According to a certain event on Facebook, today is Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. When I first heard about the concept, I had a lot of positive thoughts about it. “Gee”, I said, “This is a great opportunity to promote freedom of speech!” I’ve also never liked the idea of a religion being able to tell people outside that religion what to do, especially if some members of that religion resort to threats of violence to do so (that being what started the whole thing off). I also believe that everybody should be equally open to parody and satire.
That’s where I was until I read the comments on the event, and saw it turn into a hotbed of racism and intolerance. Most of the depictions of Mohammed that were coming through were designed to be inflammatory (suicide bombing and bestiality were involved), which I felt unnecessary. Depicting Mohammed at all would have sent a message, but the way many people chose to depict him, the message it sent wasn’t “Free speech for all”, it was “We’re gonna be dicks.”
I know that religions have managed to temper some of their views in order to work better in modern society. I do not know of any Jews in this day and age who will stone me to death if I say Jehova. I think Islam should do the same, and learn to tolerate, or at least ignore it when others depict their prophet. I also think Catholics shouldn’t try to stop anybody who isn’t a Catholic from wearing a condom. Lots of people are guilty of this kind of thing, and there is always going to be conflict until we reach a point where religions keep their beliefs to themselves.
So, in the end, I declined to attend the event. However, in my moments of wide-eyed hope at the start, I had come up with a script that I quite liked. After some careful recasting, that is what you see here today.