In the comments of the last post about Idiot Compassion someone left a spam comment that is linked to selling a t-shirt. The t-shirt is to promote people to draw pictures of Mohammed on May 20th as some sort of outburst against the South-Park kerfuffle. Here is their spam-comment:
April 30, 2010 at 02:27
In response to the South Park censorship, May 20 has been designated Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Google it. Pass it along!
Someone sent me an email taking note of the spam-comment and wrote this above it:
I think this one is out of place……
But it occurs to me that such a cause, if you want to call it that, and such a reaction to it;the spam-comment, particularly since the main purpose is to sell t-shirts and not really to support anti-censorship efforts, is a good example of idiocy and is especially ironic in this situation.
The fundamentalist Muslim guy (and he’s a guy – maybe two guys – not a huge terrorist organization as people have tried to make out) who wrote the incendiary Internet post about South Park in the first place has written further on that subject. The spam-comment goes some distance to lend a hint of credibility to what has been said:
from Revolution Muslim-run by the blogger that originally wrote in a threatening manner about the South Park creators.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Clarifying the South Park Response and Calling on Others to Join in the Defense of the Prophet Muhammad – RevolutionMuslim.com
The cancer we are referring to is that of American imperialism and its coincident culture of pagan hedonistic barbarism, a culture which drives to dehumanize the intrinsic morality of the rest of the world. As it stands today the vast majority of the world has witnessed the cloud of American debauchery, and those whom it has not hovered over have at the very least been affected by its dust.
It is no secret that America’s military uses American goods to spread its culture and propaganda in order to create docile societies.
In order to survive, empires must conscript support, and they usually impose loyal indigenous elite over the lands they conquer. Oftentimes these loyal elite find ways of influencing the home front as well. Empire is primarily concerned with preserving political, economic, and military dominance and therefore tends to portray itself as tolerant and pluralistic of the cultures and customs of they come to conquer.
However, a closer objective analysis always reveals that this tolerance is a guise of strategy and is only apparent where the conquered are willing to retain personal customs and control in exchange for the sacrifice of indigenous sovereignty over wealth, natural resource, and political decision. Thus while empires rape and extract the material wealth of the people they dominate, they grant the seeming retention of indigenous language, custom, religion and the like.
In reality, this focus on power and control leads to the actual loss of spiritual, psychological, and emotional health and, as an oligarchy is imposed, the educated class is granted modest concessions and then political and economic rights of the general people are violated for the long term. This requires that what a conquered people consider sacred must be portrayed as backwards. While this process tends to occur subconsciously it leads to a sense of power and privilege on the home shores of the imperialist, and that serves as a justification for the atrocities committed and thereby minimized on the frontier. The term “sand-nigger” or “camel jockey” did not start with American soldiers on the ground in Iraq, but was a phrase coined during Britain’s imperialist adventure in the Middle East. The ‘other’s’ culture and custom must always be degraded in order to retain a justification for physical domination. Media always plays a role in perpetuating these ideas.
The contemporary American Empire is dependent on a hedonistic, consumerist mindset that effectively numbs the general world populace and keeps them ignorant and oblivious to the imperialist reality.
Now here is what some other Muslims had to say about the situation in their blogs and columns. Interesting to read the comments involved there too.
from Irshad Manji.com – a blog which has the subtitle “For Muslim Reform and Moral Courage” -Irshad Manji is Canadian woman Muslim writer
See, as a faithful Muslim who’s trying to educate her fellow Muslims that Islam can be reconciled with free expression, I’m offended by the broadcaster of South Park, a channel called Comedy Central, which has censored any mention of Muhammad. I’m offended that the executives are caving to Islamist criminals. I’m offended that they’re infantilizing Muslims by expecting so little from us. Above all, I’m offended that they’re making my mission of Muslim reform that much harder.
from The Chicago Islam Examiner – Qasim Rashid has has quite a number of articles on this topic.
So, in mocking the Prophet Muhammad, has South Park gone too far? The answer is, it’s irrelevant. Regardless of how someone might desire to insult Islam or the Prophet Muhammad, it is never an excuse to respond in violence. Such a notion has no place in Islam.
