Friday, May 14, 2010

Draw Central Executives Day

May 20th has been declared "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" (1). By now, many should be aware of the controversy surrounding South Park's 200th and 201st episodes.

Shortly after the airing of episode 200, a group known as Revolution Muslim posted the following message on their site:
"We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show...this is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them." (2).
Thereafter, the media got wind of this post and ran with it. All major news networks and outlets had something to say about this "controversy". A week later, the 201st episode aired. It was, against the wishes of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, heavily edited by the douche bags at Comedy Central/Viacom.

As a result of the ignorant and spineless actions by the douche bags at Comedy Central/Viacom, a self-proclaimed idiot (3) and artist, Molly Norris, declared May 20th to be "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day." She had created a poster showing many objects, such as a tea cup, claiming to be the likeness of Muhammad. She sent this poster to different media outlets, who took it seriously, and then it went viral.

Ms. Norris has since distanced her self from "Draw Muhammad Day" and suggested that we should draw Al Gore instead (4).

After reading and listening to the media, I decided to do some research. To me, all this "controversy" seemed a bit contrived. After all, this was nothing like the Danish cartoon hysteria. If you were paying attention at all, it appears that this "controversy" had fallen on deaf ears in the Muslim world (5).

The true extent of Muslim hysteria was this: one post, by one Islamic group, Revolution Muslim.

I read about the group on Wikipedia (6). It turned out to be an interesting read:
"The group of 5-10 by Yousef al-Khattab, born Joseph Cohen, an American Jew who converted to Islam in 2000 after living in Israel and attending an orthodox rabbinical school."
More about Joseph Cohen from :
"He was born and raised in the United States as a Jew, and holds both American and Israeli citizenship.   In the late eighties, Cohen embraced an ultra-orthodox interpretation of Judaism, and began attending a yeshiva (rabbinical school).  In 1998, Cohen hearkened to the Zionist call, and packed up his bags to relocate to the Israeli Occupied Territories where he became an Israeli settler.  As an ardent and extreme Zionist, Joseph Cohen fell in with the Jewish fundamentalist group Shas, an extreme right-wing political party that believes in flouting international law based on their religious beliefs.  Less than three years later, Cohen 'converted' to Islam, moved back to the United States, and founded the most radical Islamic group in the country." (7, 8)
A radical in one religion will be a radical in another religion.

Maybe, just maybe, it was not the Muslims who were over reacting, but rather, the American Media. Now many people across this country are angry, and on May 20th, people will take pencil to paper and draw the Prophet Muhammad.

Perhaps this anger is misplaced. After all, it was Comedy Central/Viacom that censored the cartoon. It was also Comedy Central/Viacom that censored people who criticized their spineless behavior (9). Perhaps the true enemies of free speech are the people responsible for actual censorship: the executives/lawyers at Comedy Central/Viacom.


Anonymous said...

Hoorah! I agree. Dang it, write to Viacom.

Karina said...

Given that Pakistan has blocked Facebook and other sites over Draw Muhammed Day, I don't think it has fallen on deaf ears in the Muslim world.

But a religion that is threatened by cartoons becomes its own parody.

Moral relativism and cowardice have left a vacuum for extremism. Buh-bye, rational Enlightenment values.

Mel Angel said...

This is a year late, but I was intrigued by this post, because in 2010 I actually drew Muhammad and posted it to Facebook for "Draw Muhammad Day". However, mine was a very tasteful rendering of Muhammad based on a portrait from an ancient Iranian tapestry, incorporated into the Arabic letters for his name.
It went unnoticed, as far as I know.