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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A question for EDMO supporters

A comment from frequent (and therefore patient) reader Gregory Koster prompts me to ask a question for all of my friends who promoted, or just supported, "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day":

Should we now put up giant sheets of butcher paper on the walls of whatever buildings are adjacent to the site of the proposed new Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero; set up step-ladders and bins of brightly colored magic markers; and then have "Everyone Draw Mohammed Next Door to the Ground Zero Mosque Day"? Or perhaps we should have it there every day?

I'm sure some of the patrons (or if not, the hecklers) from Greg Gutfield's gay bar next door would participate, and heck, being a fun and funny guy who's rolling in the big media bucks these days, Greg might even donate the wall space, paper, markers, and ladders!

Posted by Beldar at 06:37 PM in Current Affairs, Global War on Terror, Humor | Permalink


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(1) nk made the following comment | Aug 18, 2010 8:43:13 PM | Permalink

It seems to me that it would be exactly like "put a crucifix in a jar of urine day".

Religion is a powerful and dangerous thing. Governments, strong governments, have tried to coopt it and were coopted by it. Nobody has ever defeated it. Keep it away is the best we can do, as the Founders understood.

(2) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Aug 19, 2010 12:49:12 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Actually, I think this is the comment you are referring to. I'm still blushing at being caught out, and so quickly. The howlers for principle in "Draw Muhammad Day" have been joined on the same soapbox by the mosque builders who howl with smirks on their faces.

But I'm obliged to you for coming up with the answer: contra Mencken, the cure for fraud IS more fraud. What a show the poster drawers would make! Bloomberg would have an ulcer in a week, and the editorial writers of the New York TIMES a stroke. So come on up to the platform, gang. It's crowded, but we can all howl in dissonance.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(3) Dustin made the following comment | Aug 19, 2010 3:01:46 AM | Permalink

This is a pretty good argument that the EDMO folks were being provocative in the way the Mosque is. I'd say they were more entitled 'on principle' because of the nature of threats and bans to such drawings, but many see the Mosque's opponents as banning a Mosque, suggesting a similar 'on principle' reaction.

It's tough to have enough foresight to see this kind of comparison looming, but I guess you don't need as much foresight if you rely on being polite.

EDMO Day is, to me drastically less of what this Mosque is. It shares something, but it's a lot less.

(4) Aaron Worthing made the following comment | Aug 19, 2010 8:26:22 PM | Permalink

Longtime commenter, A.W. here.

First, Beldar, if you are trying to draw an equivalence, it doesn’t quite work. There has been no organized violent conspiracy to silence those who do things like this, like there has been for those who criticize Islam or even merely depict Mohammed.

And indeed, the vast majority of people protesting this are doing ONLY that: protesting. There are few voices advocating actual censorship, and at most only a few scattered nuts threatening violence. I have long said I have no problem with Muslims protesting depictions of their prophet, even boycotting those who behave badly in their eyes. There is never anything wrong with counter speech in response to speech.

Now here I will voluntarily expose myself to charges of hypocrisy by saying I am one of the few people who think that the government CAN suppress this mosque. In ordinary circumstances, I would say they can build whatever they want. but we are at war. Yes, president barky doesn’t seem to think so but we are. And putting up this mosque, even if done with the best intentions, will be seen by many of our enemies as waiving a flag of victory for islmofascism. We are allowed to prevent that, in the midst of a war.

The fact is that the first amendment can be limited in wartime. The first amendment did not apply to Tokyo Rose . I mean imagine it is the Civil War, in the battle of Gettysburg and a yankee farmer comes out there, wearing a blue uniform and a white flag in his hand, headed up to the union lines, to waive the flag? Would our military commanders allowed to stop him? Of course they can. The conduct was expression and it can be limited.

For the same reason we can say to these guys, wait until the war is over.

And that is assuming the best of intentions. Given the evidence of AQ funding, of the name signifying that it will be a victory mosque and numerous other issues, I suspect it is their intent to make it a victory mosque. I mean for instance, why call it Cordoba house, after the victory mosque in spain? I mean there were other options. They say for instance that they are about honoring the Muslims who were murdered on 9-11 by the terrorists. Then why not name it after one of them? Or name it after one of the thousands of good Muslims who have fought and died for the freedom of other Muslims, during the Afghan and Iraq wars? They had choices that could have sent a clear message in opposition to terrorism. Instead they chose this.

(5) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 20, 2010 8:31:36 PM | Permalink

I don't assert that proponents of EDMD and those of GZM are equivalent. And obviously, one's a highly distributed and short-duration protest, and the other's proposed to be literally concrete and lasting.

What's common is the poking of a thumb in the eye of people who don't deserve it. The developers of the Islamic center near Ground Zero ought to consider carefully how their action will be perceived by a large majority of Americans as a deliberate and grievous insult, a result entirely at odds with the stated justification of the developers (fostering interfaith dialog and understanding). The proponents of EDMD ought to consider carefully how their actions will be perceived by a large majority of Muslims who aren't supporters of or even sympathetic to radical jihad against the West, a result entirely at odds with their stated justification (roughly, protesting and highlighting those Muslims guilty of extreme intolerance and/or intimidation against Westerners whom the said Muslims deem heretical). I think both efforts are bound to be counterproductive on a net basis.

