Just over a week ago, Swedish artist Lars Vilks gave a lecture on free speech. Vilks had gained infamy as one of the 12 cartoonists who drew depictions of the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad, in 2007. The lecture theatre was packed with Muslims, and as he showed a film about Islam and homosexuality, they attacked him:
A few days later, arsonists attempted to burn his house down. Fortunately he was not home, and the attempt was unsuccessful.
That video underscores the clash between the cultures. On one side, we have civilisation - a man making his point with words. On the other side we have savagery - I don't like what you're saying, so I'm going to stop you however I can.
Freedom of religion is an important thing, it really is. But it's not unconditional: you cannot impose your religion on others, and it doesn't take precedence over other freedoms, such as freedom of speech. It may be a little rude to draw Muhammad, but it absolutely must be our right to do so. Blasphemy cannot be a crime in a modern society.
Remember also, the final words of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, as he lay dying on the street after being shot by an Islamic lunatic. "Can't we just talk?"
I'm not much of an artist, but I drew a little something on MS Paint for today. It's called "Muhhamad, Prophet of Islam." Blasphemy is a victimless crime. Those who take offence at blasphemy are victims of their own indoctrination, not of someone's words. I will not submit to someone else's beliefs; and as long as there are many people in the world who would actively try to force their beliefs on artists, the media, and entire nations, I shall blaspheme against their beliefs. Here is my ridiculously poorly drawn Muhammad:
Happy Draw Muhammad day.