Muslims have not been humiliated, the Prophet Muhammad has certainly not been irreparably reviled, and everything sacred in Islam is still sacred, rest assured. Did South Park wish to offend Muslims? Probably, but so what? Why only be offended when Prophet Muhammad is mocked? Since Muslims believe in all prophets of God, why not demonstrate displeasure when Prophet Jesus is regularly mocked? Is Prophet Buddha snorting cocaine an acceptable belief to Islam? Of course not.
Islam champions freedom of thought and forbids compulsion in such matters. (HQ 2:256). However, a restriction on compulsion of thought and a promotion of vulgarity in the name of free speech are quite different phenomenon.
Has it become impossible to express freedom of speech without resorting to offensive depictions of some of history’s most beloved individuals? Why is it more funny, or funny at all to have such people derided and mocked? We don’t mock contemporary heroes such as Dr. King, who, looked to personages like Prophet Jesus for their inspiration. Then, why malign the legacy of the people who revolutionized our world?
from altmuslim comment Aziz Poonawalla writes:
I don’t watch South Park, and likely never will. But I much prefer their attempt at depiction of the Prophet, which is rooted in a simple need to assert their creative freedom, rather than any genuine intent to defame or insult Islam – quite unlike the Danish newspaper cartoons, which were created with only malice in mind. To understand this, compare and contrast the images of the Prophet as a super hero or a bear, versus a dark figure with a bomb in his turban. The real insult to the Prophet is in refusing to make a distinction at all.
The American Muslim response to insults to the Prophet is mostly indifference with perhaps some wounded silence. Only one nut on one lone website made any threat – the rest of us have behaved as anyone would to an impolite fool slandering our loved ones: by ignoring them. Instead, we’ve saved our critique for the real idiots in this silly tale – the ones who think Islam and the Prophet actually need defending from mere cartoons.
from Muslim Matters author Amad writes:
As far as the Islamic ruling around the issue of defaming the Prophet (S), many scholars have discussed this in the context of an Islamic state (like on Islam-QA). Islam pays a great deal of attention on individual actors not taking state matters in their own hands in an Islamic state. We can argue and discuss the rulings around blasphemy in an Islamic state, but that discussion is irrelevant to the issue at hand. No respectable scholar residing in the East, with any sort of mainstream following, has urged Muslims in the West to take the law in their own hands, and to resort to violence. Similarly, the fact that NOT ONE mainstream scholar in the West has ever encouraged or approved of violence by Muslims in this issue, is sufficient to prove that any other opinion is a fringe, marginalized view with no place in the mainstream public sphere.
from The American Muslim Robert Salaam writes:
Some Muslims are just ignorant plain and simple. It baffles the mind how hypocritical we are at times. How can we truly ever get angry at any cartoon called “Muhammad” if we don’t even know what the Prophet (saw) actually looked like? It’s just stupid that we would get offended as if a cartoon actually held any power over the Messenger of God (saw) or Allah (swt). Is our faith that weak that we believe we have to go defending Allah (swt) and the Prophets (saw) honor every time someone draws an image or uses the name? We are hypocrites for a myriad of reasons on this issue. For one thing, if we were to actually get angry we are supposed to get angry at the depiction of ALL Prophets and Messengers, peace and blessings be upon them, of God. So where is our “outrage” when Jesus (as) or Moses (as), etc. are depicted? I know, I know, crickets…. Furthermore, don’t we have more important things to be angry about? You know like the suffering and oppression of Muslims in so-called Muslim lands, carried out by so-called fellow Muslims? You know where Muslim women are routinely raped in Darfur, child brides bleed to death in Yemen from forced intercourse, and people are routinely killed, harassed, etc. all over? Have we become so perverted that we would give death threats to cartoonists and ignore suffering under our noses. Why not use all that zealotry to fix our lands and truly make them a place where Muslims feel safe and secure and lands in which our neighbors feel safe. You know as the Prophet (saw) actually ordered us to. Do we really think the Prophet (saw) would prefer us threaten cartoonists over providing and defending the orphan, woman, weak, wayfarer, and fellow believers in our own lands? We are a terribly misguided Ummah! Leave these people alone. Allah (swt) will chastise whom HE wills in this life and the hereafter. Surely the Creator of the Universe has the power to deal with a cartoon if He chose to. Maybe it’s just me, but we have more important things to be “outraged” about.
