I wrote about Everybody Draw Muhammad Day in an earlier post :

I think the idea is in bad taste and here’s why : When South Park lampoons public figures, celebrities and holy figures, they are doing it as satire — something the creators think of as serving as a larger purpose. But drawing Muhammad is just to offend an entire community, without any other purpose. It will include Muslims who were probably offended by South Park, but left it at that.

That being said, I have way less of a problem with it than with extremists issuing threats.

That day is tomorrow, and its effects are visible. Pakistan banned Facebook until May 31st. And photos are being uploaded by the thousands at the Facebook page. As I would expect, there is hardly any satirical (or otherwise) value in most of the photos. They’re derogatory — and in many instances, racist — comments directed at Muslims in general.

The campaign guys have every right to continue with the campaign, but I don’t agree with them. It is in bad taste and partly racist, but they have every right to be stupid.

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I’m not sure how I would react to something that offended me. For starters, I can’t come up with anything that would offend me, but I know this : If I were to be offended by someone, I would disagree and ignore, but defend the offender’s right.

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Dammit! Why can’t I think of anything that would offend me?!

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Cafe Pyala, one of the good Pakistani blogs I follow, has a post on this, much of which I disagree with:

The US 1st (free speech) Amendment does legally protect all forms of speech but even in the US, it is socially and politically suicidal to say anything in the mainstream media that questions certain sacred cows, such as the right of Israel to exist, having sex with those ‘under age’, or to make fun of Jesus. I am not weighing in on the merits of these prohibitions, only pointing out that the freedom always exists within certain limits prescribed by society.

There are enough voices against Israel in the U.S., almost every second person makes fun of Jesus and I didn’t get how sex with those ‘under age’ is pertinent. I agree there need to be limits on free speech (mostly dealing with extreme forms of hate speech such as direct incitement to violence), but the bar on the limits shouldn’t be so low that free speech isn’t free speech anymore.

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To get an idea of what is allowed in the U.S., any standup act of Bill Maher is a good starting point.

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