Draw Muhammad Day: collectively punishing Muslim Americans

“In the wake of the self-censorship controversy surrounding South Park‘s portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, artists intent on defending freedom of speech have responded by organizing an event they call Draw Muhammad Day, to take place on May 20. The goal, according to the website hosting the endeavor, is to defend free speech by showing Muslims that artists ‘don’t back down’ when threatened.

“But the fact is that millions of Muslim-Americans – many of whom have known about South Park caricatures of Muhammad for years – behaved exactly the way free speech advocates wanted them to: by remaining silent or expressing their feelings peacefully. The handful of thugs at a New York-based site called Revolution Muslim – who, by the way, are unwelcome in every New York mosque for their extremist rantings – were the only exceptions. And now these Muslim-Americans are being subject to mass insult as thanks for their respect of South Park‘s free speech rights….

“Imagine for a moment if an African-American blogger complained about an unfair stereotype in a cartoon in the same crass manner as the Revolution Islam folks. Would free speech advocates respond by hosting a contest to draw as many vile stereotypes of blacks as they could? I can’t imagine that anyone would even propose such an idea. So why, then, are millions of Muslim-Americans who said nothing about South Park in the past decade being subject to this mass insult? To prove a point? What point would that be?”

Shahed Amanullah at the Huffington Post, 13 May 2010