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GeorgeGee's avatar

Do you think there's something good to be said about trying to irritate extremists with events such as the "Draw Mohammed day"?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4920points) September 7th, 2010

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody_Draw_Mohammed_Day
Is it perhaps the only way to fight back when extremists make death threats against cartoonists?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2468964.ece

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54 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Why the fuck would anyone want to irritate people willing to blow themselves and you up?
Also, just because you have hurt, anger or displeasure because of their existence there is no need to ridicule someones religion. Even if it is heavily flawed, it will only serve to reinforce the bond between their own members and make them defensive, or worse – offensive.

The only appropriate way to ‘fight back’ is to decline the invitation for pettiness.

And another point, this isn’t just offensive to extremists.

Seek's avatar

Meh. It’s good for some cheap laughs. The whole thing with the Dutch cartoon was blown way out of proportion, and if you ask me, the protesters were begging for retaliation. If you’ve decided to be that easy to offend, you’re going to be offended. Silly offenses tend to take over the Internet pretty rapidly these days.

@asmonet“Why the fuck would anyone want to irritate people willing to blow themselves and you up? Also, just because you have hurt, anger or displeasure because of their existence there is no need to ridicule someones religion”

There is so much wrong with this statement that I can’t even start. But, I’ll post this image. (thanks, @jeanpaulsartre for drawing it to my attention)

One could say that relating all Muslims to the ones crazy enough to blow themselves up would be ridiculing.

marinelife's avatar

No. There is a minister in Florida who is planning a “burn the quran” day. Military leaders have already said this is likely to backfire and endanger troops overseas.

Seek's avatar

@marinelife Frickin’ Gainesville. This is the same church whose members sent their kids to school with “Death to Islam” or something like that and “Abortion is murder” shirts.

Hey, Iran! When you decide to nuke the Gainesville church, lemme know so I get GTFO in time.

asmonet's avatar

I actually edited my post before you finished composing @Seek_Kolinahr. I realized it may be better to mention directly that I’m aware of the difference. Whatever it is they believe in, it still is their religion. Ridiculing the God of extremists is offensive, it’s a perverted version from true Islam but it will still offend both groups unnecessarily.

I didn’t think it was necessary to distinguish at first since the question itself clearly is asking about Muslim extremists. Clearly, I was right to clarify my position.

Qingu's avatar

The point of Draw Muhammad Day is to take a stand against censorship through violent threats. The fact that extremists are willing to blow themselves up because of drawing Muhammad is itself a threat to free speech—specifically the freedom to mock and criticize Muhammad.

The pragmatic value of Draw Muhammad Day—the ideals it upholds vs. the actual suffering it may actually cause—is open for debate.

Katexyz's avatar

Extreme response to the actions of extremists will only cause more extremism.

You should not seek to irritate someone into realizing that their position is wrong or illogical. This will only serve to solidify their hatred. Instead you should seek to be like Gandhi, and respond to their violence and hatred with love and compassion. This is the best approach in three ways. First it may confuse them in that their actions no longer illicit strong response, they will believe they have failed, and stop acting. Next it may cause them to reevaluate their position and find it to be in error. They act from their hatred of the West, if we act with love and compassion and give them no reason to hate us, they will no longer have reason or motivation to attack us. Finally it may cause them to actually grow to like us. If we help them in their daily lives, and no longer wage wars in their homes, they may find a liking for us that they did not know.

This clearly will not work with all individuals, the most extreme will always hold their positions, but the common folk, the foot soldier and the scientist, will no longer be a swayed by the messages of those who seek to cause harm. Without support the movement will fail.

Hatred only breeds more hatred.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

I don’t think anything can be gained at all.

As far as I know, all Muslims are against portraying Mohammed? Please enlighten me if I’m wrong.
If that statement is true, it makes me kinda angry at the people organizing it.

mammal's avatar

Americans have a poor history of respecting other people’s Taboos which is pretty convenient when it comes to some capitalist venture or other that can’t go ahead because some crazy medicine man declares this or that site sacred. The Chinese communists are similarly crass, why let superstition and hocus pocus get in the way of a juicy profit right? or indeed let a 6th century Arabian prophet get in the way of a colossally obese American profit.