So within the Muslim community there seems to be a lot more variety of opinion than major news media and t-shirt-selling spam-comment writers could imagine.
Why I Think This Whole Thing is Idiotic
There is just more than enough idiocy to go around in this situation. The whole thing, from every side is a pretty small blip on the global scale radar. But there is money and attention to be had on all sides by whipping this up into some kind of frenzy.
Everybody is pimping the Prophet in this one.
Satire is known in many cultures. It is:
1.the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2.a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3.a literary genre comprising such compositions.
Medieval Arabic poetry included the satiric genre hija. Satire was introduced into Arabic prose literature by the Afro-Arab author Al-Jahiz in the 9th century. While dealing with serious topics in what are now known as anthropology, sociology and psychology, he introduced a satirical approach, “based on the premise that, however serious the subject under review, it could be made more interesting and thus achieve greater effect, if only one leavened the lump of solemnity by the insertion of a few amusing anecdotes or by the throwing out of some witty or paradoxical observations. He was well aware that, in treating of new themes in his prose works, he would have to employ a vocabulary of a nature more familiar in hija, satirical poetry.”
The Idiocy of South Park
Not a fan of South Park. It’s creators have been hailed as some kind of post-modern prophets rampaging through the temples and ideals many people hold in some kind of regard. They are busy deconstructing all the sacred cows in their little frat-boy way with their high-school art-class doodled cartoon with the wind up jack-in-the-box music and we are all supposed to take it up as some kind of huge revelation. No thanks. There’s more insightful stuff on YouTube. Yeah OK I am a satire snob.
Nobody really listens to any issue, however legitimate, when someone is insulting and boorish. [and boring]
The Idiocy of Threats Against the South Park Creators
The South Park portrayal of Mohammed was not something that rational people would even take seriously. Getting into a big snit and quoting Osama bin Laden and then requesting a rational dialogue is a little hypocritical and over the top. Attention seeking behavior of this kind is not all that different than the South Park creators.
Nobody really listens to any issue, however legitimate, when someone is shouting and threatening. [and boring]
The Idiocy of Spam-Comment T-Shirt Sellers
Now even if there were some concerted non-commercial effort to stage a Draw the Prophet event it just comes off as pointless. Expressing some smug slogan is not going to change centuries of history or the beliefs of millions of people.
What’s the purpose of even suggesting this? What will be accomplished? What is the goal?
Let’s all go way off the deep end because South Park guys did what they do in their attention seeking way to make money and one Muslim guy did what he did to get attention and some news coverage, and then have a bunch of people piss all over the whole Islamic religion and the many hundreds of thousands who didn’t get irate or even bother to get involved.
Keep some damn perspective.
Every religion, belief, philosophy, opinion is open to abuse from both the outside and within. Whether from Dharma-pimps, Jesus-pimps, Mohammed-pimps, atheist-pimps or just the straight out money-making pimps like at South Park. If there is gain to be made from anything there is someone willing to exploit it.
Why is this even an issue?
[Probably because a bunch of people will actually jump on that bandwagon, buy t-shirts, draw pictures for their blogs and get all self-righteous-y about doing their part to combat anti-censorship]
Here’s another interesting link from the Christian Science Monitor ‘South Park’ episode 201 and the frustration of being Muslim-American
From this blog post
which links to this blog post
which links to this blog post
I’ve finally tracked down where this idea originated. And there are bandwagon jumpers aplenty. A Facebook group Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. among other things has been set up. (There is also a “Ban Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” Facebook page) People such as Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan have also decided to participate.
It is highly ironic that the originator of this idiocy had this to say in the Washington Post.
In that interview, Norris said of the Facebook campaign: “Dare me, I’ll pursue it.” A day later, however, she told Comic Riffs she had a change of heart, saying the campaign had grown far larger than she intended and that her cartoon was being appropriated in ways that were beyond her control. [sort of like the image of Mohammed?]
…As for the larger campaign, Norris says simply: “I just want to go back to my quiet life.”
Duh! Maybe she knows how a lot of Muslims feel then.
Some More Links About This
Draw Mohammed by John Kranz of Three Sources.com
The South Park Test by David Hazony of Commentary Magazine
Everybody Burn the Flag: If we don’t act like inconsiderate jerks, the terrorists will have won! and Everybody Draw Rebuttals from David Taranto of the Wall Street Journal