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May 20 2012

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, 2012 Edition

Today is the 20th of May,the anniversary date of the first Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Today I submit my own image of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.

Mohammed

Mohammed

Mohammed

Much criticism has been leveled at the basic idea of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. It has been called inconsiderate, petulant, childish, rude, crass, and offensive. I suppose it could be any or all of those things. It can be because all of those descriptors are subjective. They all depend on ones point of view.

That’s offensive to Muslims!

Why would anyone find my drawing offensive? Is it a graphic depiction of sex or violence? Is it an image that would traumatize children? I hear the cry of someone yelling, “Muslims find it offensive!” Not true!

Some followers of the Muslim faith, particularly Sunni Muslims, find any graphic representation of a Muslim prophet offensive. They think that such images lead to idolatry. However; images of Mohammed are somewhat common in Shia Islam. This means that images of Mohammed and his sons are not forbidden in places like Iran.

Why would you do this?

I do this to make a point. The idea that an image — any graphic representation — of the man known as Mohammed [Muhammad, Mohammad, Muhammed, محمد, Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allāh Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, محمد بن عبدالله بن عبد المطلب‎] should be forbidden is based solely in the teachings of one particular group of one particular religion.

This is how blasphemy works. This is how sin works. Outside of the group which thinks of these things as a vile desecration of their beliefs, they mean absolutely nothing. There are those who would think I should be put to death for having the temerity to draw the picture above. In a similar manner, there are those who think it’s horrible that I should utter the word ‘shit’ in public. What terms do they use to describe words they find offensive? They call them swear words, or curse words. Please note the religious nature of those terms.

I’m an atheist. Proscriptions against certain words, actions or behaviors, when based solely on religious ideas, mean absolutely nothing to me. I no more consider my drawing to be offensive than I find it offensive that someone would work on Saturday or Sunday. What I do find offensive is someone telling me what I should or shouldn’t do based on their religious ideas. Offense is in the mind of the offended, and if I have offended you, so be it.

4 comments

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  1. Mo R

    Hi
    Im sunni/muslim and theres nothing offensive/wrong with drawing pictures of Mohammad.
    More than sunni islamic points of view…the religion has been taken over by wahabi’s funded by petro-dollars and so most of the view points u see are related to that (and not islamic at all). So please dont confuse saudi/rightist view points for representing muslim viewpoints

    An example is the verses cited for stoning for adultery. It was actually formulated to protect Mohammad’s favorite wife when she was accused of adultery and its designed in such a way that adultery becomes something forbidden but is never punished. You can go and read more on this. I thought this is the best religious point of view on the subject.
    Most of the detestable characteristics you hear are very Wahabi/Rightist in nature.
    Keep the drawings up

    1. Dan Johnson

      Many thanks, Mo. The “fundamentalist” shift to the right has hurt the reputations of the followers of Islam around the world, as it has that of Christians. I’m always happy to see another example of someone who doesn’t think the hard-liners have the only “truth” when it comes to religion.

    2. Anonymous

      you are crazy and not a muslim it is fohabited to make the drawing pic of Muhammad ( so many peace upon him ) they are dreawing the pic for looking the muslim that what will the muslim do after it and if the muslim say nothing then they will do the same manner with other muslim holly thing and want to crash muslim in last

      1. Dan Johnson

        Not all followers of Islam subscribe to the idea that all images of the prophet Muhammad are forbidden. As I am not Muslim, I do not subscribe to that idea, either.

        I drew an image of the prophet with one intention: To illustrate that rules against blasphemy should never be applied to those outside of a particular religion. For you to worship Muhammad in your own way is your right in my country, and I will fight alongside you to protect that right. I will also fight to protect my right not to be judged by religious law.

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