After the attack on the Draw Mohammed contest in Garland, TX, people on the left and right have accused the group who organized the event of provoking the Islamist violence against them, and have said they should have known better. It’s a despicable display of cowardice. If we follow their advice we will be acknowledging defeat.
A sample of the tweets:
The U.S. has enough problems without publicity seekers going out and openly mocking religion in order to provoke attacks and death. BE SMART
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2015
Pamela Geller—–The Hate That Loves To Speak Its Name http://t.co/oXkLoYY7dJ
— David Stockman (@DA_Stockman) May 6, 2015
Fox News hosts called the event “stupid” and accused the organizers of endangering law enforcement officers.
For an excellent run-down of the legal issues surrounding free speech, see Popehat’s response to McClatchy.
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer responded to Islamist murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists by holding a contest with the explicit purpose of drawing Muhammad.
Yes, it was also supposed to draw attention and be provocative.
Sometimes, asserting your rights requires asserting them simply to show you can.
It’s perfectly ordinary, among religions, for Muslims not to be allowed to depict their founder. They believe drawing pictures of him would result in his idolization, ironically enough.
No other religion, to my knowledge, asserts the authority to control the actions of non-believers. When a particular religion dominates a culture, its teachings can find their way into law. For Islamists to say people outside of Islam cannot draw Muhammad skips those steps.
Is there danger involved in asserting the right to draw Muhammad? Of course. Our response to terrorist attacks exposes us to further attacks, as when Donald Trump proposed building two towers on the site of the 9/11 attacks. In the end, anyone opposing the Geller and Spencer drawing contests should also, for consistency, oppose this:
Rebuilding on the World Trade Center site shows the same resolve that Geller and Spencer showed when demonstrating their right to draw Muhammad. Both actions say, “Terrorists, you will not control us.”
As for Donald Trump and his aspirations to political power, he proved by his response that his leadership in a crisis would be that of a vapid, simpering nitwit.