Draw Mohammad Day, May 20th

Pakistan has banned Facebook following huge row over a page that supports this Draw Mohammad Daywhich is on May 20th. I wrote about the issue-drawing Prophet Mohammad as a cartoon character at Associated Contentwhere I basically support the notion that anyone should be free to express themselves as long as they are not being hurtful, racist, biased or xenophobic. Thus, I support the Draw Mohammad Day-in principle. But, I am concerned too.

Some anti Muslim idiots have hijacked this and are trying spread blind hatred against Muslims. I am sure they will come up ugly depictions of Mohammad. Which is not what Draw Mohammad Day should be about. It should be about accepting differences and exercising our free speech rights.

Also, I am surprised to see that even moderate, young Muslims are against Draw Mohammad Day. Which is cause for concern because I was hoping that they used the opportunity to show that not all Muslims are zealots and they are open enough to accept other people;s point of view. It is true Islam prohibits depiction of Prophet Mohammad and God-Allah. But that applies only to people who believe in Islam or who are Muslims. I am not advocating that people offend Muslims but people should have the freedom to exercise their free speech rights-in this case poke fun at the  Prophet. Why should non-Muslims have to follow the rules meant for Muslims?

If the rule against drawing the Prophet or God should extend to non-Muslims too then what is next?

So, celebrate your freedom and Draw Mohammad but please do not go on the ugly side and promote xenophobia. And to all Muslims, you can use this opportunity to present a different picture of your faith. Don’t let the radicals steam roll you.

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