Matt Bors
Comics, Politics & Ridicule

Bors Blog

Five men planning to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were arrested Wednesday in an operation that halted an imminent attack, intelligence officials said.
There seems to be a consensus in American editorial cartooning that this level of murderous intimidation--terrorism--is proof that you should refrain from drawing Muhammad. The response I hear from a lot of my colleagues is that these cartoonists and editors are complete idiots along with an obligatory mention that it's wrong to kill people for drawing things. I don't think drawing Muhammad or insulting Islam should be done flippantly. It's easy to do a quick cost/benefit analysis and move on to another topic for a cartoon. But as an atheist that likes criticizing religion, I find it hard to justify adhering to a religious belief that makes no sense, even if people are willing to kill over it. One thing that is always glossed over is that over half of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad didn't even depict him. There's real-world effects to take into account. If threatening to burn Korans in Florida causes people in the Muslim world to die in riots (it did) you should probably refrain from this abstract exercise in free speech and press-baiting. But if Christians were willing to murder over abortion--they are, of course, but I mean murder cartoonists--then I have to wonder if anyone in the states would think it reasonable to refrain from drawing pro-choice cartoons.
12.30.2010 |