In light of the recent veiled (ha!) threats aimed at the creators of the television show South Park… by bloggers on Revolution Muslim's website, we hereby deem May 20, 2010 as the first 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!' Do your part to both water down the pool of targets and, oh yeah, defend a little something our country is famous for (but maybe not for long? Comedy Central cooperated with terrorists and pulled the episode) the first amendment. - Molly Norris (prior to April 20, 2010)
I'm against my own concept becoming a reality.... If I had wanted to be taken seriously, I would be thrilled, but now I'm horrified because people did take it as an actual day. The one-off cartoon is not good as a long term plan because it's offensive. - Molly Norris (April 20, 2010)
………………… - Molly Norris (after April 20, 2010)
Ideology blinds. Ideology always trumps reason and fact. It is thus sad when ideology corrupts journalists, as it evidently and seemingly increasingly has been doing. Facts are ignored and even suppressed. It is also sad when ideology corrupts organizations, whose essential goal is to promote freedom of speech like PEN, American Library Association, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).
Intrusion of ideology into the realm of freedom of speech serves to diminish freedom of speech… and often in perverted ways. The NCAC recently published its “15 Threats to Free Speech 2015” (see http://ncac.org/blog/15-threats-to-free-speech-in-2015/). Thanks to the right-wing Washington Examiner, I was made aware of that. I hadn’t noticed any mention of it at all in the left-wing New York Times or Washington Post. So, that in itself is a good reason all independently-minded individuals should consult both right and left-wing media, something I do on a daily basis. The number of stories not mentioned in the left-wing media, especially regarding Islam and its clear threat to freedom of speech, for example, is mind-boggling. With that regard, examine Vladtepesblog. How one can argue against the clash of civilizations is equally mind-boggling. Yet many do so regarding Islam vs. Western Democracy and usually via the great silencing tool known as Islamophobia. Multiculti-ideology prohibits fact and reason apt to support the reality of the clash of civilizations.
One of the NCAC’s 15 threats, in particular, “Islam ‘Indoctrination’ Hysteria,” provoked me to question and consequently challenge the NCAC. The purported threat regarded the so-called pro-Islamic indoctrination going on in some, perhaps many, public schools, where some history textbooks, for example, provide far greater space to Islam than to other religions. Why that was an example of hysteria is not clear at all in the brief NCAC note:
“There’s been a wave of parental and community outrage over alleged Islamic 'indoctrination' going on in public schools. The complaints range from world history textbooks to children's book that some think paint a rosy picture of the faith. The movement is especially intense in Tennessee, and State Representative Sheila Butt wants to help by introducing a bill that would prohibit the teaching of any "religious doctrine" until the 10th grade.”
After all, is not hysteria the opposite of reality? But what really provoked me was that it was the only Islam-related threat mentioned. No mention of “Islamophobia Hysteria” was made, as in the media’s quick rush to judgment in the recent Texas mosque arson incident, where it turned out the arsonist was not an angry-white Islamophobe, but rather a Muslim who prayed at the mosque in question (see http://www.mediaite.com/online/tx-man-charged-in-mosque-fire-says-he-regularly-came-there-to-pray/). Islamophobia (fear of Islam) is of course being pushed by CAIR, the current Obama administration (and previous Bush administration), and the multitude of Muslim Student Associations entrenched in the nation’s universities. It is used like the term “racism” in a clear effort to stifle debate regarding Islam and muzzle critics of Islam.
The egregious omission in the NCAC list, which was not at all mentioned in the Washington Examiner article (see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/anti-censorship-group-college-free-speech-zones-threat-to-first-amendment/article/2580627) was Islam, not as a victim of anti-Islamic hysteria, but rather as a direct threat to freedom of speech. Why that egregious omission? Was it purposeful? Certainly! After all, how could the NCAC staff have forgotten about the near massacre in Garland, TX? Surely, there must have been a behind-closed doors meeting with that regard and a conscious decision made not even to mention Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s American Freedom Defense Initiative “Draw the Prophet” cartoon contest, where two Islamic terrorists came to murder freedom of speech itself. Both the latter were thankfully killed by law enforcement before they could massacre cartoonist’s et al. As a cartoonist myself, the one cartoon I know in my heart to be by far the most dangerous to draw is caricature of Islam and Muhammad. I thus pushed myself, in support of the murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in 2015, to sketch such a drawing for the front cover of the journal I publish.
What is truly sad today is how so many will cowardly argue that when a person expresses an idea they do not like that such expression is somehow not an instance of freedom of speech, but rather one of hate speech. Yet because hate speech is such a nebulous concept (hate for you, might be free expression for me and vice versa), there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment, as clearly noted by constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh (see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/07/no-theres-no-hate-speech-exception-to-the-first-amendment/). Sadly, Europe and Canada have opted for the opposite direction by enacting hate-speech legislation.
Those who are quick to proclaim “hate speech” do NOT know what freedom of speech means at all. To somehow argue that “Draw the Prophet” was not freedom of speech, as many in the media did, is indeed a manifestation of blatant ignorance. That cartoon contest was certainly a far greater memorial to the murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonists than the vacuous Je Suis Charlie manifestation held in Paris and led by political hacks from Merkel, Cameron to Hollande, who are far from advocates of free speech. At least Obama, for once in his life, chose not to be a flaming hypocrite and not attend the manifestation.
For those who have forgotten, Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris (see quotes above) no longer exists today—entirely disappeared in America—because she’d suggested an “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day” in the light or rather darkness of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The NCAC fails egregiously to even mention the attempts to silence the speech of those like Pamela Geller, who has had to fight court battles to be able to present opposing bus ads, for example, to those presented by CAIR, as in My Jihad is a Big Smiley Face (see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/us/ad-campaigns-fight-it-out-over-meaning-of-jihad.html?_r=0). Of course, the NCAC is well aware of that ad campaign and court battles, of which some have been successful (see http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/216626/pamela-geller-anti-islam-bus-ads-coming-to-philade/). Why have they been successful? The First Amendment is why!
In part, those free-speech Muslim assassins who came to Garland, TX succeeded, for the media cowered and refused in large part to publish the winning cartoon drawn by Bosch Fawstin. Amazingly, for example, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, one of the NCAC’s Banned Books Week co-sponsors, would not only not publish the cartoon but wouldn’t even mention the winner’s name (with that regard, read my “conversation” with CBLDF director, Charles Brownstein here http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2016/01/comic-book-legal-defense-fund.html). Of course, the left-wing pro-Islam, anti-free speech New York Times, Washington Post and others also refused to publish the winning cartoon and wouldn’t even publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that resulted in the assassination of the cartoonists. Shame on them!
Today, Islam is the greatest threat to freedom of speech here in America, and the NCAC wouldn’t even include it in its “15 Threats to Free Speech 2015.” In that sense, the NCAC has itself become a threat to free speech. Ideology blinds… even professed warriors of free speech…