(6) Sookie made the following comment | Aug 22, 2010 7:16:39 AM | Permalink

I think that is an excellent idea.

After all when the majority of the public knows that it is constitutional, and even if it does pass zoning requirements for the area, thinks it is not a good idea to build the mosque in that proximity to ground zero, because it feels as if the mosque builders do not 'get it'. Are insensitive to the feelings of the majority of Americans, then it is perfectly all right to open a store front in close proximity to the mosque, to make fun of their religion's spiritual leader, just as it would be OK to put piss Christ or any other demeaning speech next to a church.

(btw I have no problem with the free speech content of piss Christ, but the taxpayers should not have paid for it through the Endowment for the Arts. That is not suppressing FOS. It is taking care with taxpayers dollars. They are precious. Do not waste them on things that should be paid for privately.)

Back to the issue, they are perfectly free to build the mosque but should not be surprised or whine, when everyone does not think it's a good idea. Even goes out of their way to hurl insults at them for it.

On the other hand they could find a spot not in such close proximity and show the US they are the 'better man'.

I think that is unlikely to happen, because like many I think this mosque, at this location, is a big raspberry at the US in general.

Long live free speech. All speech.

(7) Elvula made the following comment | Aug 25, 2010 3:16:45 PM | Permalink

In 1453 Sultan Mehmed laid siege to Constantinople, driven in part by a desire to convert the city to Islam. [12] The Sultan promised his troops three days of unbridled pillage if the city fell, after which he would claim its contents himself. [13] [14]. The Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[15] Shortly after the city’s defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors. [16] Throughout the siege the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours were performed at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city’s defense.[17] [18] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became booty to be divided amongst the invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved or slaughtered;[15] a few of the elderly and infirm were killed, and the remainder chained.[16] Priests purportedly continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[16] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, one of the Ulama climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada, transforming at once the church into a mosque.[19].

Copied from Wikipedia.

How long before this happens to St. Paul's Trinity Church at Ground Zero?

(8) nk made the following comment | Aug 27, 2010 4:48:16 PM | Permalink

The priests opened the doors of the city to Mohamet. Which is the reason the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is still Agia Sofia, in a Muslim country with a secular constitution.

There is more than enough "Christian" dirt to compare to Muslim wrongdoing.

(9) Larry Brown made the following comment | Aug 28, 2010 11:24:39 PM | Permalink

Yes, and we got over it hundreds of years ago. Youse guys are just getting started. Again. We mean to put an end to it. Reformation or transformation? You still haven't answered the questions I posited earlier either. Typical.

(10) Greg Q made the following comment | Aug 30, 2010 1:05:07 AM | Permalink

What's common is the poking of a thumb in the eye of people who don't deserve it.

And that, sir, is where you are wrong.

Every Muslim who has not stood up and publicly condemned the violent thugs who have hurt and killed people over pictures of Mohamed deserves to have his or her religion and faith mocked in public.

The objection to "Piss Christ" was not that some juvenile loser was dipping a cross in urine, but that he was funded by tax dollars.

It is utterly outside the bounds of legitimate behavior for Muslims to react with violence against those who criticize Islam, or engage in "heresy" against it. It is also outside the bounds of legitimate behavior for other Muslims to stand by, quietly, while the thugs define their religion, but then turn around and object when their religion is treated as a thuggish cesspool beneath the respect of civilized people.

So, yes, they should put up the butcher paper. And a couple of web cams to capture the drawings, and capture the responses of the Muslims to teh drawings.

Islam is just another religion. It deserves no special rights, and neither does its practitioners. If they want our respect, tehy need to earn.

They can start earning it by publicly and repeatedly condemning those who engage in terrorism in Islam's name, with no "buts". Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, honor killers, those who beat or murder people for "disrespecting" Islam, they are all outside the pale. A Muslim who can not, or at least does not, publicly condemn all of those, is not worthy of the slightest bit of respect or consideration.

Would you care to point out any Muslim leaders who meet those standards? Because I don't know of any.

(11) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 30, 2010 6:26:09 AM | Permalink

Greg Q (#10): You're generalizing about a billion and a half human beings, over a fifth of the total world population.

When you say "I don't know any" Muslim leaders who publicly and repeatedly condemn terrorism, you reveal lots more than you think, sir — about yourself, and it's frankly not a flattering revelation.

Mr. Brown (#9): I don't know to whom your comment is addressed, or what you're talking about. But please be advised that your comment is on the outer boundaries of my admittedly subjective and arbitrary standards of relevance and civility for comments here. Those who repeatedly misbehave — and it's my sole judgment here as to who's misbehaving that counts — lose their commenting privileges. (You're welcome of course to start your own blog or take advantage of the many other places on the internet where you can express your views without such limitations.)

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