Everyone has the right to question Islam and draw whatever they wantJanuary 13, 2015
I don’t want to be told by some cartoonist at the Guardian that I should not draw any pictures of the Prophet Mohammed. And I don’t want to be told that it is — or “might be” — racist to do so.
Nope. Racist cartoons are hate speech, not free speech. Getting firebombed or killed by fanatics does not automatically mean you’re a racist either. But assuming that a billion people will all react identically to a drawing, well that quite probably is racist.
It’s okay, I know I can avoid it by not reading the Guardian. I’m not complaining.
But I do hear this demand not to draw the Prophet from elsewhere too, including from some Muslims. Okay, I can accept it a little more easily from them, but I’m only prepared to take it seriously if I’m offered some very good reasons. And that’s where the trouble starts. No reasons are offered at all. So, of course — and this will shock some people — I have some questions.
Why was it not “offensive to Muslims” to depict Mohammed in the 15th Century?
What changed? It looks to me like historically the censors won, and now they are even instructing me to comply. The order has been relayed to me through the pious pages of their craven and unwitting representatives at the Guardian, and secondly, of course, through generalized threats of violence.
And if I don’t comply, I’m a racist, and possibly a dead one. Well I’m sorry, I don’t respect people who talk to me like that.
It is entirely human to want to depict things. It’s human nature. The only reason to order people to stop being human is to get power over them. And that is what’s behind this insane and pathetic edict about not depicting the Prophet.
And are there really no Muslims today who would wish to depict Mohammed in their art, or see religious art depicting him? (And how does anyone at the Guardian know there isn’t?) Christians and Hindus do it all over the place. Every human civilization ever known does this kind of thing. Are all 1.5 billion Muslims different to the rest of humanity in this regard?
Usually people who make absurd generalizations about enormous groups of people are called racists. But here, that term is reserved specifically for those who do not talk in this stupid and ugly manner.
And what would happen to a Muslim who did just that — depicted the Prophet? For a start, they would be called culturally insensitive by the Guardian, and hounded by the same idiots on the left who call Ayaan Hirsi Ali “intolerant” and Maajid Nawaz a “neocon”. I assume I don’t need to say what would happen to such a Muslim if they lived in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.
…….But luckily absolutely no Muslim would even dream of depicting the Prophet in their art, or of wondering about the veracity of the stories about Mohammed. Of course they wouldn’t — that’s just the way those fellows tick. They’re kinda different and exotic. They don’t even notice the censor’s rules. In fact, they love having the censors there to protect them from thinking the wrong thoughts. They need it, the poor darlings. And any neo-colonialist Westerner who speaks out against the censors is endangering the blissful insularity of the 1.5 billion Muslims who flourish under their protection…….
I’m sorry, I’m not buying it. None of it. It’s not wrong to draw pictures or to ask questions. It’s human nature. I cannot believe that all 1.5 billion Muslims have en masse given up this aspect of their humanity. Not all of them. Look in the jails for a start; read Amnesty’s list of political prisoners locked up, tortured, executed for asking questions.
This isn’t religion or spirituality. This is crass, blatant and ugly politics. And remarkably stupid and unrefined politics, at that. Anyone who’s fallen for it should be ashamed of themselves.
I don’t doubt that many Muslims feel upset about those Charlie Hebdo cartoons, especially if they don’t understand them. And they have every right to complain if they wish. But they also have worse things to worry about — like the dark age that has suddenly descended upon the culture they identify with.
You say that Islam deserves respect? How can I respect something — anything — if I’m not allowed to find out what the heck it is? Asking a few polite questions about it, as historian Tom Holland found out, leads to death threats from fanatics and censure from non-Muslims.
You say that Islam has a good model for how to run a modern state, but don’t want to answer any questions or have it criticized? This is why it’s called Islamo-fascism. It’s the very definition of totalitarianism. We can stop it there. You’ve disqualified yourself from being taken seriously. And don’t switch back to saying your feelings have been hurt or that I’m a racist if I question it.
If you want to say that the killers are not the “real” Muslims, well I can understand why Muslims would feel like that, but it’s still no reason for not being allowed to ask questions. In fact it makes it even more important. These lunatics are roaming around using the Qur’an as a recruiting tool. That is where this war started — on the battleground of propaganda. Keeping publicly important ideas like Islam away from public scrutiny gifts political leaders a free hand in shaping, interpreting, and blatantly lying about those ideas to maintain power.
You idiots have no arguments at all. And you either resort to violence, or, in the case of the Guardian, to pious lectures about racism. This is damaging to human beings, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.
The liberal left still hasn’t properly woken up to this. And on the political right, some church groups are waiting to pounce on the next opportunity to introduce their own anti-blasphemy laws. (Fine by me guys — if you like this medieval stuff, it was blasphemous to translate the Bible into English. You can start by banning that.)
I keep hearing this has nothing to do with religion, and I kinda agree in a way. Religion is being used as a political tool, and uses the cloak of piety to avoid scrutiny and avoid losing its persuasive power. So by questioning it; by pointing and laughing at it when its conceits are revealed, we are not insulting anybody’s religion, just their politics. It’s their own stupid fault if they don’t understand the distinction, not mine. And their politics in this case needs to be opposed right now with everything we’ve got.
Posted by Yakaru