Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the South Park censorship

If you're not familiar with her, she's a native of Somalia, former member of the Dutch Parliament, and outspoken critic of Islam. I've read her book Infidel, which was quite eye-opening (few passages in any book that I've read are more graphic and painful to read than her description of undergoing genital mutilation.) She also co-produced "Submission" with Theo Van Gogh, who was later murdered by an Islamist for making said film.
Ali has an op-ed in today's WSJ on the South Park Muhammad controversy.

I recommend reading in its entirety, but her argument could be summarized as follows:

  • Though RevolutionMuslim seems like a fringe group making idle threats (I described them that way in my previous post on the matter), previously obscure Islamists killed Theo Van Gogh and instigated riots over the Danish cartoons published in 2005.
  • RevolutionMuslim's threat isn't just the rants of a lunatic, it's an informal fatwa using the basic principle in Islamic scripture of "commanding right and forbidding wrong", which is an obligation on all male Muslims.
  • Since there are a sufficient number of male Islamists to carry out this threat, Parker, Stone, and Comedy Central should take it seriously and protect themselves.
She offers suggested responses including, interestingly enough,
...to do stories of Muhammad where his image is shown as much as possible. These stories do not have to be negative or insulting, they just need to spread the risk. The aim is to confront hypersensitive Muslims with more targets than they can possibly contend with.

Another important advantage of such a campaign is to accustom Muslims to the kind of treatment that the followers of other religions have long been used to. After the "South Park" episode in question there was no threatening response from Buddhists, Christians and Jews—to say nothing of Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand fans—all of whom had far more reason to be offended than Muslims.

A bunch of folks have decided to make May 20 "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day". I think that's a great idea and I'd participate myself if I could draw worth a damn.

Thanks to Stacy McCain and Bob Belvedere for linking my previous post.

UPDATE: The Jawa Report with a reason to keep laughing at Zach Chesser, aka Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee: "Confirmed: Guy Who Threatened South Park Creators Lives in Mom's Basement"

Also, the always hilarious Frank J. offers his thoughts.
blog comments powered by Disqus