Om Sweet Om

Om Sweet Om


Draw Muhammad. Oh wait, no don’t.

posted by Vineet Chander

That old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words may need to be revised. Pictures of the prophet Muhammad have generated perhaps millions of words this week alone, without even being drawn.

1271980832-drawmohammedposter.jpgToday, May 20, has been designated — by the masterminds (?) behind the viral campaign at least — to be Draw Muhammad Day. The campaign, which was originally conceived of as a protest against Comedy Central’s self-censorship of a South Park episode depicting the prophet, has quickly denigrated into a vicious war of words, images, and ideologies. In this corner– religious sensibilities. And in that one: unfettered freedom of expression. Which one should trump?

Ah, if it were only that simple. 

Consider that the original promoters of the DMD event have since disavowed it. Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris and Facebooker Jon Wellington have both quickly stepped away from the controversial event. (“I am aghast that so many people are posting deeply offensive pictures of the Prophet…” Wellington reportedly said, “count me out.”)  But what does that mean? That Norris and Wellington are back-peddlers, now trying to weasel  out of the mess that they started? Or that they’re victims of the very same pressure-to-censor and political-correctness-run-amok that they were trying to speak out against?

What do we make of the fact that Pakistan courts have ordered a blanket block of Facebook (and apparently You Tube too) as a result of the campaign? In going the heavy-handed censorship route, isn’t Pakistan just proving the point for the pro-DMD camp? (Really, Pakistan, you think this will help your image?)

Should Muslims (and others offended by DMD) fight fire with fire, engaging in protests of the protests and Facebook-flame-wars? Or is the higher road here to recognize the DMD’ers right to exercise their artistic freedom — even if it is a freedom to offend — and let them have their day of drawing?

My community struggles with the same tension between faith and freedom, the same concern about lines being crossed, the same tug of war between what the head knows intellectually and the heart feels emotionally.

And so, in that spirit, I’d like to offer an interesting but ironic parallel to the DMD controversy from within the Hindu world. Ironic because the roles seem to be reversed in my example– the artist in this case is himself a Muslim, the offended community Hindu, and the outcome very difference. Which brings us to the curious case of 95-year-old painter M.F. Husain.


Let me clear: in bringing up Mr. Husain, I’m not trying to engage in tit-for-tat. That sort of sectarian justification (“Your religion offended us before you were offended, so you lose…”) has always been something I’ve found particularly repugnant. Being on the receiving end of offense doesn’t give anyone the right to dish it out, and vice versa.

But the fact remains that a side-by-side look at the two cases (DMD and Husain’s controversial paintings of Hindu deities) raises important — albeit uncomfortable — questions about whether or not there might be a double standard at work.

husain.jpgOnce dubbed the Picaso of Indian art,  M.F. Husain has made something of a career of pushing the envelope. But he really found himself on the hot-seat in the 1990s when a series of his paintings of Hindu deities was published. The issue was not that Husain depicted these divine subjects. After all, Hinduism is a tradition of sacred imagery, where depictions of Gods and Goddesses are not only produced (even mass-produced) but are celebrated and sometimes actually venerated. No, the problem was that the paintings depicted these personalities in the nude, with a palpable sexual meaning suggested between the strokes. In one famous example,  a naked Sita Devi sits on the lap of the demon king Ravana (also nude), while Hanuman (you guessed it — sans-clothes) leaps forward. In another, a naked Goddess Saraswati suggestively straddles the vina. A third implies a sexual relationship between the Goddess Durga and her tiger.

Offended Hindus and several Hindu groups began a backlash. In a predictably stupid and counter overreaction, some Hindu fundamnetalists attacked the painter’s home and shut down a London exhibit. Several also filed court cases against Husain. Following the controversy, Husain went on “self imposed exile”. In a post-script, earlier this year, he accepted citizenship of Qatar, making the exile from India a legal reality.

