For those of you not already aware of the South Park Muhammad fiasco, I will attempt to enlighten you. If you already know about it, skip to the steps below.
South Park released an excellent episode that displayed the problem with showing Muhammad — you can’t show him or death threats will ensue. The first episode (part one of a two-part show) ended with Muhammad being brought out in a bear costume that didn’t even show his eyes, so that the town of South Park would not be blown up (or so the characters of South Park had hoped). This episode resulted in multiple death threats from Extremist Muslim communities. Comedy Central, the network that airs South Park Episodes, caved to the threats. They suspended the internet version of the episode (this is an episode you can no longer watch on the South Park website) and severely censored the second episode, which was never released online. They also suspended an old episode called “Super Friends” which featured an actual cartoon version of Muhammad. The makers of South Park have issued a public statement saying that they did not authorize the censorship. Comedy Central still has not issued any comment on the matter.
Comedy Central’s fear is not unwarranted. Several people who have drawn and displayed images of Muhammad or criticized Islam have received the same death threats. Some went into hiding, others were murdered. Theo Van Gogh, a film director who produced a documentary criticizing Islam’s treatment of women, was one of the murder victims. Photos of his body were used to threaten Comedy Central. This represents one of the worst forms of censorship I have seen — because of its international scale. It isn’t being perpetrated by any one government; it is being perpetrated by murderous extremist groups who reach around the globe to kill anyone who offends them. It’s time this murderous censorship came to an end. That’s why the International Draw Muhammad Day meme was started.
Our plan is to spread the images of Muhammad around the internet in order to send a message to these murderous extremists. We must all tell them that we will not be silenced. They can’t tell us what we can or can’t say, or who we can or can’t draw. Censorship cannot take all of us down.
The way this will work:
1. Everyone who receives this must spread the word. Post it on your blog, write a note or bulletin, make a journal entry, send e-mails to everyone in your address book, make a youtube video talking about it, whatever it takes. That way, if one of us is taken out, there will still be millions more who are spreading the word.
2. Draw Muhammad. You don’t have to be an artist. Draw a stick figure, a smiley face, whatever you can. Those who use different media in their artwork can show Muhammad differently (sculptures, carvings, whatever)
3. Photograph or scan in this artwork, in an internet-compatible file type.
4. On May 20, post it in all the places where you told people about the event. Make sure it’s posted in as many places as possible, so that it can’t be censored away.
And that’s all there is to it. By participating in this, you will take a stand for free speech. You will stand up for the rights of every person around the world. Murderous extremists will not rule over what we say and what we draw. We will not be silenced!!!
Link to the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Everybody-Draw-Muhammad-Day/116425498385947
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