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City of Brass

Since today is apparently “Draw Mohammed Day“, conceived as an expression of the right of free speech in our society, as a response to that tiny minority of muslims worldwide (and essentially negligible minority of muslims in the United States), I would like to participate, by drawing the Prophet SAW as I understand him, in words.

To me, the Prophet SAW is a beacon. The Prophet SAW is the embodiment of an ideal to which I personally and spiritually aspire. I do not recognize my Prophet SAW in the hateful, derisive caricatures labeled “mohammed” or the insults or the historical lies told of him. The Prophet SAW did not forcibly convert anyone to Islam by the sword; he did not have enmity for Jews or Christians; he did not preach a hateful creed or seek to subjugate women. In fact he stood for the opposite of all these things, and brought the same message of God to the human race as was brought by his predecessors, to banish the darkness of unbeliief and tribalism.

I do not see any drawings of my Prophet SAW today. All I see are reflected fears and ignorance of people expressing their own ugliness and calling it by a name. But a name is all they have.

By all means, draw Muhammad today if you so choose. You don’t need my consent, and in fact you have my support. But as you set out to defend free speech by engaging in hate, understand that you are only caricaturing yourself. And my Prophet SAW is beyond your comprehension.

Related: A stirring defense of free speech by Nick Gillespie at Reason magazine. If only the West really had such a commitment to free speech as Nick seems to imagine! But with hijab bans sweeping Europe, it’s clear that such commitment to so-called Enlightenment values is a hypocrisy of the highest order.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has blocked most of the Internet today in response to Draw Muhammad Day. I disagree with this. I think that it’s better to let people see ugliness and hypocrisy rather than pretend it doesn’t exist.

UPDATE: I’ve written an open letter to the editors at Reason magazine, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, urging them to publish all the entries, not just the winners.

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