Peter Cook once said that his nightclub “The Establishment Club” was inspired by “those wonderful Berlin cabarets which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.”
I am reminded of this quote by the recent “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day“, in which, as a response to fanatical Islamic extremists threatening violence over an episode of the show “South Park” that (sort of) depicted Mohammed, people are to, well, draw him.
I suppose I approve of the activity, since I am firmly of the opinion that absolutely no good can come from religious extremism. And yet I can’t help but feel the whole exercise is… pointless. I mean, did it really win anything for us? Did it change any minds, or, much more importantly, make us in any way safer from further attacks by radical Islamic terrorists?
The problem here is a problem I see not only in satire, but in protest marches, in protest songs, and even in everyday discourse, where passively insulting something or someone acts as a substitute for actively fighting against it.
Put plainly, I worry that this will make us complacent. It’s all well and good to draw Mohammed, if it makes you feel better about things, but let us not think for one moment that we have taken any actual effective action towards combating this violent extremism.