“Mohammed cartoons don’t inspire Islamic violence. Islamic violence inspires Mohammed cartoons.” – Bosch Fawstin
This is not an attempt to purposely enflame American Muslims against non-Muslims. I worry sometimes that perhaps it seems that we, at Eagle Rising, are against every practitioner and follower of Islam. It’s not so, but I can see why this perception exists. It’s very hard to separate Islam from radical Islam; in fact, as many of our readers have pointed out in the past, there is fundamentally ‘no difference’ between the two. However, there is a practical difference between moderate, non-violent Muslims (like Raheel Raza) and what seems to be the vast majority of the violence-supporting Muslim world.
So with that, let’s discuss a recent interview published in the National Review Online with the talented artist (and former Muslim) Bosch Fawstin. Fawstin sat down with NRO’s Andrew McCarthy to discuss one prevailing idea – “Why Draw Mohammed?”
Fawstin recently won a contest that was intended to be provocative, to prove a point, and a point was indeed proven. Fawstin won a “draw Mohammed” contest held during a free speech summit in Garland, Texas. Two Muslim men dressed in body armor and carrying rifles and handguns and armed with over a thousand rounds of ammunition approached the Curtis Culwell Center where the event was taking place. The men had plans to kill as many people at the event as they could, however, they chose to first attack police officers stationed outside the event. and in so doing. sealed their fate. During the firefight the officer was able to kill both terrorists keeping the mayhem to a minimum.
While liberal media outlets chose to view the attack through the lens of the free speech advocates deserving to be attacked, most Americans realized that the people who had gathered together to argue for freedom had been proven right. Muslim “extremists” had tried desperately and violently to shut down free speech – which is what Muslim majorities do every day, all over the world.
This is exactly why, Fawstin says, it is so important that he and others continue to draw Mohammed in spite of the danger to themselves.
I draw Mohammed,” he says, “because the enemy tells me I can’t.” In Garland, that meant not just a rendering, but a rendering of the act of rendering. Describing his winning cartoon, he explains: “I draw myself drawing Mohammed, and Mohammed with his sword in hand, yells at me, ‘You Can’t Draw Me!’ to which I reply (in a word balloon), ‘That’s why I draw you.’”
The idea was to underscore the free-speech purpose of the contest. The imposition of Islamic law “includes banning much of our music, art, and literature,” Fawstin observes. “Look at how ISIS has been destroying antiquities, for example.” The way to fight back, he believes, is with open and unwavering dedication to free expression:
The way I see it, if drawing Mohammad can get you killed, then he should be drawn again and again and again and again, until drawing him loses all power. And, within reason, doing something that an enemy doesn’t want you to do is reason enough to do it, on sheer principle.
Unlike many Americans, particularly in Washington, who believe in fighting fire with accommodation, Fawstin grasps that steely resolve is the only way to face down this enemy. Perhaps it has something to do with being raised in the Bronx — as a Muslim.
Keep doing what you do, Bosch, and we’ll keep publishing your cartoons.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com