Freedom of speech, ‘bout the only thing in America that is free. i notice also, that FOX invest a lot of time, energy and money expressing something that is supposedly free. You can rest assured if somebody started saying something that threatened America inc. they would likely find their vocal capacity, severely challenged.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

@mammal…What the ****?

mammal's avatar

@Whitsoxdude American’s have a poor history of respecting other culture’s taboos do they not?

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t see the point in purposefully disrespecting any group. It’s immature, childish, and doesn’t do anything good. The extremists that react the most won’t come out and fight a fair fight. They will continue to hide behind their suicide bombers. While we are enraging the extremists, we are also hurting the innocent Muslims that have nothing to do with the extremists.

mammal's avatar

i guess if freedom of speech is such a precious privilege why abuse it so petulantly.

Seek's avatar

People make fun of Jesus, Buddha, Zeus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, Barack Obama, Tom Cruise, and John Lennon.

Why is Muhammad so damned special that it deserves special “respect”?

Is it immature and childish? Yes. Do we have the right to be immature and childish? Absolutely.

asmonet's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: There’s no reason to feed the flame.

josie's avatar

I can argue that it is sort of pointless, pissy, and immature to irritate people that you do not like. But lots of people on earth take satisfaction in burning the American flag, effigies of Uncle Sam and pictures of the current American president. To me, being afraid of pissing off a crazy dude is like paying ransom. When do you stop being afraid? At what point do you stand up for yourself? Drawing a cartoon of the Prophet, or burning the Koran is different than, say, burning somebody alive, putting them in a bag and throwing rocks at their head, or cutting their throat with a bread knife. So why are Americans held to a different standard? Why are we expected to have a sense of humor about the insults directed at us by the rest of the world?

I would not do it, but I would not be afraid to do it.

Seek's avatar

Other than the fact that one may want to, @asmonet?

That is as good a reason as any. In no way does a cartoon warrant a death threat. That takes a huge leap of reasoning to come to such a conclusion. I refuse to expect rational people to suppress their voices to appease a vocal minority.

It would be like voting against gay marriage rights because there’s a church group that threatens to kill anyone who doesn’t hate gay people.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Well said, @Seek_Kolinahr. While I think it is appalling to do things to irritate another group, I will not have my freedoms limited by another group’s (narrow) definition of acceptable behavior. If they say all American females AND males must wear burqas, or be killed, will YOU comply?

asmonet's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: Just because you have the freedom to do something does not mean you should exercise it. There’s something to be said for the high road and those who are able to take it. While the reaction to cartoon seems extreme to us, from their and the larger muslim point of view it is an enormous insult. You don’t have to suppress your voice, but you do have the responsibility as a rational human being to be respectful to the people and things that are different from you. I don’t agree with their philosophies and I don’t condone their actions. But I certainly won’t be going out of my way to insult them, simply because I’m capable.

Drawing a cartoon solves no crisis, it aids no cause. It just makes a few people feel like they’ve had the last word.

You wouldn’t normally give the finger to someone holding a gun in your face, and saying fuck you to all the innocent bystanders while you’re at it who could want to help you. I don’t see why you’d go out of your way to give a dangerous group reason to hate you.

It’s not childish, it’s fucking stupid.

Katexyz's avatar

@josie
It’s not about an eye for an eye. Just because they do something hateful, stupid, or violent, doesn’t mean the we should respond in kind. It is not a ransom not to spawn more hatred and violence. That is not giving them something and it is not appeasing their interests. It is doing the right, and also intelligent thing.

