In what is a great coincidence, "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" will be held on my birthday, May 20. So please, don't forget to mark your calender and draw some Mohammed. In fact, draw me a Mohammed for my birthday. Maybe some crazed zealot will threaten my life and make it a great birthday.
The question remains: why do something that pisses off Muslims? It obviously makes people like Eboo Patel cry their little eyes out. He recently wrote a 'piece' for the Huffington Post in which he claims that drawing Mohammed isn't actually protected by free speech.
He starts with same old canard that the crazy Muslims are a fringe group who don't really represent real Islam. We hear this time and time again, yet we don't hear anyone repudiating things like the oppression of women in Muslim countries and intolerance of gay people. Not to mention the scores of people who celebrate when people like Lars Vilks are attacked because they... wait for it... drew Mohammed. Or what about Theo van Gogh who was murdered for criticizing how women are treated in Islam. But yeah, tolerance is rampant in Islam.
The article then devolves into a series of straw men that he tears apart pretty easily; like drawing a picture of Mohammed is the same thing as wearing black-face or hating someone because they are black. However, since he isn't addressing the reason that people are drawing Mohammed, I will go ahead and point it out for him. People are drawing Mohammed because there are agents in the world who try to put a cap on freedom of speech because they are offended, and they are willing to use violence to do so. One thing Eboo doesn't seem to realize is that the freedom of speech does not guarantee someone the right to not be offended.
On the upcoming "Draw Mohammed" day, be offended. But understand this: when you get all worked up into a lather over something like a stick figure with the name "Mohammed" written under it, you show yourself to be either emotionally fragile or in need of anger-management therapy.
So, I wish you a happy May 20th. I think I will celebrate early.