complete with a quote from the prophet himself: