Everybody Draw Holocaust Day!

by Luke Muehlhauser on May 25, 2010 in Ethics,Islam

May 20th was Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. It was a great success. The day was a protest against Muslims who threaten violence upon those who depict their prophet. The idea was: If millions of people draw Mohammed, Muslims can’t murder them all. The main purpose was to defend the right of free speech around the world.

Now, some Muslim guy is ‘striking back’ with a Facebook group called Everybody Draw Holocaust Day (June 20th). His summary is:

The difference is that you draw Lies about Muhammad and we draw Truth about you. That you seek to bring unrest and conflict, and we wish to uncover the reality so injustice is no more.

Michael Peck writes:

His semi-coherent manifesto seems to be that if people have the right to draw the Prophet Muhammed, then they have the right to question the existence of the Holocaust.

Um, yeah. That’s the whole point. The whole point of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day was to assert our rights to speak freely, whether other people like it or not.

And so of course everyone who supported free speech with Everybody Draw Mohammed Day will be happy to support free speech with Everybody Draw Holocaust Day.

The purpose for these Muslims seems to be to assert that the Holocaust never happened, or has been exaggerated. And I defend their right to say that, even though I disagree. So here’s my message to the Muslims on that Facebook group:

Go for it. I defend everyone’s right to free speech, just as I did during Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.

Michael Peck agrees:

Go right on ahead. Every time someone draws Muhammed, write a Facebook post that claims that 6 million Jews were never killed, and that they have really spent the last 65 years hiding in Grandma Sadie’s basement. Every time someone satires Muhammed, wave banners proclaiming that the Nazi death camps were actually vacation resorts. See if anyone threatens to kill you. But also see if this stops the cartoons or enhances respect for Islam.

I defend Muslims’ rights to deny the holocaust. I disagree, and I will hold them in contempt, but I will not threaten them with violence. That’s what ‘free speech’ means.

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Ajay May 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

But if the suggestion is that these Muslims don’t believe that the Holocaust occurred, what will they draw? It’ll just be a blank sheet of paper. Boooring.

  (Quote)

Bill Maher May 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm

lol @ AJ

  (Quote)

Mark May 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I don’t see anyone actually drawing the Holocaust, though. It just seems like another occasion for a few deranged Muslims to vent their antisemitism.

  (Quote)

Alexandros Marinos May 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I hereby declare every likeness of a person drawn for ‘Everybody Draw the Holocaust Day’ to be a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

  (Quote)

lukeprog May 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Maybe they’ll draw a picture of somebody writing down ‘made up stories’ about the Holocaust.

Anyway, I wonder what ‘lies’ these Muslims think people are telling about Mohammed. That he had a 9-year-old wife, for example? That’s from early Muslim sources, not secular ones, and it is the explicit reason that many Muslim nations allow the marriage of women that young – because the prophet did it.

  (Quote)

Lee A.P. May 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Luke, the Hadith’s that show that Muhammed fucked a 9 year old girl(he married her at 6 and consummated the marriage when she was 9) cannot be discarded by Muslims because everything we know about the life of Muhammed are also in these Hadith.

Most Muslims around the world do not even deny her age. They uses various excuses such as “back them women had their periods much sooner and so it was appropriate.

Other more moderate or liberal Muslim groups attempt to argue that she was actually 14. A lot of times you will hear these groups say that only the Koran is from God and the Hadiths contain corruptions but — again many miraculous and pious stories of the exploits of Muhammed are contained there and they readily accept those stories.

  (Quote)

lukeprog May 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

If anything, research shows that women have their periods earlier now than they ever did in history, probably due to improved nutrition.

  (Quote)

Atheist.pig May 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I had an exchange once with a muslim about the age of Muhammed’s wives, his response turned my stomach for a while after. He basically said there’s nothing more beautiful than consummating the marriage no matter how young the girl is as long as she has reached puberty. We’re just lucky we live in a society that has outlawed such practices.

  (Quote)

Adito May 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Aren’t we judging by modern standards when we say that it’s wrong to consummate a marriage with a 9 year old? If it was perfectly acceptable at the time then I don’t this kind of judgment is appropriate. By this reasoning the worst you could say is that Muhammed belonged to a culture that had bad practices.

  (Quote)

lukeprog May 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Adito,

What would you like to suggest? Are you suggesting that it was moral or godly for Mohammed to marry a 9-year-old because it wasn’t uncommon in that culture? If so, were racism and sexism moral or godly back then also because they were common? This sounds like cultural relativism to me; are you a cultural relativist when it comes to morality?

  (Quote)

NFQ May 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm

This is so confusing. Why call it “Everybody Draw the Holocaust Day” if you really mean, “Everybody Insinuate That The Mass Murder of 11 Million People Didn’t Happen Day”? Just to match up with the name of the other Facebook event? (It looks like it’s on the 30th of June now, by the way.)

  (Quote)

Revyloution May 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Ill defend Adito’s position.

During the time of Muhammad, morality focused on pleasing God, then pleasing the Father or husband. Women had few rights. It was perfectly moral, in this society, to take pleasure from a wife that was purchased legally.

Our society places its morals on the rights of the individual. We see his marriage as a violation of the rights of Aish’a.

Similarly, we consider consensual sex between men to be a moral act. Neither are breaking our core moral of violating someones individual rights. According to Muhammad, homosexual behavior is an affront to god, thus immoral.

Whether god is real or not is beside the point(and I want to be clear, I think all gods are myths). The morality practiced during Muhammad’s time considered his marriage a moral act. The morality our society practices considers it immoral.

  (Quote)

Mark May 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Whether god is real or not is beside the point(and I want to be clear, I think all gods are myths). The morality practiced during Muhammad’s time considered his marriage a moral act. The morality our society practices considers it immoral.

Who cares? The actual point is that Muhammad does not set the example for how Muslims today should conduct their lives. Nor is it easy to see Muhammad as an effective messenger of God’s timeless moral law if we have to retreat to cultural relativism to find excuses for his actions.

  (Quote)

lukeprog May 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Revyloution,

Right, so that’s cultural relativism, yes?

  (Quote)

Atheist.pig May 26, 2010 at 5:55 am

I believe its only cultural relativism is you think we have no right to intervene or object to their moral customs or practices. Revyloution and Adito were just pointing out the facts about the cultural norms in the muslim society. If they think its none of our business what these societies do to their children, then they are moral relativists.
I’d also like to point out that these practices are still alive and well in the muslim world. You should read Peter Singer on this sort of issue regarding age of consent in general, very interesting and disturbing at the same time.

  (Quote)

Eneasz May 26, 2010 at 7:15 am

Everyone Draw Holocaust Day may be an attempt to point out the blatant hypocrisy of European speech laws. Denial of the holocaust is explicitly illegal in many European countries, and implicitly forbidden in most.

  (Quote)

Haecceitas May 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

Eneasz, I’m not sure at all that I agree with the laws that make holocaust denial illegal, but can you be a little more explicit in showing how it is a blatant hypocrisy? Are you saying that drawing Muhammad and denying the holocaust are relevantly similar so that the denial of one would require the denial of the other for consistency’s sake? Or are you arguing that if there were other events that were relevantly similar to the holocaust in all respects, the denial of those would not be illegal in Europe (thus proving a form of hypocrisy).

  (Quote)

lukeprog May 26, 2010 at 9:25 am

Eneasz,

Good point. Either way, I’m still backing free speech. :)

  (Quote)

Dan May 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

As a Jew, I was really offended at first that you said anything other than “Everyone Draw Holocaust Day is a disgrace.”

However you made valid points that welcoming free speech, however painful it might be for the victims of tragedy, may be the best thing we can do to prevent further violence and help the world mature.

Thank you for making this much needed point.

–Dan

  (Quote)

Justfinethanks May 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm

As a Jew, I was really offended at first that you said anything other than “Everyone Draw Holocaust Day is a disgrace.”

When you see how Germany went from heated Anti-semitic rhetoric to genocide, I can understand how making anti-semitic rhetoric permissible can put anyone ill at ease.

But, as you point out, suppressing free speech is a cure worse than the poison. That’s one of the things that makes me truly glad to live in America. Oh sure, we may lag behind the western world in terms of health care, education, and crime rates, but when it comes to a court system that rigorously defends free speech, the USA can’t be beat.

For example, I’d rather not live a world where people like the Phelps clan travels the country shouting insane and hateful rhetoric against homosexuals. But if they must exist, if I were to make a choice to live in a world where they are begrudgingly tolerated for expressing their idiotic views and one in which such people are imprisoned (no matter how briefly) for simply expressing hateful ideas, I would pick the former every time. Because once you start down that road, any minority viewpoint (such as “Christianity is a delusion”) can be labeled as “hate speech.”

  (Quote)

Justfinethanks May 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Also, why is it that in reaction to a protest promoted primarily by Atheists and Christians, the first thing they think to do is to target and offend Jews?

  (Quote)

Mark May 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Also, why is it that in reaction to a protest promoted primarily by Atheists and Christians, the first thing they think to do is to target and offend Jews?

There are lots of Muslims who like to take their grievances out on “the West,” where “the West” is some incredibly vague entity that blurs together a bunch of different anxieties at once. It’s a bit like how crazy right-wingers think Obama is a communist and a Nazi and a Muslim simultaneously.

  (Quote)

lukeprog May 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

LOL @ Obama = Nazi and Muslim and communist. Hahahahaha.

  (Quote)

Ajay May 27, 2010 at 4:55 am

So if i understand correctly, some of the muslims hate the jews for the geographical problem of israel. So, therefore they are somehow motivated to believe that the holocaust never happened and the Jews are just using it as an excuse to grab their land.

Does it also mean, that if indeed the Holocaust is proved to have happened beyond all doubt for every single person, then the jews are justified to grab the land?

Is that their thinking?

Shouldnt they be separating the 2 facts of what the jews are doing now to their land etc vs. what the jews suffered earlier?

They seem to be mixing the 2 and seem to suggest that if indeed the holocaust happened then the existence of Israel is justified.

  (Quote)

Hitch May 27, 2010 at 7:36 am

I agree. People forgot the misquoted Voltaire: “I vehemently disagree with you but I will fight for your right to say it.”

Let Holocaust deniers speak. We can put out facts and judge them for any misleading information they put out or any fabrications they make. That’s how it is supposed to work. And by that process we will actually strengthen the evidence for the holocaust, keep sharpen the testimonies and fill in real details. And if people just promote bigotry we will have a wealth of evidence.

Same with Muhammad. We have learned that historical depictions exist. That the rigidification of the don’t-draw mandate is recent (17-18 century), that Sunni and Shi’a see this differently. That some Muslim think it doesn’t apply to non-Muslims and so forth. All this from the right to speak. Opposition and discourse is fine. Let them call me hateful for drawing smiling stick figures! I’m happy to argue my case that it’s not hateful at all.

  (Quote)

GG May 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I love your writing luke, you enrich my life greatly.
Thank you very much.

  (Quote)

John May 30, 2010 at 1:09 am

Sure, I have my aversions to pedophilia and such an early marriage… but I don’t understand what’s wrong with being a cultural relativist. Luke, the way you questioned him made it sound like it was a bad thing.

If anything, I’d think that atheists can sympathize/understand cultural relativists the most. After all, cultural relativists are just people who lack “faith” in the existence of an “absolute” perspective of morality.

  (Quote)

Leave a Comment