Cartoons, Islam, and Free Speech

Thursday, July 15, 2010

THE FOLLOWING was written by James Cohen of the International Free Press Society. See the original here: Buy Cartoon.

It looks to me like governments all over the civilized world are scrambling for new legislation to deal with ancient problems. That France for example, wants to protect the freedom and rights of women, by making certain choices of clothing illegal, when they could as easily use existing laws to make Burkas and so on inconvenient beyond any reasonable utility.

In other words, stop making exceptions in law for those who want to destroy us and our freedoms, and the problem solves itself.

In that spirit, our freedom of expression has been under direct attack for sometime now. It would be easy to start the clock at the Danish cartoon crisis which may or may not be the case, but without question, the Danish cartoon riots did mark the point at which basically any Muslim or for that matter, mid-level bureaucrat could make a complaint about a soft ice-cream-cone logo and have major corporations scramble to change it or pull it from the shelves lest it offend a volatile Muslim.

So how do we stop this sprint to hand our freedoms to the most barbaric man in the room?

Easy.

Each time a threat or indeed a real act of violence is committed to force us all to sharia standards of freedom we go the other way. Too many targets and it becomes a failed effort. I say we all draw Mohamed. We make a T shirt with a blasphemy for Islam on it.

More than once I have seen university students with T shirts sporting captions such as…

“Jesus. He did it for the chicks”

It takes about as much courage to do that as it would to eat a ham sandwich in front of Mahatma Gandhi on the 40th day of a fast and do about as much good. But if enough of us showed the same willingness to fight this irrational religious authority as we do attacking the Church on the matter of Galileo and the Solar system model, we could put this problem to bed in a weekend. It is our rapid and easy submission that fuels these attacks much more than any edict within Islam itself.

In that spirit, the IFPS is bringing another limited edition Mohamed Cartoon print. This time, from the Swedish artist, Lars Vilks, who generated a nice string of fatwa’s and death threats for putting a head representing Mohamed, on a dogs body. Here is a link to a moedoggie archive:

These limited edition prints have just been made available now, and as the Kurt Westergaard, ‘Bomb-Turban’ one sold so quickly, and rumour has it, are now showing some signs of appreciation already, I would suggest you get a copy of the Vilks-toon now while there is still a supply. For your own enjoyment and potential investment, but also because in so doing, we show that each threat against freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and what I consider perhaps the most important, freedom to criticize and indeed even mock, irrational religious authority, will only serve to generate more images, more derision, and less authority for those who would set limits for us on thought, speech and expression.

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