Let me be clear again: I find the way that Hindu extremists responded to Husain to be unequivocally reprehensible and embarrassing. I want to say — no, scream — “that’s not my kind of Hinduism!” Personal attacks, mud-slinging, death threats… I truly believe that all of it goes against the very heart and spirit of my faith, and I think those who do it “in defense of Hinduism” commit the worst sort of violence on the faith– far worse than any “outsider” ever could.

But can I also confess that I was — and am — offended by Husain’s paintings? That even though I think he had a right to paint them, I don’t think he should have? That I might even suggest that Husain’s freedom of expression hinged on a responsibility to respect others, and that he crossed a line when he failed in that responsibility?

By now, this should sound pretty familiar. In fact, you might think that I could probably take any of the numerous articulate and thoughtful critiques of the infamous Danish cartoonist or of South Park or of DMD, do a search-and-replace to change the “who’s who” in the cast of characters, and come out with a robust op-ed challenge to Mr. Husain.

You’d think that, but apparently you’d be wrong.

The frustrating reality is that the Husain case invariably plays out differently. The “good guys” almost always seem to side with the artist, aghast that some thin-skinned religious fanatics should dare to limit his freedom. In this scenario, the intolerant and insensitive jerks aren’t the one’s drawing the offensive stuff, they are the one’s protesting it.

My friends who email me, requesting to join in to their anti-DMD protest, are the very same ones who also beseech me to sign petitions in support of Husain. I just don’t get it.

Is there some inherent difference between Husain’s nude Gods and Goddesses and the results of DMD?

Some might say that Husain was unfairly targeted just because he was Muslim offering his own interpretation of Hindu icons. But couldn’t we say the same about the Danish cartoonist — a non-Muslim offering his own commentary on Islam — or of the South Park folks, or of anyone who picks up their pencil and sketches the prophet today?

Maybe its different because Husain is a recognized artist whose pieces fetch millions of dollars and decorate the homes of the rich and famous, while the cartoonists are, well, cartoonists. But doesn’t that type of judgment call seem a tad elitist?

Of course, the very act of drawing the prophet in any way, shape, or form is anathema to many Muslims. The act itself is offensive to them. The organizers of DMD know this– that’s precisely why they organized the event. While I’d like to believe that Mr. Husain didn’t set out to offend in quite the same way, I still think its pretty reasonable to say that he ought to to have known how hurt some Hindus would be. Husain, it turns out, grew up in a Hindu  temple town and had ample opportunity to educate himself about what would and would not offend his Hindu neighbors.

Husain might have been trying to make a statement about Hinduism, or religious fundamentalism, or Indian politics. Fair enough. The folks drawing Muhammad today may be voicing their opinion about censorship. I get that. But why punish innocent people of faith to make ar point? 

I won’t participate in Draw Muhammad Day for the same reason that I say that M.F. Husain was wrong. I won’t deny an artist his right to choose how he expresses himself, but I won’t pretend that all choices are created equal. They are not. We choose to uplift or to denigrate, to heal or to hurt. That choice is ours, today and every day.



  • Naseer

    I am a born muslim and i accept that most of us don’t have such balance views as you have expressed here. I was searching for the reactions to the ban on facebook and youtube and i came across your article. When i look deeper into these staunchly opposing sides, my belief on that old philosophical saying “that every gal and boy come into this world, is either a little liberal or a little conservative” become more strong. Now between these two is there any third type of people who dont take sides…may be very few. Well anyhow nice piece…keep it up.

  • Swami

    Drawing Mohammed is offensive because Mohammed is regarded as special to Muslims, the prophet of God.
    Jews believe that Israel is special to them, given to them by God.
    What do you think of people who insult the Jewish religion by mocking these claims, but then say Islam should not be insulted?
    If I start a new religion and I declare the letter Q to be holy, how kwikly will you remove the Holy Letter from your keyboard? Or will you hurt me by typing the Holy Letter, while at the same time telling people that it is insensitive to draw Mohammed?
    Drawing Mohammed is to call him an ordinary man. Denying Israel’s special claim to Israel is to call it an ordinary land. Using the letter Q is to call it an ordinary letter. All are equally offensive.
    Or none of them should be.