@Seek_Kolinahr
Your analogy isn’t quite accurate. It’s like not threatening to kill members of a church group that threatens to kill anyone who doesn’t hate gays. By not drawing Mohammad we do not say that Islam is the correct religion, we do not fund, supply, or support the terrorists, we do not give them what they want. Instead we simply refuse to engage in a cycle of hatred and violence. One cannot simply do whatever they wish. I suppose that’s wrong. They can but they must live with the consequences. If I drive 120MPH I have to deal with the ticket and maybe killing someone or myself. If you draw Mohammad you have to accept the fact that you are responsible for fueling hatred and possibly causing the deaths of innocents. Yes you can say that you didn’t kill anyone or that it was the decision of those individuals to kill innocents, but this same logic can find Hitler innocent of killing millions in the Holocaust. “Sure he made it acceptable to hate certain people, sure he enabled violence, but he never actually shot or killed anyone so it isn’t his fault!”

Have you heard the saying one’s rights end where another’s begin? This applies well here. Would you draw pictures that another group finds offensive? No, because it is unacceptable, offensive, and wrong. You should apply the same logic here.

asmonet's avatar

And no it is not like the gay marriage example you gave, and I also take issue with your listing of people and deities that are made fun of, which is also mildly offensive but that’s a separate discussion.

Seek's avatar

@asmonet I would love to know what you find offensive about that list. Is it not true that those people and mythological figures are often used as the subject of humour?

Seek's avatar

@Katexyz Again, as @josie said:

Would I do it? No. Would I be afraid to do so? No.

No one should refrain from speaking out of fear. One may choose to refrain out of respect, but refraining out of fear is tyranny.

asmonet's avatar

As I said, that’s a separate discussion. However, just a quick look? IPU/FSM are meant to be offensive and are jokes aimed at others beliefs. Comparing a celebrity to God is similarly offensive to people who have faith. It just is. And I won’t go into it further here, it’s off-topic.

asmonet's avatar

Choosing not to act for fear of others well being isn’t tyranny. It’s compassion.

Katexyz's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr
I never said you should refrain from drawing Mohammed out of fear, but instead because it is the right thing to do. It is wrong to fuel hatred, even more so when it is intentional.

Seek's avatar

Others’ well being?

Who is being harmed by the drawing of “muhammad” by an infidel?

One cannot blaspheme that which they do not believe.

For that matter, who is to say the drawings of muhammad are accurate? Just doing a quick Google search, most results are stick figures, witty sketches of Muhammad Ali complete with boxing gloves, and the odd Pedo-Bear in a turban.

I’m certain the “real Muhammad” looks nothing like that.

josie's avatar

@Katexyz If it is paying ransom or being chickenshit, then get it over with. If it is something else, so be it.

asmonet's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: I think you’ve missed the point of numerous posts above, you are contributing negatively to the situation by participating in these events. You are harming others by continuing the tradition of hate and misunderstanding.

It’s saddening.

Seek's avatar

@asmonet Don’t worry – I hate all religion equally.

Nothing has harmed society more than religion.

Katexyz's avatar

@josie
I think I’m a bit lost. Not drawing Mohammed is not an act of fear or appeasement, it is an act of compassion and understanding. I understand how it may appear to be so, and indeed for some individuals that may be true, but I honestly believe that not being offensive from a place of fear is still better than being offensive and causing hatred for any reason.

asmonet's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: I don’t hate religion, I have a dislike for those who run it. Like communism, it’s fine on paper but people complicate the execution.

josie's avatar

@Katexyz If we are refraining from drawing cartoons because somebody becomes overwhelmed by hatred because of a cartoon, then that somebody needs to be introduced to the modern world where cartoons are a legitimate method of making sure that nobody imagines that they are super “special”.

Seek's avatar

@Katexyz Not drawing muhammad isn’t an “act” at all.

The entire question is surrounding a tame series of cartoons in a tiny Dutch newspaper. The Islamic community spread this cartoon to the far edges of the world, and that cartoonist – and every paper that has reprinted the cartoon – has received an angered response, including death threats.

“Draw Muhammad Day” is a campaign that went around in response to the overblown response to that stupid cartoon.

Now, if you’re claiming that the Dutch cartoonist deserved those death threats for a minor infraction of etiquette, and that the entire community of infidel cartoonists that have felt the reaction of the Islamic community due to this tiny infraction of etiquette didn’t have the right to retaliate, I’ll say you’re crazy.

