Yesterday was Draw Mohammad Day. I drew and posted this picture on Twitter:
I could think of a ton of reasons not to draw Mohammad yesterday. The death threats being at the top of the list, the lack of artistic skill being in the middle, and the pettiness being at the bottom. So I needed a reason. Strangely enough, the biggest reason for me to draw Mohammad matches the biggest reason for me not to draw Mohammad.
The death threats.
There are certain words that create inside me a totally irrational, visceral response every time they are spoken in my presence. My friends (when they find out) try not say them around me because they know how unpleasant the experience is for me. I imagine the experience of someone drawing an image (in mockery or seriousness) of Mohammad is similar for Muslims. Probably even more so depending on the depth of conviction for individual believers.
The difference is that, if someone says the words that make my stomach visibly lurch, I don’t threaten them with murder. I don’t say “stop saying that or I will kill you.” I don’t issue fatwa’s. I don’t silence them with fear for their safety.
I just stop being friends with them.
I get that asking my friends not to say those certain words is irrational. I also get that my friends don’t need to say these certain words as a matter of regular conversation, so my request is not a huge burden upon them. The same holds true for the Muslim request that others not draw depictions of their prophet. It is irrational. It does not create an undue burden on their friends.
And if their allies, their friends do not abide by that irrational request they should unfriend them. That simple. And if the whole of Islam merely unfriended those who blasphemed their prophet maybe I wouldn’t care enough to draw Mohammad in protest of their irrational request.
Instead they threaten. They silence through fear.
Islam is not my friend.
I won’t be silenced: