11 May 2015

Uncommon Commentary #457: The Winner of This Contest Deserves No Garland

It is not necessarily perverse or pusillanimous to criticize the organizer of the “Draw Muhammad” contest, and the participants therein, as having provoked the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas. (In Islam, it is forbidden to portray the founder of the religion.) We ought not to be cowed by Muslim threats of violence, but neither ought we to antagonize Muslims without good cause. (I shall here expound this last statement.  Several years ago in Australia, Islamic immigrants were demanding to be governed under sharia instead of the civil law that applies to nearly everyone else in that country.  Prime Minister Rudd rightfully refused the demand, telling them—in a reply that I consider to be extraordinary on the part of a Labourite—that it is the responsibility of recent immigrants to assimilate to established Australian culture.  In this case, a clash between Muslim and Western ideologies occurred, but it did so because it was unavoidable under the circumstances, as it often is in our pluralistic world.  In contrast, there’s nothing unavoidable about a “draw Muhammad” contest; the only reason why one stages such a competition is to intentionally infuriate Muslims.)