After Seattle artist Molly Norris jokingly suggested that May 20 become “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,” in reponse to last month’s brouhaha over the South Park 200th episode poking fun at this ongoing cartoon controversy, she tried to backtrack by taking down her website and avoiding interviews.

No matter. According to CNN, more than 7,000 images of Islam’s prophet have been uploaded today, though the Washington Post reports that most editorial cartoonists have avoided the subject. (Unfortunately, though we’ve probably crossed paths around town in the last few weeks, I haven’t been able to reach Norris myself; you can check out the Seattle P-I’s interview with her here.)

What I find interesting — and what Norris seemed to be getting at in her original cartoon, which included “depictions” of Muhammad as a cup of coffee and a spool of thread — is the question of at what point a devout Muslim finds a depiction offensive? What if I draw a happy face here and say it’s the Prophet Muhammad? 🙂 And why, as South Park basically asked, does this one person get to be off limits in a multifaith, multicultural world? Certainly, it seems like Muslims have a lot more to worry about, both from within and outside their communities, than a few mean-spirited sketches.

Also, for what it’s worth, not all Muslims believe that drawings of Muhammad are sinful and must be censored; there are some beautiful old Persian manuscripts that depicted him during the Middle Ages.

Thoughts?

*Click here to subscribe to Belief Beat and click here to follow Belief Beat on Twitter.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Thank you for visiting Belief Beat. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy:   Beliefnet News   Good News Happy Reading!  

Author Alain de Botton has announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the United Kingdom, presumably so nonbelievers have a place to gather and share their philosophies. Um… isn’t that what Starbucks is for? Also, I can’t wait to see how the architect will handle this kind of project. Maybe the building can feature […]

Alaska Airlines, now the country’s seventh-largest airline, has announced it will stop offering prayer cards with its in-flight meals. (It’s just raining religion news in the great unchurched Pacific Northwest lately.) I’ve flown Alaska several times since moving to Seattle, but I confess that I’ve never noticed these Psalm quotations. They were only offered on […]

I reported for Reuters at the Washington state Capitol yesterday, covering the public hearings on a gay marriage bill — and in between, the breaking news that the state Senate now has enough votes to pass the bill. (The House already had enough votes.) It now appears that Washington’s lawmakers will legalize gay marriage next month, […]