"Everybody draw Mohammed Day" – An interesting experiment

The latest news is that Pakistan has banned Facebook because someone created a “Everybody draw Mohammed Day” page (Warning – Muslims might be offended by some of the pictures).

Update (20th May 2010: 4:30 pm): The Facebook page above was removed, but quickly resurfaced.

Update (20th May 2010: 6:30 pm): It’s back up!

This is a response to a South Park episode being removed following threats from an Islamic group overĀ  cartoon depictions of Mohammed. In order to fight back against a threat to the Freedom of Expression, the above Facebook page was created. Predictably, the backlash from the Islamic community over it is strong with threats of violence flowing freely.

"Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" page on Facebook

"Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" page on Facebook

Now I can sort of understand why Muslims are pissed over the drawings there. I mean some of them are a bit over the top. But still, they’re just pictures and don’t harm anyone. So threatening physical violence over drawings makes little sense.

My primary question is this. Why should the page be blocked? Presumably those who view the page, want to see the pictures (otherwise why go there?) In the link above, I’ve clearly mentioned that some Muslims might be offended. So if a person still clicks the link, surely they must take sole responsibility for getting offended?

No one can accidentally visit the page. Anyone who gets offended has chosen to do so. This is like purposely putting your hand into fire and then complaining when you get burned! Moreover, the prophet Mohammed isn’t a real person. So his privacy isn’t being violated and he can’t sue for libel either. Neither is he a citizen of any country, and so isn’t protected by law.

Now are some of the pictures in bad taste? Yes. Some really are. But then the best way to counteract it is to simply ignore the pictures right? That’s what we usually do when we encounter an offensive person. We don’t threaten to kill him or her. So why aren’t Muslims just ignoring the pictures?

I really want to know why. We saw the same sort of response over M F Husain’s paintings. Many people asked then, why no one drew offensive pictures of Mohammed. Well, now they have. And the reactions are exactly the same. Can anyone enlighten me over what exactly people are getting pissed?

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Comments

  1. You know what, Bhagwad, I think the entire page was created with the intent to hurt a particular community…It is not about freedom of expression at all…

    I agree with you when you say that people can avoid seeing things that may offend them…Take for example the Lars Viks video on the page…This guy is out-and-out racist but my question to the Muslims who were attending his seminar and were subsequently offended is: Why? Why attend the seminar when you are familiar with Viks' work?

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  2. I agree with your logic that those who do not wish to see, need not see. I really don't think death and violence should be brought into such issues.

    In fact violent protests make kind of a mockery of the whole thing. :|

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  4. I have participated in the event just to piss off people. If you get that much offended by a picture and want to kill the ones drawing it, then may be you are the one who should be killed. (You doesn’t mean ‘you’) ;)

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