Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

south park 200

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day was an event held on 20 May 2010 in support of free speech and freedom of artistic expression of those threatened by violence for drawing representations of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It began as a protest against censorship of an American television show, ‘South Park,’ ‘201’ by its distributor, Comedy Central, in response to death threats against some of those responsible for two segments broadcast in April. Observance of the day began with a drawing posted on the Internet on April 20, 2010, accompanied by text suggesting that ‘everybody’ create a drawing representing Muhammad, on May 20, 2010, as a protest against efforts to limit freedom of speech. U.S. cartoonist Molly Norris of Seattle created the artwork. Depictions of Muhammad are explicitly forbidden by a few hadiths (sayings of and about Muhammad), though not by the Qur’an.

South Park episodes ‘200’ and ‘201,’ broadcast in April 2010, featured a character in a bear costume, who various other characters stated was Muhammad. The ‘South Park’ episode sparked statements from the extremist website Revolution Muslim, which posted a picture of the partially decapitated body of the Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, with a statement declaring that Parker and Stone could meet a similar fate. Comedy Central self-censored the episode when it was broadcast by removing the word ‘Muhammad’ and a speech about intimidation and fear from the episode.

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