By Gary L. McCullough
As director of Christian Newswire, I stand with the Seattle cartoonist's right to hold an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" and to publicize it on an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day," Facebook page.
From the Facebook page, I quote, "We are not trying to slander the average Muslim, it's not a Muslim/Islam hate page. We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Mohammed depictions, that we're not afraid of them. That they can't take away our right to freedom of speech by trying to scare us to silence."
In 2006, and again in January of 2010, Christian Newswire was criticized for publishing the controversial Muhammad cartoons. Christian Newswire was the only US based newswire to publish the cartoons.
Despite receiving numerous threats as a result to our publishing the Muhammad cartoons in 2010 and in 2006, the basis for that decision remains the same today. (We also published the cartoons of Lars Vilks
in 2007 after a reward was offered for his murder.)
Our business is a service for reporters and news producers. It is important for those who deliver the news to actually view these cartoons. The decision to republish the cartoons is also an act of political and theological activism.
The threat we oppose is not of ideas since radical Islam has nothing new to offer in the arena of religious or political thought. To argue a theological or political point with an Islamist is akin to debating women's rights with a rapist. Both are defined by what they do, irrelevant of what they believe. Their actions demand that any rational discussion on the topic is futile as long as they defend or continue in their crime.
The activism I hope to express in joining others in republishing the cartoons is therefore not directed toward anyone who follows Muhammad. Rather, my hope is to encourage those who believe in freedom of the press, and to challenge those who think we can placate our enemies by anything we do or do not publish.
As I said in 2006, I repeat now; I for one am not willing to go one inch down the road that ends with the media publishing only that which Muhammad would approve.