  • http://google.com J

    I’m going to make fun of Mahamaad.

  • http://thinpancakes.wordpress.com Craig

    With regards to Swami’s comment :
    “Drawing Mohammed is to call him an ordinary man. Denying Israel’s special claim to Israel is to call it an ordinary land. Using the letter Q is to call it an ordinary letter. All are equally offensive. ”
    This would be the case if I who am not a member of your Q-worshipping religious faction were typing “The Holy Letter” with the intention of offending you. Additionally, was there a simple and commonly understood substitute for said letter, I would probably use it, provided your religious group was actually offended. This is because I use my freedom of speech responsibly.
    I’m not going to go out of my way to type it just to anger someone. Similarly, I’m not going to portray the prophet just to upset Muslims.
    Freedom of speech doesn’t lift the responsibility that comes with that freedom. Additionally, the freedom of speech may protect provocative conversation, but it doesn’t obligate it. Excercising free, RESPONSIBLE, speech means speaking provocatively when it is absolutely necessary.
    This campaign isn’t about the freedom of speech, it is about a few people who want to offend another group without repercussion and I can almost promise you that if their ideologies were offended by the same token, they would be the first to cry foul.

  • luvuall

    People seek to “offend” those people who will give them a reaction. Do you think people would have bothered to create this page if they didn’t expect Muslims to react (perhaps violently)? Pakistan played right into their trap. If you find depictions of anyone offensive don’t look. And for any of the self-righteous US types who think we are any “better” than Muslim countries because we don’t force our women to “cover themselves” please explain to me why men can still go to the beach or out in public topless while women cannot. Ooops.

  • Matt

    “This campaign isn’t about the freedom of speech, it is about a few people who want to offend another group without repercussion.” – Craig
    Sorry Craig, but that is a straw man. While there are certainly many mean-sprited people that jumped aboard the DMD movement to push their racial bigotry, I am fairly confident that was not the intent of DMD, nor the intent of many supporters. This issues has been discussed for a long time prior to today, and it has always related to censorship. The campaign is a protest against censorship and an attempt to display solidarity with others who are threatened with death for drawing a picture. Many people simply draw a stick figure labeled “Muhammad” to make their statement. It’s hard for a rational person to understand why someone would be offended by that.
    Even if drawing Muhammad is mean, it’s still protected. Being mean and insensitive is not outlawed. We should not be thought police. That is the whole point of DMD. I am saddened to see that this point is lost on so many.

  • Paul

    This is a very well written article and you make very good points. I don’t think that anyone has the right to threaten or murder someone else just because their feelings are hurt. Its disgusting if you ask me. Unfortunately some only know violence.

  • Big_oil

    “Husain might have been trying to make a statement about Hinduism”
    Hussain is a rabid Islamic extremist.
    If you say that you are an artist, fine I will take you at your word. Prove to me then you will draw the Prophet or Allah nude. Show me a painting of Ayesha and the Prophet nude therby demonstrating a equal critique of all faiths. If you don’t, that’s hypocrisy and you are not a free thinking artist but rather an Islamic fundamentalist targeting a specific religion.
    Your article proves the so called Hindu Nationalist perspective that pseudo-secularism in India is not secular at all but about Islamic appeasement (is it out of fear? a hope that being nice to the bully will end the bullying?). With this kind of absurd double standard, no wonder nationalism is growing.

