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Monday April 26 2010

Molly Norris is the apparently name of the cartoonist lady who began this Everybody Draw Mohammed Day thing.

image

But although the catalyst of it all, and hats off to her for having been that, she is not in charge of the chemical reaction itself, the nature of which will be determined by the combined interactions of all the participating substances.

There is a report on Ms. Norris’s catalysis, here:

Norris has asked other artists to submit drawings of any religious figure to be posted as part of Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor (CACAH) on May 20th.

I will not “submit” any drawings.  I’ll shove up any drawings I do here.  Submit?  Like she’s going to refuse to publish them if they’re too insulting?  The following bit of the report does indeed suggest something rather like that: 

On her website Norris explains this is not meant to disrespect any religion, but rather meant to protect people’s right to express themselves.

And how about that “any” religious figure?  We already have the right, maybe not in law but definitely in practice, to be as insulting as we like about all the other religious figures.  This is not about all religions.  This is about Islam and its particular demand just now that it not be insulted.  The campaign has not been entitled Everybody Piss On Effigies Of Christ, or Everybody Say Nasty Things About Buddha.  This is specifically about Mohammed and his alleged coyness about being depicted in drawings and art works.

As far as I personally am concerned, this is absolutely is all about disrespecting Islam, which I consider to be an abominable clutch of notions.  Islam asserts the absurd falsehoods that God exists and is great and that Mohammed is his prophet, says that every human should abase themselves before these falsehoods, claiming that all methods - ingratiating and attractive but also utterly evil - are positively required of all Muslims to achieve this evil outcome.  I hate Islam and ask all other humans to do the same, and to say so.

But Ms. Norris is half right, in the sense that whether the above paragraph is right or wrong is not the central point of this viral campaign.  The true point being that we should all be allowed to say such things.  And all who disagree should be allowed (potential commenters here please note) to be as insulting as they like in reply.  Morally, such conduct may be rather disgusting.  But the point here is legality.  Can we all insult this ridiculous prophet and his demented and brainwashed followers and get away with it, without being bullied and coerced back into silence by Muslim death-threateners who do get away with it?  That is the legal point that is here being insisted upon.  And I really don’t see how you can assert your right to insult Islam, without actually insulting Islam.

Also, Ms. Norris says “artists” should submit these works to her.  So is it everybody, or just “artists”?  This rather makes you wonder who exactly Ms. Norris considers to be an artist, and who is a mere scribbler/political stirrer.  What’s the betting that most “artists” stay schtum about this, and that the political stirrers make all the running?  Maybe I’m imagining it, but I get the feeling, listening to this, that Ms. Norris’s political preferences are much more touchy-feely than and not nearly as carnivorously right wing as the preferences of many of the early adopters of this campaign in the blogosphere.  Like I say, she’s not in charge.  She merely started it. 

Besides which, her blog is stuck behind a registration wall.  Reluctantly, I gave that half a minute, but was then informed that I had forgotten my password, when from where I sat I had only just typed it in.  Forget that.

However, Ms. Norris surely has her reasons for this arrangement, under the circumstances.  Ms. Norris may, it seems to me, be suffering from the problem that she may now be considered to be the one with her head stuck furthest above the parapet, and may accordingly now be the one in line for the death threats.  If she were now to back out of this, either because of that or because she didn’t care for all the carnivorous Islam-insulters like me who are now piling in, that would make sense to me, although it would still be a shame.  But the rest of us should not let that bother us.  I’m Molly Norris.  No I’m Molly Norris. Etc.  The best outcome of all would be for both the carnivores and the touchy-feelies to join together in this campaign, all the while insulting each other as well as Islam, and pointing out that if our fellow Mohammed-drawers are saying daft and stupid and nasty things in the course of this campaign and believe and say a lot of other daft and stupid and nasty things, well, fine, that’s the very right we are all agreeing about and asserting.  But, I’m not optimistic about this, especially not after reading stuff like the comments on this.  (I think “Tulpa” is wrong, but he/she makes some points that are worth responding to without swearing, as well as with of course.  Maybe I will.) I now guess/predict that the artistic touchy-feely lefty greeny artistic tendency will wimp out on this, and say that all these sweary loony libbos are being offensive arseholes, to do with whom they want nothing.  And I shouldn’t be surprised if Molly Norris herself recoils in horror from what she has started.  But, let’s see.  I wouldn’t want my nitpicking about how Ms. Norris is now handling her little corner of all this, or what are only guesses about what she might do next, to detract from my immense admiration for her for having kicked this off and for having named the date.  Her achievement is like one of those scientific breakthroughs where all the other scientists immediately shout: Why oh why didn’t we think of that?!?

I put this stuff on my personal Z-list blog rather than at Samizdata, which is a middling sort of blog and where I could have mentioned it, because I wanted to make the Z-list blogger point, which was also Molly Norris’s original point, about diluting the target.  This is about lots of insignificant people blowing a giant collective raspberry at Islamofascism, or in my case at Islam as a whole.  The insignificance being the point.  They can’t death-threaten us all into a state of grovelling apologetic retreat.  But I see that Dale Amon has now posted at Samizdata about this.  See also Counting Cats.  It’s great that this thing is spreading to this side of the Atlantic.  Europe needs it even more.

This side of the Atlantic? Brian, regular reader of Cats as you are, I would have thought you would know CCinZ is hosted here on Queenslands sunny Gold Coast. That is, on the other side of the Pacific.

Posted by CountingCats on 01 May 2010

CC

For ages I’ve wondered where you were based, once I worked out that you are not, as I of course assumed at first, based in Zanzibar.  Lately I kind of assumed somewhere in England, but I don’t know why.

Sorry.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 01 May 2010
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