Ponder this:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Religion and politics. In one post.

I've been reading about Draw Mohammed Day. Apparently there's been a big flurry of activity on Facebook with people up in arms over a television cartoon show having been censored to remove what some other people saw as an offensive depiction of the Prophet Mohammed, or rather, other people were offended because Mohammed was depicted at all.  
So.
In response to this censorship some people concluded that the right to free speech in the United States was at risk, and in turn, decided to participate in the May 20 Draw Mohammed Day.
To show those lousy Muslims that we can say any damn thing we want in this country.


I know a guy who trucks cars for car dealers from auctions to the dealers' lots. A particular car dealer owed this guy's boss some money, wasn't paying . . . and the guy (who's American, born and raised) suggested to his boss that they put some stuff in one of the dealer's car's gas tanks. Something that would destroy the motor. Later.
The boss told him, "No. What he's doing to me isn't right, but that wouldn't be right either. And if you do it, I'll fire you."
The boss is named Ali and he's a Muslim.


Years ago I waited tables with a younger woman who was dating a Muslim, and eventually married him.  She had told me once that when she married her beloved, she would need to make peace with her family over issues that had existed since she was very young. I said, at the time, "Well, if you can, that's good..." And she said, urgently, "I have to." One day she and I had some words . . . I questioned her dedication to the job at hand, she told me the only thing to which she was committed was her art. (She was a cellist with the city's symphony orchestra, very artsy, kinda ditsy, but her heart was in the right place.) A couple of years after I last saw her I received a letter from her bringing me up to date on events in her life. The letter included no overt indication that she was making amends, but I wrote back and never heard from her again. I think she might have been converting to Islam at that time and was cleaning up the wreckage of burned bridges. 


I know a Yemeni named Abdul. He is one of the most charming and gracious people I have ever known. Simultaneously, he can be one of the most infuriating people I have ever known. His temper can go from zero to sixty in nothing flat, over things that seem, from my vantage point, to be insignificant. I yell back at him, tell him to Stop it! You're makin' me picture a bunch of guys on a beach in Yemen. Jumpin' up and down with daggers in their teeth. In Hammer pants !  ...and he laughs.  
It's a cultural thing: Yelling and laughing are what he does. 


Back to DMD.
I think that just because a person may lawfully do a thing is no justification for taking, and returning, offense. I think the people who want to "draw Mohammed" just because they have the right to do that are wrong. 
Not because I have sympathy for jihadis.
Not because I'm a Leftist; I don't think I am . . . at least not hardcore.
Not because I lack respect for my own country, or people in military uniform.
Here's why: Because people are people and people have a right not to be poked at with sticks over their religion or their ethnicity or any other thing. 
It's just bad manners.

21 comments:

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I agree . Common courtesy is the least we owe people and making fun of others religious beliefs definitely isn't courteous .

rachel said...

Well said, June.

Von said...

It is, agreed.And wouldn't it be good if extremists of all kinds could see that.

JOE TODD said...

Good post June. I have been following (Snow) http://snowbrush.blogspot.com/ for several years. I may or may not agree with what he has to say but is always interesting and I thought you might want to check out.Let me know what you think

Hilary said...

You're so right. Exercising these so called "rights" in this manner is only exposing their own bigotry and muscle. Folks who don't take other people's sensibilities into consideration, or worse, who deliberately choose to stomp upon them are nothing less than bullies.

morningbrayfarm.com said...

Well said. Amen.

Bossy Betty said...

I found your post so interesting. Truly, it's all about respect. That Golden Rule seems to apply here....

Writing Without Periods! said...

I absolutely love your blog title. What a cool play on words. We should all remember this.
Thanks,
Mary

Green Monkey said...

ewww, ewwwwwwhhhh! just found YOU , through Bossy Betty. was attracted to you picture, think it goes well with my hat. courtesy goes a long way..I've got more to say, but I want to read more of you first....

Friko said...

Blimey, are you sure you are American?
Sorry, that was as ill mannered as the people you were railing against.
I do so agree, but there are very few who are as clear headed and straightforward and plain decent.

Inay said...

If things go wrong you made it right.

If you love someone and you know that they will be hurt from the things they were doing, you advice them or talk to them

If a corrupt religion is using your friend, and become a blind follower..sometimes we insist to open her/his eyes.....

The reason is you love them and care for them...

The point is sometimes we need to expose the wrong idea and the foolishness act of self bombing...or killing white people is the holliest among the holy...

even in the religion....
When the pastor in one of the church here was caught raping a 4 year old girl inside the church don't we need to expose it.

Sometimes we need to empty our mind to gain more insights of the writer..

We are exposing the leader and not the followers..cause they are the ones who did the wrong thing and not the followers...
We do this to save the followers..It they listen and open their eyes...So AMEN

That is why we need to check them. The things they were teaching must be seen on how they live their life...
Have a nice day

Great post

June said...

More, and more friendly, comments than I expected on this one... Thanks, all.
Mary and Green Monkey, thank you for stopping by and leaving notes. Indeed, GM, let us celebrate Pinkness. :-P

Friko, indeed I am sure I'm an American. ;-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eSZwuttE_g&feature=related

Inay, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying...whether or not you feel that Draw Mohammed Day is a good idea or not...

June said...

Von, it would be good, yes.

Barb said...

It might be about respect. Just because I can doesn't always mean I should... Also, isn't there something about "my" freedom not intentionally hurting others?

June said...

Barb, exactly.
Just because I may doesn't mean I should. That is exactly my point.
If a person wouldn't say or do something offensive to someone standing right next to him, it follows, in my thinking, that he shouldn't do it from a distance, or anonymously.

ethelmaepotter! said...

So very well said.

I had never heard of this "Draw Mohammed Day." How sad that so many bigoted people inhabit this earth. I know many people who not so long ago were judged by their own color or race or ethnicity - and who are now shouting "off with their heads" about Muslims.

When will people realize that an entire people can not be judged by the actions of a few extremists?

And even those who judge are not bad people; some of the most harsh in their beliefs are my very best friends.

Bad people? No. Bad Manners? Yes.

Great post.

Carolynn said...

I agree. Two wrongs do not make a right. Pushing & shoving is never the wise way to make friends. I hadn't heard of DMD. It sounds very infantile to me. Kind of playground bully-esque. Count me out.

fiftyodd said...

I read your 'About Me' first. That could have been a description of me. Therefore I shall be reading your blog often. We are in the middle of a furore in South Africa at the moment re one of our cartoonists depicting the prophet. Fascinating debate.

elizabethm said...

I can't tell you how much this made me cheer. You have expressed so perfectly what I feel.

Bernie said...

Bigotry in one form or another has always been with us. And the scapegoats change over time as someone in your comments mentioned--at one time it was the black people and now some of them are bashing the Muslims. It seems no group is above reproach in this matter. Religious groups, political groups, ethnic groups, all seem to have to pick on someone else. Like a pecking order in the animal world. You are wishing for a world where people are kind and courteous to one another, not to mention killing one another. It is not here and probably will never be. But there can be enough of us to not let it take over the world in which we live. There have always been just enough people who are good so that our world does manage to go on-- albeit not at all perfectly. So people like you who speak out against this blot on our society are very valuable.

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