  • http://thinpancakes.wordpress.com Craig

    “This issues has been discussed for a long time prior to today, and it has always related to censorship. The campaign is a protest against censorship and an attempt to display solidarity with others who are threatened with death for drawing a picture.” – Matt
    That’s all good and fine, I don’t think people should be threatened; however, my understanding is that this started with Comedy Central’s self-censorship. Self-censorship is perfectly acceptable and it is protected by our freedom of speech. The same freedom of speech that allows you to make offensive statements permits me to choose not to make those same statements. Protesting self-censorship in the name of free speech is contradictory at least.
    If you’re protesting the extremist Muslim community by offending them, I can say that’s slightly more logically conclusive, but I still have no sympathy for you when you come to realize that your actions have consequences. This is because there are plenty of constructive, creative avenues to achieve your goal and you were lazy and chose a destructive path that will ultimately dissolve relationships across cultures and religions rather than fortify them.
    I’m all for free speech, but free speech means freedom from outside censorship–not freedom from accepting responsibility for your speech or freedom from the consequences of speaking irresponsibly. I believe the purpose behind this is to shed the responsibility that comes with free speech rather than pursue some higher level of free speech.
    This is just another rehash of Blasphemy Day. If the participants of this movement cared about free speech or understood what it truly is, they would have chosen a more constructive and creative route than they did. Instead they seek to offend those different than them and for that reason I lack sympathy for them.

  • Anan E. Maus

    Muslims believe that representing God in human form is sacrilege. I don’t see anything wrong with endeavoring to respect that belief.
    It is not my personal belief, but I do not see anything wrong with trying to be respectful of it.
    Orthodox Jews hold some similar beliefs. They do not believe in using a name for God, but only mention Him by implication – “The Name” – and such.
    I think it is entirely appropriate to try and respect their beliefs.
    Namaste

  • Matt

    “my understanding is that this started with Comedy Central’s self-censorship. Self-censorship is perfectly acceptable and it is protected by our freedom of speech. The same freedom of speech that allows you to make offensive statements permits me to choose not to make those same statements. Protesting self-censorship in the name of free speech is contradictory at least.” – Craig
    Craig, I certainly agree with you that self-censorship is fine. Also, I do not think the more vicious Muhammad drawings from today are necessary. However, I don’t think that this issue is as simple as Comedy Central self-censoring and people taking it as an excuse to attack Islam.
    I think the general view is that Comedy Central was pressured into censoring their content, or that they submitted because they were afraid of the backlash. I seriously doubt they self-censored because they were trying to be genuinely respectful. The writers of South Park DID in fact receive death threats.
    There is also a very common view that Islam is “off limits” to criticism. Christianity receives a lot of offensive criticism, but it’s taken in stride. Islam seems to get special consideration. I don’t know if this is necessarily true, but I guarantee that many people have this opinion, whether it’s because they’re afraid of the violent extremists, or something else.
    This isn’t just about Comedy Central. Lars Vilks was recently assaulted by muslim extremists for drawing Muhammad as a dog. Then later there was an attempt to burn his house down.
    Similar scenarios have been playing out for years. Just look back to 2005 when there was the debacle with the Danish cartoon controversy.
    I would content that a lot of this “self censorship” is actually done because the people involved are afraid. Censoring yourself out of fear of violence is not what you are talking about.

  • Khan

    Well i think there are limitation of freedom of speech … just think if i use abusive words against ur sister or mother will u tolerate this… coz those relations are close to us and important to us … similarly the Prophet who is most respectable and lovable to us no 1 has any right to draw his face or cartoon …..
    if some1 has given threats like he or she will kill the one who started this Draw Muhammad Day …. i think he is right to express wat he or she thinks… so if the one who started drawing this cartoon is killed by some1 that is their personal issue … we dont have any right to say anything …
    coz the one who will kill her he ll have the the right to express his feelings …
    Simple …………..?

  • http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs340.ash1/29165_626554682383_15208078_35363067_1388030_n.jpg Tim

    Based on what you’ve said, I consider the Hussain case as bad as the Comedy Central one, just more divorced from my personal experience (happening in India as it were). Also not that my DMD sketch included Jesus and Vishnu. Mohammad and I beat them at volleyball.
    The problem is that there’s just no sense behind it. What if I try to draw a stereotypical Arab, just a regular Joezari. Then a friend sees it and thinks its supposed to be Mohammad, does that mean I blasphemed?
    What if my religion considers it blasphemy to eat meat? Suppose I’m deeply offended by other people eating meat. Will all the Muslims and Hindus of the world stop eating meat to avoid offending me? I think not.

