THEIR TURN: 12 top cartoonists offer their take on ‘Draw Muhammad Day’

by INFIDEL on May 23, 2010

“Shock for shock’s sake.” “Choreographed punditry.” And “wrong, childish and needlessly provocative.”
That’s what some critics think of today’s Facebook-ignited campaign titled “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” But those aren’t Islamic extremists speaking. Those are the words of pro-free-speech political cartoonists.
Some people are drawing Muhammad today as part of a socially networked protest to caricature the Islamic prophet. Just don’t expect most professional political cartoonists to join in.
“I don’t think it’s kowtowing to be respectful of another’s belief system,” says San Diego Union-Tribune cartoonist Steve Breen. “I seldom participate in staged editorial events,” says Seattle Post-Intelligencer cartoonist David Horsey. And “the ‘Draw Muhammad Day’ is a demonstration in the worst impulse for some editorial cartoonists,” says Chicago Tribune cartoonist Scott Stantis.
Those sentiments reflect the official stance of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. The group’s president, Sacramento Bee cartoonist Rex Babin, says: “I would be opposed to our organization getting behind such an ‘event’ because … something like that can be too easily co-opted by interest groups [whose agenda can go] beyond a simple defense of free expression.” Past AAEC president Ted Rall also says he won’t draw Muhammad on Thursday, either.
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