` Unprophetable art — imaginary family values

Last update on .

If we the infidels of the United States were actually groaning under the heel of an Islamist dictatorship, a government that dealt out harsh punishments to those it perceived as enemies of the faith, it would make sense for us, as a protest, to organize an Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Defy the regime! Fill the jails! Fight the power!

If America swarmed with jihadists who, in spite of the best efforts of the police, could execute some random sample of those who offended their religion, then an Everybody Draw Mohammed day would do nothing to stop them from killing again; it would just give them a broader selection of targets to choose from. The proper response to such a terrorist campaign would not be more drawings, but more criminal indictments against the terrorists.

Here in the real America, about five years ago, we already had a controversy over cartoons depicting Mohammed, and despite much hand-wringing from American newspaper editors (including, to their great discredit, the editors of the Boston Phoenix) along the lines of “OMG we’re afraid to publish these”, those who did publish the pictures did not suffer terrorist retaliation; the publishers were college newspapers at the University of Illinois and Dartmouth, not exactly hard targets. Here in the real America, within the past six months, we have seen one would-be terrorist set his underwear on fire and one who didn’t know how to construct a car bomb that actually exploded. I would be a lot more frightened of al-Qaeda if their Department of Exploding Human Resources could recruit some higher-quality terrorists.

If your Muse inspires you to draw a picture of the founder of Islam, your right to do so is fully protected by the First Amendment, and anyone who retaliates against your art with threats of violence should be prosecuted. But this campaign to épater les imams is not a bold strike against the forces of intolerance. At best, it’s wanking; at worst, it’s a rallying point for bigotry.

If you as a civilian are inspired to put your life on the line to defend the United States Constitution against terrorism, please consider, instead, volunteering to be an escort at an abortion clinic.

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