What colour is the sky on the planet in which “I’ll draw your god!” is a greater threat to world peace than “I’ll kill you!”

asmonet's avatar

Again, choosing not to act is an action in itself. But that doesn’t matter as much this next bit.

You call me a name.
I call you a worse name.
You now have a choice.

Increase the violence by your own actions (call me a name again), go get your friends to come help (calling me names in a big group, loud and clear for a longer time) or just move on with life because I’m not worth the energy, the time, or the anger.

Only one of these choices ends the conflict instead of escalating it.

Katexyz's avatar

@josie
I am not saying those who are offended by the cartoons are right. Obviously I believe that their actions are wrong and unjustified, harming others is always wrong. But we cannot change how they think, it is because of their religion, something many have and hold dear here in America, and sometimes those with powerful belief, particularly when they feel their beliefs are being attacked, do things which seem irrational and illogical and are motivated from a place of faith moreso than reason. Thus reason and knowledge will not help prevent them from acting.

The motivations and the fact that extremists will harm others is not the question though. We cannot control them, only ourselves.

@Seek_Kolinahr
I suppose an argument could be made, if you want to get very technical, that refraining from doing something could be defined as “not an act.” That does not make my point any less valid and is very much a straw man.

I know the origin of the argument. I have never defended the actions of the extremists. You cannot find anything I’ve said even close to that. As I said above, yes they are wrong for doing it. No we can’t stop them from doing it. No we should also not provoke them to do it. Just because their reaction is wrong, doesn’t mean you should respond by offending them. Also how does it make any sense to draw these cartoons? You know that they don’t like it, why would you do something they don’t like? You also know that doing so motivates them to violence, why would you want to motivate them to violence?

asmonet's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: If that action is as insulting as your example makes it seem, those yelling the words should know better than to incite hatred with their careless actions. Just because the response is exaggerated in your opinion doesn’t mean it you should be able to poke and prod at their buttons until they snap. That’s ridiculous.

“I know you’re sensitive about your dead dog, so I’m gonna make jokes about her all night until you get over it because you cry too much you big baby.”

Don’t be surprised if they kick your ass.

This is like, playground information on how to treat others. I don’t understand your responses.

josie's avatar

@Katexyz Thus reason and knowledge will not help prevent them from acting. If that is the case, then why are we wasting our time with them?

Katexyz's avatar

@josie
I’d say because they are human beings, but if you would rather ignore them, then promote hatred, I suppose that is still better.

josie's avatar

@Katexyz All sorts of critters have a brain. Only human beings possess reason. If they do not use the faculty of reason, then they have relinquished their claim to humanity.

Seek's avatar

I will repeat myself:

Is it stupid and immature? Yes. Do we have the right to be stupid and immature? Yes.

In your above example, the cops would side with me. Yes, I was acting like a jerk, but there is a law against assault and battery. There is not a law against being a douche. Just try the “He was saying really stupid mean things to me!” at your murder trial, and see how the judge and jury like it.

If you’ll notice, my first answer was simply “Meh”. I don’t give a flying fuck about drawing Muhammad. I did see one “drawing” that gave me a chuckle – I think it was on evilbible.com – but other than that, who cares? It’s a drawing of a person that might have existed, that may have written a book that a lot of people believe is true despite a complete lack of evidentiary support. Whatever.

There are laws against threatening peoples’ lives. There are no laws against drawing pictures. I will not support anyone that would take such basic rights away from people out of fear.

josie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I could not have said it better. Nothing I say will improve on your comment.

asmonet's avatar

I think we’re addressing two different points. And I don’t think it will be productive to continue.

Peace. :)

Katexyz's avatar

@josie
That is incredibly offensive. Suggesting that a human being can ever be considered not human for any reason is a horrible way to view the world. This is the exact same logic that is used by bigots to literally kill anyone who they don’t like. I truly hope you do not actually feel this way.

Seek's avatar

Is it just me, or is the word “offensive” being thrown around a lot in this thread?

josie's avatar

For the record, I am not offended by anybody on the thread. I certainly do not agree with some of them, but I have too many things to worry about than be offended. Waste of my emotional energy.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

I have one thing to say, and I will not respond to this thread again.
While anybody has the right to do this (I don’t think that was ever really up for debate), it can be used to radicalize Muslims.

