Monday, May 17, 2010

Draw Mohammed Day

The point of drawing mohammed is to insist that people are free to speak, criticize and satirize without the fear of death threats.

Although, I must say that I think a video response to "Draw Mohammed Day" that emphasizes the good things people believe about their prophet IS an appropriate response.

It is just not right to equate a cartoon with hatred. Everyone who is offended takes that offense actively and is responsible for it.
I don't think it's polite to be mocking or insulting of people's cherished beliefs, until they try to impose their values on others through coercion, threats, violence or rage.

I think Islam needs some feedback. Allowing people to depict mohammed could lead to understanding and sharing in addition to the mocking cartoons.
Christians also have written in their scriptures "Thou shalt make no graven images" and "worship no idols". It's probably the same source material for both the Bible and the Koran.

Christians have come to interpret that advice spiritually, not literally. You can make a picture or statue of your god, but you worship the god not the symbol itself. It can also be interpreted to mean that religious believers should not idolize material things or non-spiritual ideas.

Eventually Muslims will come around, but what everyone else is telling them is that certain reactions are not appropriate, proportional or acceptable. Lashing out violently over drawings is not socially acceptable. Assault is unlawful.

That Muslims are insulted by drawings of Muhammad and will be vocal about that is something non-muslims can understand and accept.

Murder, violence, death threats, assaults, property destruction and the like we do not have to accept.

Over the centuries I can only hope people cling to good principals of social behavior instead of dogma. The dogma's have a great risk of being wrong and persisting uncorrected.

In some ways the rage people feel about religious "offense" hides the fear and doubt every person must feel from time to time with our analytical pre-frontal cortex needing evidence and seeking a consistent reality.
Religion can be a form of denial and can lead to unhealthy circular and cognitively dissonant thought patterns.

I understand that, culturally, Muslims have lived with centuries of dogma taking the lead role in how people understand reality. I cannot expect Muslims not to feel offended when their sacred beliefs are mocked. I just want to remind them that their religious rules and beliefs have no application, authority or bearing on the rest of us and to attempt to enforce their laws upon non-muslims is at best intolerant and at worst absolutely unacceptable and will need to be countered. Hopefully the mild sting of social criticism using free speech with be enough to carry that message.