Atheists in dominant religious societies are trying their best to prove that they are not evil as propagated by religious leaders. They are trying to get acceptance in their societies. By insulting their religious beliefs, we are adding to the troubles of atheists in religious societies. Such incidents also give religious leaders to spread and justify hate against atheists. I am not against the freedom of speech and expression, but concerned about the safety of atheists in hardcore religious socities. So in my opinion we must opt for peaceful discussions with theists rathar then mocking their beliefs. we must try to calmly make them realise that their beliefs are not true. Remember theists are ignorant, brainwashed and not actually foolish. Ofcourse i understand the fact that religious people mock at atheists which makes us angry but for the sake of atheists in dominantly religious countries we must control our anger.

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Are you still in Goa? I thought Catholics were a bigger problem for atheists there?

I see this "let's not enrage Muslims" idea as the same as giving in to a spoiled child: "we better get him/her that ice cream or he/she will throw a tantrum". That only sends the message that throwing fits (or making death threats) is the way to get what you want, and the longer someone is used to getting their way by flipping out, the more difficult it will be to break the pattern.

If Muslims hadn't kicked and screamed and made threats b/c of Mohammed in the first place, we would not have had a "draw Mohammed day" at all. Notice that South Park also depicted Moses as a giant dreidel and Buddha snorting coke, but we didn't have a "draw Buddha snorting coke" or "draw Moses as a giant dreidel" day--because nobody cared!

Spreading hate against atheists: from looking at some "draw mohammed" pages and the attempts at Muslims to be offensive in response ("fuck Jesus" was just one of them) they seemed to have assumed that the drawing-Mohammed crowd was Christian (or maybe they assumed all Western people are Christian). Usually when Muslims get mad they take it out on Jews more than atheists.
As an ex-Muslim, it amuses me at how Muslims feel that other people should abide by their rules. My personal stance is that if you want to go into "their" world (mosque, Muslim country, etc.) then you should respect the rules. But when I'm in my secular world, I can do whatever I like. And it's not always done in a nefarious way. Just last week I saw a show about the Abrahamic faiths and they had a cute little cartoons about the fathers of each religion. They had Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad in a family tree. I have to admit it was cute to see the Abrahamic prophets sitting in a tree swinging their feet and waving at each other. I can see how a Muslim wouldn't like that, but it wasn't done in way that was intended to offend. I never could understood why Muslims were so backward in their behavior. What would warrant peaceful protest and law suits among others would mean bombings and other murders to Muslims. I had Muslim friends who even admitted it (though not in public).
Once a month, many of us in my company do work in our community. Last year, at Xmas, we went to a Catholic sponsored Xmas party for kids with Down Syndrome. While there were nuns and the inevitable actual Christmas song or two (you know - ones about Jesus) it was remarkably secular.

In any case, we provided the Santa and free photos. The oldest nun whispered to me to only pretend to take the picture of one child as he was Muslim. Of course, I complied without hesitation or complaint - and the nun smiled broadly (almost surprised - not knowing I'm an atheist, she probably assumed I was some kind of Christian) and thanked me for understanding so readily. It was as if she had expected me to resist or hesitate in confusion or something. I got an inner chuckle knowing that, as an atheist, I was more of an actual pluralist than most anyone else there.

But that's the thing about honest pluralism - if you are willing to abide or even defend freedom of religion (including non-belief) you are nearly duty bound to challenge all beliefs as well. If a person's faith is so feeble that it cannot take the smallest challenge - what good is it in the context of 'faith is the thing.'
I find it hard to believe that all the people who participated in Draw Mohammed Day were atheists. And I doubt that Muslims assume that they are. Muslims are against anyone not of their religion. Not drawing Mohammed isn't going to change that.
I couldn't disagree with you more. An event occurred where someone was threatened with DEATH for drawing a cartoon depicting Muhammad.

Two things needed to occur. 1. The muslim community needed to express outrage at such a threat, and denounce it. This happened.

2. The non muslim community needed to stand in solidarity with the cartoonist by diffusing the risk the cartoonist took in the first place over tens of thousands of people, making the threat effectively null. This also happened. Overall it was a successful event in history in which many people spoke as one, making it clear that threats of violence against critics of any religion will not be tolerated by civilized society.

Case closed.
I speak out for those who cannot.

I speak out to add my voice to the choir who won't be silenced.

I speak out to increase the number of targets.

I speak out to pose the question - will you distance yourself from those who would hijack your religion in the name of murder, terror and heinous acts of cowardice and try to show me that you aren't what I have accused you of being - or will you react with profound resent at my mockery while remaining silent about those who present your faith of one of violence and evil?
I think we could throw in the poem about "When they came for the Jews, I was silent," and not be out of context here....
Yes - that is an important 'scripture' in my book. It's up there with the First Amendment - which protects speech but prevents theocracy while allowing all to practice their religion (as long as they don't infringe upon the rights of others.)
and compromise free speech in the face of death threats and other reprisals of violent extremism?
Well, I live in a predominantly religious society, teaching English in Indonesia. Personally, I didn't draw Muhammad, on Facebook or anywhere else, as it might have upset some of my friends here and it could have landed me in trouble - technically, I could have been jailed or deported, though more likely the worst case would have been a little local rumpus that would have cost me my job, so effective deportation anyway.
One interesting footnote, though, is that before Draw Muhammad Day had drawn much publicity here, I had a conversation class in which we discussed the case of a town statue which is to be pulled down because of Muslim objections to its depiction of living beings. Even the Muslims (roughly 50 per cent of the class) thought this was extreme. Someone even suggested as a counter-measure, replacing it by building another statue, then another, so there would be so many that the Muslim protesters could not possibly pull them all down.
Which led me on nicely to Draw Muhammad Day which, just a day before the official day, only one person in the class (of 11) had heard of - it had been on the TV news earlier that day.
Now although the class - both Muslims and Christians - all thought protesting the statue with the "I am Spartacus" response was a good idea, the Draw Muhammad protest split the group, right down the religious line. A couple of Christians thought it was a good idea, the others sat on the fence and refused to commend or condemn it, while the Muslims all thought it was going much too far and was offensive.
"I am not against the freedom of speech and expression, but concerned about the safety of atheists in hardcore religious socities."

Freedom is never won peacefully.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin
Its of no use to be good brother. In the ultrareligious societies athiests experience hatered not only from the religious leaders but from whole of the society. Draw day will only add a few drops to the occian of hatered we are alredy in. Its more than freedom of expression. Its like exposing the wrong, which was considered right because nobody dared to say it was wrong.


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