It was pretty interesting new situation a bit over two months ago. After South Park guys Trey Parker and Matt Stone had got some death threads over an episode that depicted Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, an American cartoonist Molly Norris presented an idea of ”Everybody draw Mohammed day”. That idea turned soon into a group in Facebook. And that created quite a big international fuss. The whole thing was on the news worldwide and in Pakistan Facebook became temporarily banned because of the group.
Earlier some cartoonists had drawn prophet Mohammed and raised some hell with it. Among these guys there are Swedish Lars Vilks, Danish Kurt Westergaard, and here in Finland in a smaller but still in noteworthy proportion Ville Ranta. Those artists were easy to target for those who wanted to critize or even to attack them. There was a name and face who to critize and confront. With ”Everybody draw a Mohammed day” it was all different. There were eventually over 100 000 members in the group from all over the world and an equally huge number of drawings and pictures of Mohammed contributed by them. There were no single name and address this time to point to for those who got mad about the idea of the group and of the drawings and pictures contributed in it. If angry muslims wanted to give some jihad to all of those who participated in drawing and in supporting the Facebook group, they were going to be damn busy. I bet it was really frustrating to them. No single face and name to target. No. This time there were over 100 000 of them. Worldwide.
I joined the Facebook group too. Not to my surprise there were lots of muslims as members in the group too. They were of course writing in defense of their religion of peace – often over-emotionally in all CAPITALS, in super bad English with tons of exclamation points and lovingly and routinely threatening non-muslim members of the group with hellfire and sometimes also with violence and death (I got two death threads myself due to the drawing of the prophet I contributed). Their logic and manners were not the best possible ones but I need to say that the mudslinging was equal from the other side too. I think it would have been good if there would have been a good team of moderators to keep the level of discussion up a bit more. It all slided pretty soon into not so intelligent ranting on both sides. Few of the more intelligent and reflective comments posted on the sites wall got really read because comments on the wall were just flowing really fast, tons of them. At that point we were at the inevitable confrontation point where real thinking of the cause of the group was more rare than irrationally spontaneous emotional response. Oh well, I saw it coming already in the beginning. But witnessing it all was still great – it was historic.
From the gates of Vienna the battle between Islam and Western culture had moved to the cyberspace. For the first time there were tons of soldiers on both sides at the same time, not just jihadist attacking some single western artists. Well, luckily it was not a real physical battle but more like a simultaneous keyboard-pressing mental masturbation about how one’s own side was better than the others.
What did we learn from all of it? I don’t know. To me there didn’t surface anything new. Muslims behaved just like I predicted them to behave and so did also those non-muslims who took part in the whole historic internet phenomena.
The world is smaller nowadays as the saying goes, because one small thing in one corner of the world affects much easier the whole world nowadays. This can be enriching but it can also be a curse. When it comes to Islam, it is inevitable, that there is this confrontation between the East and the West going on – because there is so much difference between the two in the world that just gets becoming smaller and smaller. If you want to read more of this you might want to check out Jihad Watch, Gates of Vienna or Scripta.
Just looking at the statistics of birthrates of muslims it seems that Europe has already been lost to Islam and that my and anyone elses critic against Islam here is a fight against windmills ala Don Quiote. No matter if we think that non-muslim European culture is better than muslim theocratic hellholes of Middle-East, we seem to have lost this fight here already. Some european politicians already recognize this sad fact. Looking at a bigger historic picture this blog posting and ideas presented in it are damn insignificant, I guess. But they are a voice from a still living culture, nonethless. Maybe something can still be done. This way or that way, I am a member of that culture and I will speak from that perspective. I think we will fight till the end.
It is natural that cultures change. It has always been the case. I have no problem with that. I just wish that cultures would change for something that I can recognize as better than what they used to be. But if sharia is becoming the law in greater areas of the world I see the future quite dark. I want to have a chance to see prophet Mohammed at Cáfe Aisha dreaming of a better tomorrow, where there are no stoning of women, no hanging of gays, where there is separation of religion and the state politics, and where underage girls are not forced to marriage and sex with older men. I think that would be reasonable and good. What do you think?