Just in case you have not heard, May 20, 2010 has been declared to be “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. Why is that? First, Comedy Central censored South Park episode #200 (Here’s the story: http://preview.tinyurl.com/3yjw4mf). Second, a cartoonist took offense to the incident (Here you go: http://preview.tinyurl.com/372qb96). There you have it … the new cause célèbre. Now that you’ve been informed, I’ll get to my point.
I’m not a big fan of religious iconography. Maybe it’s my Southern Baptist upbringing, but I’ve never seen the need for visual depictions of Jesus Christ. We Baptists generally don’t have them in our churches or in our homes. It may have something to do with the extensive Bible readings we do in our religious education and church services. We’re taught to see Jesus as our personal Savior. Since I can’t really know how he appeared in his physical incarnation, I’ve developed an image of Him in my own mind.
That being said, I’ve never really been offended by those who feel being avant-garde requires they attack others’ sensibilities, even when that means their being disrespectful to my Lord. I’ve always felt those individuals reveal their lack of maturity in their misdirected attacks on the beliefs of others. Their immaturity acts as a sure sign to all that their opinions are to be discounted. So, I can understand how Muslims may not appreciate some depictions of Mohammed.
However, this is America, and the freedoms of religion and speech are natural rights. People are free to be disrespectful to any and all religious groups, including mine. Furthermore, the so-called restrictions on illustrations of Mohammed are not Koranic, but have instead become commonly accepted but not universally so. You can find many early illustrations of Mohammed, though most have been destroyed or altered by adding a veil over his face. So, get over yourself. If you must be angry at someone for going against your religious beliefs, then give yourself a warm, fuzzy feeling thinking of them burning in Hell.
Now, to all of those who are going to draw Mohammed, I have one piece of advice: Be mature.
I know a lot of people’s immediate reaction is to go all out and be as offensive as possible. Is that what is called for in this situation? The threats against Stone and Parker were for the mere act of depicting Mohammed, not how they depicted him. The purpose of this event is show solidarity with Stone & Parker and to show those who threatened them that we will not be intimidated. The purpose is not to show how immature and disrespectful you can be.
Draw Mohammed if you wish, but do so respectfully. Don’t give the enemies of freedom any ammunition with which to attack us. Be mature.