Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jyllands-Posten: the 5-year anniversary

People shouldn't go out of their way to piss other people off, but when it comes to freedom of expression, they should have the right to say, write, and draw what they please. Blaming the Jyllands-Posten cartoonists for provoking murderous and destructive behavior is about as ass-backward as one can get, and only people who subscribe to a philosophy of victimology would sympathize with the Muslims who flew into a rage over those cartoons. Those Muslims had a choice: set fire to Danish embassies or protest in a civilized manner. They chose the former, and should be held accountable.

I, for one, side with the cartoonists. No one should live in fear of reprisal for their religious irreverence, and anyone interested in fairness should recognize that, if it's permissible to ridicule Christianity and Christians-- routinely and relentlessly-- through written satire, cartoons, etc., then it's permissible to do those things to other religions and their adherents as well. That's how fairness works.

So, Bill Maher: more Islam jokes, please, even if Christine O'Donnell is a truly tempting target.



Anonymous said...


I'm with you on this and am not attacking you, but, you are an artist: will you be posting your own pictures of Mohammed? You don't need to draw an overtly offensive picture, a stick figure would be fine.

I have supported "Everyone draw Muhammed Day" but only in my thoughts. For whatever reason, I have not bothered making even a stick figure and labeling it Muhammed.

If it wasn't clear, I used to post here as Kwandongbrian.

Charles said...

This raises an interesting question: if I draw a a Picasso-like human figure and then label it "Muhammed," then I am offending (some) Muslims. But if I take the label away, it is no longer offensive. So it's not the actual image or representation of the prophet that offends, but the word itself. To put it another way, the sign in question does not become offensive until the proper signifier is attached to the signified.

I realize that this is probably pretty obvious, but it suddenly struck me as weird that I can draw a stick figure and be fine, but possibly have my building burned down if I write "Muhammed" next to it.

Kevin Kim said...


A very important question, since I just drew some stick-figure cartoons that depict Muhammad only because I say they do.


asdf said...

You should have mentioned -- because I think it is forgotten by now -- that 3 of the "offensive" cartoons were actually drawn by the Danish Imams that started the uproar. One of their cartoons showed a muslim woman being raped by a dog.

Kevin Kim said...

Interesting. I guess that's a reference to this? Shame on those imams, then.