Yesterday was Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, a day for depicting the old Beheader in Chief in his full glory, a day called for by a cartoonist in the wake of Comedy Central's censorship of South Park, Molly Norris, who then got too scared and called the whole thing off. Since then Molly has been desperately apologizing, reposting CAIR press releases and even joining a Facebook group opposed to the event that she herself called. The entire pathetic mess of backtracking calls attention to exactly what Comedy Central's censorship called attention to-- the fact that criticizing Islam leads to censorship and self-censorship.
And just to make that point further, Facebook pulled the original Everybody Draw Mohammed group, while the anti group was allowed to stand. And all it took was a "peaceful protest" threatening Facebook with death in Pakistan... famous home of peaceful death threat protests. Of course this is part of the usual problem with terminology shifts between the Muslim world and the civilized world. When Muslims say peaceful, they don't mean non-violent, they mean Islamic. Which is not exactly the same thing as history and the recent past will attest to.
Plenty of people participated in the event. One Everybody Draw Mohammed Facebook group is still up. My own contributions can be seen here. Baron Bodissey has been conducting a debate on the topic. Klaus Norby has his own contribution. There's plenty more at JihadWatch. And even Over the Hedge did its own cautious version.
Various pundits and bloggers have also weighed in on the whole damn thing. CAIR delivers its usual self-righteous taqyia of tolerance, while rather ignoring what its pals in Hamas TV routinely put on. Most of the defenders come from Reason.com. And plenty of the attacks are coming from "conservative" bloggers.
Rand Paul supporter, Erick Erickson is naturally opposed.
On drawing Mohammed, I'd be offended if ppl had a day to mock my Lord, so why reciprocate? 'Course I w/n go killing ppl who mocked Jesus.
Of course there's a difference between being offended and being homicidal, which is the whole point of the exercise. You don't need to defend free speech against people who are offended, you do need to defend it against people who will kill you for it.
But count on a Rand Paul supporter not to get it.
Ann Althouse also takes the "But we're offending most Muslims who really are moderates" position in the debate.
But depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats. In pushing back some people, you also hurt a lot of people who aren't doing anything (other than protecting their own interests by declining to pressure the extremists who are hurting the reputation of their religion).
So essentially we're offending people who remain quiet when we're being threatened. Which is bad, why? If we use this logic, then we had no right to bomb Berlin, because most Germans were just moderates who were keeping their heads low under Hitler's reign.
JE Dyer at Hotair argued that provocation isn't the highest form of free speech. Which is or isn't true, depending on the content of the speech itself. However the value of free speech is often about more than the content of its ideas, but about its context.
For example walking around with a sign reading "Down with Communism" is not transmitting a particularly powerful set of ideas. However doing so in Hungary in 1956 makes it a transcendent act of courage. Similarly someone standing in front of a tank may just be an idiot, or might be defying a government crackdown. Both are statements that are not meaningful in and of themselves, but context is what lends them power.
If the American Revolution had been about the right to depict George III as a pederast surrounded by his catamites – well, it couldn’t have been, is the point. No one would have fought for that.
Just as if we had been fighting for the right to dump British tea into the harbor or to loot British shipping or to throw rocks at British soldiers. Or for people not to have to pay to put stamps on newspapers. Individually all of those things seem stupid or petty, but they were elements of confrontation in a larger cause. That cause being sovereignty and self-government.
No one would fight for the right to depict King George as a pederast or to dump tea in Boston Harbor. But defiance requires confrontation. A definitive statement that says we will not submit.
What was the difference between the Boston Massacre and the Kent State Massacre? Not the details of what happened, not even the behavior of the principals, but the larger context of the time. The Revolution was not fought over an unpaid bill by a British officer. It was a clash that came out of a thousand smaller clashes, each of which emerged out of the occupation of one nation by another.
Similarly Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is not because showing Mohammed with a pig snout is a deep expression of our beliefs, but because defying the occupation of the Free World by Islamism and Political Correctness sometimes requires direct acts of defiance. Even if they do not seem terribly high minded. It is the context that matters, not the actions.
A generation ago, a cartoon of Mohammed in the United States would have had no significant meaning. Today it means a defense of our basic freedoms. Many of us are religious people ourselves. I am. This is not about the idea that religion should be mocked, but that if one religion out there cannot be mocked, then that religion has become a form of tyranny. Tyranny.
Dressing up like Indians and dumping tea in the harbor, or depicting Mohammed with a pig's snout matter because they are direct confrontations. And it is direct confrontations that energize people in a struggle. And yes, many people who would not fight for Yale professors to issue complex surveys regarding Islam, will fight for the right to depict Mohammed with a pig's snout. Just as they will fight for the right to take liquor home from the airport in a Muslim cab, when they would not fight for the rights of Somali little girls not to have their genitals mutilated.
