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Drawing Mohammed is a Crime at CafePress (but not here)

Bumper Stickers with Drawings of Mohammed on ThemTo the right you see stickers we designed in response to calls by fundamentalist Muslims for a ban on images of Mohammed. The fundamentalists’ ban is not just intended for Muslims who agree with them, or not just for Muslims in general, or not just in countries under Muslim law; it is to be a ban for everyone. In defense of free speech, we’ll draw Mohammed if people try to say it can’t be done, or to say (like the mealy “Humanist Chaplain” Greg Epstein) that the freedom to draw Mohammed exists theoretically but should not be carried out in practice. It’s kind of like Jesus coming back to Earth any day now for the past two thousand years… if the promise is never carried out, you ought to start wondering if it exists at all. In Europe, the death threats against Mohammed cartoonists have recently progressed into aggressive action, as a man who drew Mohammed has been beaten and had his house set on fire. The more people there are who draw Mohammed in reaction to such violence, the less possible it is for the religious fundamentalists to shut down free speech by intimidation.

But did you notice the “pending” sign under those stickers? “Pending” means that an image has been removed from sale. CafePress, the company that prints our stickers, has agreed with the religious fundamentalists that images of Mohammed ought to be banned… and so we can’t sell you those stickers through CafePress any more.

Let’s put CafePress’ decision in context. On their website you can buy designs reading Club Liberals, Not Seals and Burn a Liberal. You can get yourself a Liberal Hunting Permit bumper sticker. You can sell a message saying you want to waterboard Congress. These calls to violence are permissible forms of free speech to CafePress — but “Drawing Mohammed is Not a Crime” is impermissible.

Fortunately, CafePress hasn’t cornered the market. Now that it’s come to it, we’ll make and sell you a Drawing Mohammed is Not a Crime lapel sticker ourselves.

4 thoughts on “Drawing Mohammed is a Crime at CafePress (but not here)”

  1. Steve says:

    The difference between the myth of “Jesus coming back to Earth any day now for the past two thousand years” and the Muslim restriction on depictions of Mohammed is that the latter is a recent development. The Koran does not explicitly prevent showing images of the prophet, and over the centuries, he’s been drawn/painted many times, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. See: .

    1. Jim says:

      Notions of Jesus’ return have also shifted over time, but yes, I agree with your larger point that there’s nothing in the Koran to say that you can’t have images of Mohammed.

  2. Tom says:

    “My god’s bigger than your god, nyaa-nyaa-nyaa-nyaa-nyaa-nyaaa!”

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