Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

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I practice the first amendment by drawing what I wish.

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day was an event held on May 20, 2010 in support of free speech and freedom of artistic expression of those threatened with violence for drawing representations of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It began as a protest against censorship of an American television show, South Park, "201" by its distributor, Comedy Central, in response to death threats against some of those responsible for two segments broadcast in April 2010. Observance of the day began with a drawing posted on the Internet on April 20, 2010, accompanied by text suggesting that "everybody" create a drawing representing Muhammad, on May 20, 2010, as a protest against efforts to limit freedom of speech.



Creator of original cartoon

defend a little something our country is famous for … the first amendment.
  • In light of the recent veiled (ha!) threats aimed at the creators of the television show South Park … by bloggers on Revolution Muslim's website, we hereby deem May 20, 2010 as the first 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!' Do your part to both water down the pool of targets and, oh yeah, defend a little something our country is famous for (but maybe not for long? Comedy Central cooperated with terrorists and pulled the episode) the first amendment.
  • Yeah, I want to water down the targets... as a cartoonist I just felt so much passion about what had happened I wanted to kind of counter Comedy Central's message they sent about feeling afraid.
  • I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a 'poster' entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" with a nonexistent group's name -- Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor -- drawn on the cartoon also. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any 'group'.
I said that I wanted to counter fear and then I got afraid.
  • It's turned into something completely different, nothing I could've imagined it morphing into. I'm happy some people are talking, because obviously this needs to be addressed.


Alphabetized by author
As a cartoon, it was mildly amusing. As a campaign, it's crass and gratuitously offensive.
  • The debate over cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad is often framed as a clash between free speech and religious attitudes. But it is just as much a clash between conflicting religious attitudes, and the freedom at stake is not only freedom of expression but freedom of religion. For while Luther was surely engaging in offensive speech, he was also exercising a right of freedom of conscience, which included the right to dissent from Catholic orthodoxy.
Depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats.
  • No one has a right to an audience or even to a sympathetic hearing, much less an engaged audience. But no one should be beaten or killed or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind or praying to one god as opposed to the other or none at all or getting on with the small business of living their life in peaceful fashion. If we cannot or will not defend that principle with a full throat, then we deserve to choke on whatever jihadists of all stripes can force down our throats.
  • Our Draw Mohammed contest is not a frivolous exercise of hip, ironic, hoolarious sacrilege toward a minority religion in the United States (though even that deserves all the protection that the most serioso political commentary commands). It's a defense of what is at the core of a society that is painfully incompetent at delivering on its promise of freedom, tolerance, and equal rights.
  • The single most important element–and the thing that ties these selections together–is that each image forces the viewer to do two things. First, they consciously call into question the nature of representation, no small matter in fights over whether it is allowed under Islamic law to depict Mohammed … Second, each of the images forces the viewer to actively participate not simply in the creation of meaning but of actually constructing the image itself.
There is a deeper lesson here: Connect the dots and discover that we all must be Spartacus on Everybody Draw Mohammad Day. And that in a free society, every day is Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
  • Theo van Gogh was murdered for making a movie critical of Islam. 'South Park' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are threatened with the same fate. They deserve our solidarity, and I will stand with them by hosting images of Muhammad on my own website. Please stand with us.
The bottom line is that the First Amendment guarantees free speech including criticism of all peoples.
  • The bottom line is that the First Amendment guarantees free speech including criticism of all peoples. We are an equal-opportunity offense country. To censor ourselves to avoid upsetting a certain group (in a cartoon no less) is un-American.
  • In the South Park episode that started all this, Buddha does lines of coke and there was an episode where Cartman started a Christian rock band that sang very homo-erotic songs. Yet there is one religious figure we can't make fun of. The point of the episode that started the controversy is that celebrities wanted Muhammad's power not to be ridiculed. How come non-Muslims aren't allowed to make jokes?
Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is a chance to reinstate offense and sincerity to their proper place, freed from terror or silence.
  • These two camps – the Muhammad-knockers and the Muslim offence-takers – are locked in a deadly embrace. Islamic extremists need Western depictions of Muhammad as evidence that there is a new crusade against Islam, while the Muhammad-knockers need the flag-burning, street-stomping antics of the extremists as evidence that their defence of the Enlightenment is a risky, important business.
  • If a cartoonist wants to satirise Islam by drawing Mohammed, I’m on his side all the way. But among the 13,000 pictures on the EDMD Facebook page, you have Mohammed as a dog in a veil, Mohammed as a pig and Mohammed as a monkey. That’s not resistance, but picking a fight.
The proper (and, at the risk of looking jingoistic, American) way to combat bad speech is with better speech. To silence and be silenced are the refuge of cowards.
  • It is likely that institutions will apply more and more self-censorship. Fearing a possible threat, nothing is worse than the fear of fear.
I realize that in a free society, someone is always going to be doing or saying something that will offend somebody somewhere. I also realize that more free speech, not censorship, is the answer.

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