Illuminat3d's avatar

The majority of people who are against the burning of the Qur’an are motivated by fear.

Trillian's avatar

I’m against burning the Qua’ran and fear is certainly not my motivator. I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself, nor do I pretend to know what motivates another person. I think it is counter productive, arrogant and certainly not scriptural or anything close to what Jesus was teaching.
This Draw Mohammed is another pointless, childish thumbing of our noses at the an entire group of people, the majority of whom are peaceful citizens of the planet. That’s kind of like hating all white people because of the KKK.

Qingu's avatar

@Trillian, Muhammad was a pretty terrible person though. I think there’s a danger of going too far in the other direction, where we are so respectful of Muslims that we self-censor any legitimate criticism we have of this tribal cult leader.

Trillian's avatar

@Qingu I really don’t know enogh about the prophet Mohammed (or however you spell it) to have an argument bout it, much less a conversation. I do know that a extremely large percentage of the wold’s population are adherents to this religion, and I think that for them the bottom line is the same as is for Christians. They go by the basic tenets as they understand them, which, I believe, is surrender to the will of Allah. I posted to another thread to a young woman who whants to “make her bf see things her way” as if it were a given that her way is superior to his and he is he one with the problm. My advice was somethng I learned from Stephen Covey in his Highly Effective People seminar, which is; Seek first to understand.
If I have not made clear yet, I am a moderate. I don’t believe that any one group has everything right. The best thing I’ve seen around here inforever is the link that @Laureth posted. And pretty much the liberals in the group jumped in and said how it wouldn’t work because those horrible consrvatives are such bad people and wouldn’t budge from “their” unreasonable positions.
I believe I know what you are saying but telling a group of people that their way of worshp is crap based on bullshit lies is not the way to make converts. Attitudes are based on belief and morals. The best way to change a belief is through educaion When a new piece of information is processed, a peson can internally make adjustments that are much more likely to stay than coerced submission.
Mockery, superior “I’m smarter than you because I don’t believe your pre-historic drivel”, and flip statements about a person’s religion is not well done on several levels. It shows a meanness of spirit and a contempt for the understandig of the other. It serves as a wedge between people rathe than a bridge, and psycholgically sets up resistance to anything you might say.
Legitimate criticism does not encompass “Draw Mohammed” so we can thumb our noses like children and deliberately “irritate extremists” because it does not only mock the extremists but all muslims. What purpose will it serve? “I guess we showed you.” Really?
I have a higher opinion of you than that.

Qingu's avatar

@Trillian, the debate about the best strategy for convincing people to give up their irrational beliefs is separate from whether or not those beliefs are irrational or deserve criticism.

There’s also a flipside to the moderate approach you’re advocating; it can come off as condescending and coddling. It is important to understand other people’s worldviews; however I also think it’s important to treat such people as equals, as fellow citizens to engage with honestly and earnestly, rather than as some anthropological mystery to tread warily around lest we offend their strange gods and customs.

Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily advocating “Draw Muhammad Day.” I’m on the fence about its merits.

Qingu's avatar

Regarding Muhammad: the man claimed to receive a magical revelation from a nonexistent angel in a cave that conveniently gives him supreme power over anyone who believes it. He was a fraud, just like Joseph Smith, just like L. Ron Hubbard, or any other cult leader.

His “revelation” contained a bunch of relatively practical and (for the time) decent laws, but it was also extremely cultish, based largely on elaborate threats of hellfire and shunning of unbelievers. It also enshrined those for-the-time decent laws for all eternity, which is extremely unfortunate because for the time, women were considered property and tribal morality was the norm. His “revelation” also contained numerous factual errors and is based on a mixture of the Bible’s Mesopotamian mythology and Arabian mythology.

Now, certainly we should take into account that a billion Muslims disagree with what I just said. But just because an ideology is popular doesn’t automatically mean it’s worthy of a special level of respect. It certainly doesn’t mean the ideology is true, or that it shouldn’t be criticized so as to avoid offending its adherents.

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