Muslims certainly understand this. It is why you don't see them holding murderous protests after a Doctors Without Borders report into genocide in the Sudan, but why they will come out for a Swedish cartoonist who mocks Islam. We can analyze reality to death, but if we do not confront it, then we will be defeated.
Zombie at ZomBlog has his own detailed response
Luckily, outside of a few Middle Eastern countries, the Islamists do not have the power to enforce their hellish vision of society. But that doesn’t stop them from trying. Where they can’t impose their religious rules by force, they try to impose them by fear and intimidation. Since we have our freedoms permanently etched into our Constitution, the Islamists are going to have little luck getting blasphemy laws passed in the U.S. Yet they can achieve the same result if they can use terror to bring about our own self-censorship. Which is exactly what they have set about doing, the most recent round starting with the murder of Theo Van Gogh in 2004 and reaching the boiling point with the Danish Cartoon Controversy in 2006. The pot hasn’t stopped boiling since. The Islamists’ strategy is to kill, or threaten to kill, anyone who gets media attention for “disrespecting” Islam or Mohammed — thereby convincing the rest of us infidels to remain silent if we know what’s good for us.
n the jihadists’ view, any depiction of Mohammed — even a positive or honorific depiction — is deemed blasphemous. It’s our religion, they say, so we get to say what’s offensive. Yet if we grant them this inch, they’ll take another inch (it’s also disrespectful to write Mohammed’s name without a worshipful “PBUH” after it), and another inch (it’s disrespectful to criticize Islam in any way), and before long it’s the whole mile, and we once again will be living in an intellectual Middle Ages in which religious tyrants dictate our every thought and action.
So you can see the urge of every sane-minded Westerner to say a hearty Fuck you! to anyone who tries to erode away the bedrock of our free society. The more insistent (and violent) these attempts at erosion, the less civil the resistance will become. Which is exactly as it should be. If the Islamists want us to to stop mocking (or even questioning) Mohammed, they can achieve this goal quite simply: Just go away and leave us alone. Don’t bother us, and we won’t bother you. Seriously, 99% of non-Muslims don’t give a good goddamn about Mohammed one way or the other, and we’d gladly ignore him and his followers until the end of time – if they’d just stop trying to boss us around.
This is only an excerpt but the entire thing is well worth reading. And there are horrific illustrations in the news of the same principle on a regular basis.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that doctors perform certain minor forms of FGM in the hopes that it will satisfy Muslims. (Of course they don't use the M word. Either Muslim or Mutilation.)
International human rights organization Equality Now is stunned by a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which essentially promotes female genital mutilation (FGM) and advocates for "federal and state laws [to] enable pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a 'ritual nick'," such as pricking or minor incisions of girls' clitorises. The Policy Statement "Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors", issued by the AAP on April 26, 2010, is a significant set-back to the Academy's own prior statements on the issue of FGM and is antithetical to decades of noteworthy advancement across Africa and around the world in combating this human rights violation against women and girls. It is ironic that the AAP issued its statement the very same day that Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) announced the introduction of new bipartisan legislation, The Girls Protection Act (H.R. 5137), to close the loophole in the federal law prohibiting FGM by making it illegal to transport a minor girl living in the U.S. out of the country for the purpose of FGM.
Now who's really compromising here? Is it the Muslims or is the Westerners who are now ready to accept some form of FGM and rationalize it away. For an answer, see Lori Ziganto's piece at Newsreal, The Left: Misogyny Apologists Under the Guise of Tolerance
The AAP, like the UN, started referring to female genital mutilation as merely “cutting” because mutilation sounds icky and may be offensive and insensitive to other cultures. Boo hoo. I’m sorry you are offended that sane people define the acts of clitoridectomy and excision as what they are: mutilation. Now, the AAP has gone one further and said a “little nick” is a nice compromise. No big whoop! Sacrifice girls and allow a misogynistic practice to occur, all in the name of appeasement. I don’t think the girls who are barbarically maimed feel very appeased, do you?
Not so, says Marcotte! Marcotte used the standard and oh-so-lame talking point of “but what about US? We are meany pants and awful too!” Leftists/Progressives always say “but what about US?” in an attempt to act as apologists, due to their religious fervor and zealotry for the nebulously defined “multi-culturalism.” They invent an example of a perceived American wrong, one that is usually both idiotic and utterly irrelevant to the topic at hand.
This is what compromise gets us. Now which way to the ritual canings and beheadings. Oh I'm sorry, whackings and head nickings.
On that note, Real Americans Defend Israel has Krauthammer's piece on The Fruits of Weakness
The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world.
That picture -- a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam -- is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.
They've watched President Obama's humiliating attempts to appease Iran, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.
They've watched America acquiesce to Russia's re-exerting sway over Eastern Europe, over Ukraine (pressured by Russia last month into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol) and over Georgia (Russia's de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer an issue under the Obama "reset" policy).
They've watched our appeasement of Syria, Iran's agent in the Arab Levant -- sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it tightens its grip on Lebanon, supplies Hezbollah with Scuds and intensifies its role as the pivot of the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. The price for this ostentatious flouting of the United States and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. "engagement."
They've observed the administration's gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falklands, its contemptuous treatment of Israel, its undercutting of the Czech Republic and Poland, and its indifference to Lebanon and Georgia. And in Latin America, they see not just U.S. passivity as Venezuela's Hugo Chávez organizes his anti-American "Bolivarian" coalition while deepening military and commercial ties with Iran and Russia. They saw active U.S. support in Honduras for a pro-Chávez would-be dictator seeking unconstitutional powers in defiance of the democratic institutions of that country.
This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat -- accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.
These are the fruits of weakness. Everybody Draw Mohammed day is not surrender, it is confrontation. It may not always be high class, but it's the opposite of backing away and giving up.
Finally Outpost has a book review of Andrew McCarthy's The Grand Jihad, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America
Keiko has an interesting video that shows the real face of Alex Jones... as if anyone needed to see it, but I regularly see emails that quote him or Lew Rockwell, or that actually think Rand Paul's victory was a good thing. It's not. If you could say one good thing about Ron Paul, it's that he spent less time weaseling about what he really believes. His son on the other hand does nothing but weasel and the entire Maddow mess is the product of a weaseler who tries to have it both ways.
This is after all the same Rand Paul who on the Alex Jones show said;
..."the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary."
Now he's going to have to try and broaden the message again, and try to keep track of all his own weaseling.
Rand Paul's mistake was assuming that the left would give him a pass, the same way it gave dear old dad a pass. The difference is that the left only gave Ron Paul a pass because he was against the War on Terror, and mainly because he was undermining McCain. Now that Rand Paul has actually won the primary, the honeymoon is over and he'll be a punching bag for his old buddies. Which is why Rand Paul was stupid enough to go on with Maddow expecting the same kind of soft shoe treatment that most of the media gave his father, but instead got exactly what he should have expected. A chance to embarrass himself on national television by backpedaling all over the place.
Genuine GOP Mom has more coverage on the pass that Rand Paul got during the primary, which just got revoked
It's not as if the national media ignored the Kentucky contest. To the contrary, Washington political reporters headed out to cover the horse race — who's up, who's down — and wrote extensively on how the election plays into a larger narrative of tea party candidates like Paul fighting against the GOP establishment.
Somehow lost in all that coverage was any focus on Paul's views on the Civil Rights Act. Indeed, a Lexis-Nexis search for "Rand Paul" and "Civil Rights Act" yields no results for the weeks after the Courier-Journal editorial ran.
So if Paul's view is controversial enough to dominate cable news and the political blogosphere all day Thursday, how come it wasn't an issue in the month leading up to Kentucky's primary?
"For years, I've felt that the relationship between Ron Paul supporters and establishment conservatism is one of the most interesting, relatively unexplored dynamics in modern U.S. politics," Maddow continued. "I intend to keep covering it, and I hope that Rand Paul and Congressman Ron Paul and members of the movement they've inspired will continue to be willing to participate in the conversation."
This is an exact counterpart to how the media gave Ron Paul a pass, ignoring his racist newsletters, until they couldn't ignore them anymore. And then they quickly gave him a pass on them too. But that pass would have been revoked the instant Ron Paul became the official Republican candidate.
Boker Tov Boulder has a list of house cleanings that need doing, she's arranged some of my 54 Hamas Congressman list on chronological order with updated information. Be sure to check it out.
Andrea Diamant meanwhile has a great letter challenging John Tierney's letter helpful to Hamas in the MA Jewish Journal
My mother, Marilyn Diamant, was an ardent supporter of Israel and an even more ardent Democrat. My father, Bezalel (Bruce) Diamant was a Sabra, born in Jerusalem who fought in the Irgun with Menachim Begin.
In a letter he wrote to my siblings and me prior to his death, he urged us to do anything to help Israel, as it remains the only refuge for oppressed Jews. When I learned that then-candidate Barack Obama had associations to radical people such as Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, my eyes were opened for the very first time in my Jewish life. The words of my parents and grandparents, “Never Forget,” came back to haunt me. So I did the unthinkable and voted non-Democrat. The Democratic Party today is not the same Democratic Party that existed previously. After much soul searching and deliberation, I left the Democratic Party completely and registered as an independent. The problem is that as Jews, we often ignore the signs until it is too late.
Via Bear to the Right, the Keep Israel Safe video challenging Obama
This concludes it for the week. It's been a shorter week due to the holiday of Shavuot, but hopefully the articles have still been worth it.