  • Thomas R

    I did participate, but I’m starting to have my doubts about that action. I usually am quite sensitive to the feelings of other faiths.
    Still it seems to me a person could depict Muhammad in an innocent fashion or at least without it being a specific critique of Islam. The depiction I did was as innocent as I could make it. (Him just smiling on a sunny day. I wanted to depict him as a good guy) So my intent was just solidarity with people who depict Muhammad innocently, by ignorance even, but get hostility anyway or get overreaction from non-Muslims who expect Muslim hostility.
    Also America isn’t India. I don’t think the religious tensions here are quite so high and studies would seem to confirm that. Drawing a smiling Muhammad on a sunny day might be provocative in India and inflame Muslim/Hindu tensions. I would hope in this country Muslims could just brush it off as “dumb things infidels do.”
    Still even though I did it on a science fiction writers site I guess if it hurt any Muslims I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intent and I do find dehumanizing or racist depictions of Muhammad offensive.

  • Matt

    @Khan
    “Well i think there are limitation of freedom of speech …”
    in America, you are not allowed to slander others or publicly declare things about them that you know are false. Drawing stick figures is not in the same league.
    “just think if i use abusive words against ur sister or mother will u tolerate this…”
    Honestly, I’d probably punch someone for this, but I would be wrong.
    “similarly the Prophet who is most respectable and lovable to us no 1 has any right to draw his face or cartoon”
    I can draw his face if I damn well want to. I don’t believe in you “prophet”.
    “if some1 has given threats like he or she will kill the one who started this Draw Muhammad Day …. i think he is right to express wat he or she thinks… so if the one who started drawing this cartoon is killed by some1 that is their personal issue … we dont have any right to say anything …
    coz the one who will kill her he ll have the the right to express his feelings …”
    That person is certainly allowed to think whatever they want. However, I wholeheartedly disagree that if someone is killed over this, it is somehow justified. That logic is so warped and out of touch with reality that I’m not sure how to respond. That is not a personal issue. That is murder. “The right to express his feelings…”. Yeah… That’s a bit psycho.

  • Indrani Rampersad

    I won’t participate in desecrating the “sacred” of another religion because I seek mutual respect in this global village that we call home.
    Your response reflects this Hindu characteristic to respect others, especially in the realm of the “sacred.” However, when war is declared unjustly on you and without provocation, then it becomes a sacred duty to respond appropriately – see Bhagavad Gita.
    While I do not support violence, I recognize the need for it in cases of a country at war and in self-defense, for example. Violence should not be a response, however, in more civilized times.
    I define the artistic desecration of a people’s “sacred” as violence. I disagree with your words, “While I’d like to believe that Mr. Husain didn’t set out to offend in quite the same way, I still think its pretty reasonable to say that he ought to to have known how hurt some Hindus would be. . . Husain, it turns out, grew up in a Hindu temple town and had ample opportunity to educate himself about what would and would not offend his Hindu neighbors. Husain might have been trying to make a statement about Hinduism, or religious fundamentalism, or Indian politics. Fair enough. The folks drawing Muhammad today may be voicing their opinion about censorship. I get that. But why punish innocent people of faith to make ar point? ”
    Husain was engaging in violence when he painted sacrilegious pictures of the Hindu sacred. Islam has engaged in desecrating the Hindu sacred for centuries since its invasion in India to present times.
    Now, when western cartoonists are engaging in what they call creativity, what Muslims see as desecration of their sacred (and I agree with them here) we see Muslim threats of violence. This is what is causing people to retreat and not the more noble value of mutual respect. The other issue is how far can we go in taunting and hurting the religious sentiments of others without expecting a violent backlash? When is the time right for a violent reaction when violence faces you?
    We all need to engage in dialog and appreciate the value of “mutual respect” as a core value in today’s global world where we live next to each other.

