I must admit, I’m stunned….
CNN.com Cover Story: “My Take: Everyone chalk Mohammed?”
There is a difference between making fun of religious or other ideas on a TV show that you can turn off, and doing it out in a public square where those likely to take offense simply can’t avoid it. These chalk drawings are not a seminar on free speech; they are the atheist equivalent of the campus sidewalk preachers who used to irk me back in college. This is not even “Piss Christ,” Andres Serrano’s controversial 1987 photograph of a crucifix in urine. It is more like filling Dixie cups with yellow water and mini crucifixes and putting them on the ground all over town. Could you do it legally? Of course. Should you?
In Muslim culture, there is a longstanding tradition that to put something on the ground, where people step on it, is “the ultimate diss,” indicating “I hate you, you disgust me,” as I was told by Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America
To this add the fact that after 9/11 hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and “those perceived to be Muslim” increased 1,700 percent in the United States, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. Large numbers of innocent Muslims in the U.S. have been harmed or intimidated simply because they share a religious tradition with extremists. Can we reasonably suggest they not be reminded of this upon seeing their prophet, the most revered and admired person in their cultural tradition, underfoot?
There is a huge fight on the internet especially facebook about May 20th Draw Muhammad Day. I have thought long and hard about whether to draw Muhammad and I have decided that I will. I do not think people of certian religions should be able to tell other people not of that religion what they can and cannot do. I do not draw Muhammad out of malice but out of protest because I do not think it is acceptable for our artist to recieve death threats over cartoons. I understand that drawing Muhammad is offensive but many things in America are offensive. Republican and Democrats make signs all the time that are offensive too each other this is free speech to be able to say and expression our opinions to people we do not agree with. Drawing Muhammad does not constitute hate. I am doing this neither out of Malice or hate. If there are terrorist acts because of people drawing pictures I hope that America will wake up and see that people are killing over cartoons and that we should not give up freedom for security.
Maybe Nick was right — if CNN wakes up, perhaps today did change history. Time shall tell.