Today is the international everybody draw a picture of the prophet Mohammed day and I must say I am quite dismayed! I am all for religious intolerance, but this is just stupid.
You’re offending approximately two billion people and the only outcomes you are likely to effect are:
1) you’re going to make SOME western people laugh at the stupid over sensitive muslims,
2) you’re going to make A LOT of muslims deeply resentful of the stupid intolerant westerners.
This event was picked up by Slashdot, and when a non-tech issue is picked up by Slashdot you instantly see a massive increase in the number of stupid opinions on the event. Mostly they pertain to ‘free speech’. Americans enjoy the idea of free speech and freedom generally, but I don’t know if the average American is really as dumb as the average American Slashdotter or whether I have seen a very selective subset comprising only socially unaware people (quite possible) that gives me a polarised opinion.
As for drawing pictures of Mohammed, unless you live in a muslim country you already have the right to draw those pictures*. The only thing you stand to achieve by making a point of doing so is to offend, and this is counter-productive to your cause; you are showing exactly how free speech is a bad thing because you’ve shown that some people are not mature enough to use free speech responsibly and show respect for others.
It’s BIZARRE how so many people adopt a fanatic America yeah! attitude. The muslim fanatic thinks he’s justified to incite hatred vs America because an arcane, ancient book says so and the fundamentalist American finds this offensive and has to retaliate; he thinks he’s justified in inciting hatred vs muslims because an arcane, almost-ancient piece of paper says so. It’s easy to see how religions got going in the first place when you read some of the mindless American patriotism displayed on Slashdot.
I realise I’m probably putting too much weight on the opinion of the average Slashdotter, who has an IQ of 157 and believes himself to be above everyone else, but for some reason can’t see a world beyond P v ¬P.
Eventually fundamentalist muslims might die out in the same way christians did, but it’s not going to happen because a bunch of privileged, immature, middle class white Americans drew some crude, witless, offensive drawings with captions in English.
*In the same way you have the right to go up to a wild bear and poke it with a stick. Yes the wild bear is not within its rights or the law when it rips your arms off, but it would be hard for an impartial observer to say that it was a surprising outcome. It’s not a rational or reasonable course of action by the bear because we didn’t necessarily mean it any harm, but we should be able to see that poking bears with sticks isn’t a necessary part of everyday life and if wild bears are strangely sensitive to being poked with sticks for reasons we deem silly maybe it’s best to just not poke them. It doesn’t mean that we should enact a mass protest against wild bears by having 100,000 people poke them with sticks in order to try to ‘cure’ them or to show them we’re not scared of them.