  • Anan E. Maus

    the ignorant love fighting, controversy, hatred, confrontation and domination.
    the wise see the futility in these endeavors and work for harmony and the manifestation of spiritual qualities.
    we, as a culture are not going to defeat fundamentalist Islam by provoking these people and attacking them.
    We will “defeat” them by promoting great diplomatic and cultural exchanges, by promoting peace efforts and finding common ground.
    part of finding common ground is offering respect.
    Jewish people do not call God by name, rather they do so more subtly.
    If someone were to walk up to a Jewish person and scream all the different names for God, who would not think that was disrespectful.
    If Muslims believe depicting God in human form is offensive, why provoke them?
    This isn’t an expression of right and liberty and freedom, it is an expression of the most ignorant force within us…our aggressive desire to harm and destroy others.
    and, not only is it a very low, and ignorant spiritual expression…it is also tremendously political naive.
    All it will do is create backlash.
    Unless we plan on murdering the full 1 billion Muslims in the world, we better think of another way to resolve the problem other than force.

  • Anita

    Nicely written. Thanks for writing this.

  • Nilesh Lolayekar

    No freedom can be unlimited & can go unchecked .For example I can enjoy my freedom as long as my actions do not cause any bodily and/or emotional harm to others . That in-effect should be the limitation of freedom . Both M F Hussain and the cartoonist have forgotten this and are facing the natural consequence of their actions .

  • Craig

    “I would content that a lot of this “self censorship” is actually done because the people involved are afraid. Censoring yourself out of fear of violence is not what you are talking about.” – Matt
    I almost agree with you. I agree that there is reason to believe that CC censored iteself out of fear, but it’s also possible that the threats made CC realize that it was being offensive and, desiring to be respectful, it withdrew its offensive content. I think we can both agree that this scenario is good and fine.
    On the other hand, if this was done in fear, then that is a different scenario. However, I don’t think it is permission for other people to disrespect a religious populace just to show that they can. I can’t think of a single reason in which a person would need to draw the prophet and couldn’t include a culturally-respectful fire-veil over his face. The people making these caricatures are standing up for a right they have no desire to even exercise. People generally don’t stand up for rights they don’t need.
    Now on the other hand, if Muslims were offended by us consuming oxygen and threatened to kill us if we continued, I could possibly see a scenario in which a protest would be valid; however, as it is, we are provoking a fight just so we have something to protest against in the name of “free speech”. If we would be respectful in the first place (especially since being respectful doesn’t cost us anything) our “free speech” wouldn’t be limited in the first place.
    I simply have no sympathy for people who refuse to attempt to live in harmony with others.
    As far as your comments about Islam being off-limits, I would agree that it’s more taboo than insulting Christianity; so in lieu of that, I think an appropriate protest I propose we respect people of both religions instead of striving to disrespect them both equally. I would bet that would be the most revolutionary and effective protest of all time!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/omsweetom/2010/05/draw-muhammad-oh-wait-no-dont_comments.html Arjun

    This article is full of pseudo secularism. Only few hindus protested against Hussain and you are comparing that will billions of Muslims that act as if their house is on fire when someone draws a picture of mohammad. Mohammad was just a prophet (NOT A GOD). We have to stop being politically correct all the time and stand up against Islamic fanaticism. Obviously, you have not seen millions of Hindus being kicked out of Kashmir and raped and tortured. Muslim propoganda machinery is good at taking a small issue and blowing it out of proportion. They made the world feel that Muslims are victims in Kashmir when in reality the HINDUS were who were kicked out and killed.
    Let me tell you this. You are still “kaafir” in their eyes and if given a chance they will sacrifice you to get their share of 72 virgins. And here you are kind of defending them. Wake up! Krishna did not just taught how to control your senses. He also taught how to fight against repression and irreligion. Be a Arjuna!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/omsweetom Vineet Chander

