Last month, Geert Wilders announced a new Mohammad cartoon contest that will culminate in an event at the Dutch parliament. Consider that not even non-politicians criticize Islam in any way, in order to fully appreciate how unique Wilders is. He asked me to judge the contest, and I happily agreed to. I’m the winner of the first Mohammad cartoon contest in 2015 that ended with jihadists trying to murder all of us at the Garland, Texas event, including Wilders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. The only ones who died that night were those coming to murder us. And I’m used to getting death threats from Muslims, especially the wave of them that I got after I won the contest, but I got more death threats after the announcement of this new contest than I’ve ever gotten before.
My accompanying cartoon has actual comments from Muslims to me, about the Mohammad cartoon contest, and the fourth panel is about an actual Pakistani Muslim politician who wants to Nuke Holland over the Mohammad cartoon contest. That’s a mad thing to say, but I didn’t hear any Muslims condemn him.
The one recurring word from the Muslims who wrote me, but who didn’t threaten my life, was “respect,” and that I should respect Islam and not draw Mohammad. How about respect for me as an artist and my rights to express through my art what I think? I am a former Muslim and the most peaceful comment I’ve gotten from Muslims is that I will burn in hell if I don’t return to Islam.
No Muslims, not even those in the West, have written me to say, in essence, “I may not like Mohammad cartoons, but I support your right to draw them.” If there’s one issue that separates those who love freedom from everyone else, it’s free speech.
Since free speech is not a value in Islam, what do you think the reaction of Muslims is when members of their faith murder Mohammad cartoonists? All we need do is look at the Muslim response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and how many of them callously ran over the dead bodies to defend Islam, the ideology that motivated the Charlie Hebdo murderers. And then a few months after the massacre, Muslims organized an event in at the Curtiss Culwell Center in Garland, Texas -- not to defend free speech and condemn the jihadists who murdered cartoonists -- but to defend Mohammad from being drawn, mocked, etc. That’s what sparked Pamela Geller to organize a Mohammad cartoon contest that concluded with a Mohammad art exhibition and the announcement of the winner, at the same location. To defend free speech.
You support free speech, or you don’t.
If you’re interested in entering the new Mohammad cartoon contest, you can send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org