    @Arjun: Sorry you find my post “full of psuedo-secularism”. I thought I was clear in my view — I find Husain’s art offensive and hurtful, and I find stunts clearly designed to poke at Muslims offensive and hurtful for the same reasons. The point of my comparison was not to defend anti-Hindu statements or be politically correct, it was to try to have a consistent and common-sense approach to hate speech.
    And please let ME tell YOU this: Your bringing up Kashmir and generalizing about (all) Muslims sacrificing others to get 72 virgins is off-point and hurts the credibility of your argument.
    My understanding of the Gita is that Krishna taught Arjuna how to fight in a spirit of devotion, devoid of ego, and as a service to God and offering the results to Him. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of that devotion and ego-less-ness in the Hindutva movement that claims to be following in Arjuna’s footsteps.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/omsweetom/2010/05/draw-muhammad-oh-wait-no-dont_comments.html Arjun

    There is something called “disproportionate response”. This is a very important term. I agree that there is reaction from both the sides but that does not make both sides equal culprits. It is the “disproportionate response” that sets them apart. On one side muslims, are trigger happy and even slightest provocation will get them to scream for blood. For Hindus, they are raised to be good humans, egoless and compassionate. It takes a big provocation to show a little reaction by limited numner of people and even that is not as extreme as reaction show by Muslim at slightest of provocation. For most part Hindus try to forgive just like Arjun forgive Kauravas. But it was only when Kauravas took his gestures as sign of weakness. He was forced to fight under guidance of Krishna. Krishna is not present in personal form to guide us now, but when shove comes to push. It is our duty to rise against it. Even Gita talks about killing 4 kind of people causes no sin. So, krishna is very clear on that.
    Regarding being ego-less, forget Hindutva movement. How many people out of billions have actually reached that stage. In best case scenario, may be handful. So why single out Hindutva movement for NOT being ego-less? Do remember if you are fighting a war and opponent is not following rules of war, you can’t really stick to rules. Same thing happened during Mahabharat, after Kauravas killed Abhimanyu breaking the rules. Krishna guided pandavas to break the rules of war for killing Drona, Karna, Duryodana….. I see Krishna being very supportive of all this.
    There is tendency to use Krishna’s teaching to promote non-violence at every cost. But do remember that sometimes even “non-violence is violence”. These words were spoken by someone very famous that you must definitely know.

  • gene willis

    south park wrighters have picked on everyone from sports to governments to religions,and no one got offended up untill now.the muslims want to sensore free everything in the name of there murdering religion!this is america and not the islam nation,if you cant take a joke here,get the hell out!!people ,the smart people are tired of liberals and nations telling us what to say and do in our country.you came here on you’r own and not at gun point!the people of this nation will fight back when pushed into a cornor.GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

  • Soleil

    The underlying issue with Muslims is that they don’t understand the rule of ‘Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you’.
    The mindset is that while it’s under NO circumstances okay for a person to exercise his freedom of speech in a manner insulting to Islam, it is perfectly alright for Muslims to do so towards other faiths.
    The reason being simply because they *think* their faith is superior to other faiths, and therefore a Muslim who practices intolerance, insults and other disrespectful behaviour towards other faiths is not looked down upon in the Muslim community, in fact, his actions would be considered righteous due to the superiority complex I previously mentioned.

  • m.owais ahmed khan

    When u attack black ppl,they call it “racism”,when u attack jewesh ppl,they call it “anti-semetism”,when u attack women,they call it “gender discrimination”,when u attack homosexuality,they call it “intolerance”,when u attack ur country,they call it “hate speech”
    BUT WHEN THEY ATTACK PROPHET (P.B.U.H,THEY CALL IT “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION”
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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posted 5:21:42pm Jan. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Coalition Against Reality: Deconstructing an Attack on the Hindu American Foundation
Principled opposition is expected when litigating issues in the public square, and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) , for which I serve as the Senior Director, has at times faced stiff opposition from the right and left of the ideological spectrum in response to various positions, reports, and st

posted 5:38:10pm Jan. 06, 2014 | read full post »

Advice on kindness
My yoga teacher sent me the below link to George Saunders' convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013. It's worth a read: http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

posted 10:24:26am Aug. 08, 2013 | read full post »




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