As a snub to a prominent Islam-bashing activist, an American blogger launched a campaign asking people to draw pictures of Muhammad… but not the one you are thinking of!
Pamela Geller is a highly controversial blogger and activist in the United States and founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is also known as the campaign to "Stop the Islamization of America." Geller’s organisation has been criticised as an “active anti-Muslim group”.
In spring 2015, Geller announced that she would host a competition to draw cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Many people decried this as a "cheap stunt" to provoke extremist Muslims, while others said she was "defending liberty".
The competition, held in Garland, Texas on May 4, descended into violence when two people opened fire on a security officer guarding the centre where it was taking place. The gunmen were later killed by police. The Islamic State jihadist organisation claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack.
However, many other critics of Geller’s competition chose peaceful methods of protest. One such person is Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, a blogger based in Washington, DC. Al-Khatahtbeh launched a campaign called "How to draw Muhammad (a lesson for Pam Geller)". Her idea was simple: to invite people to draw pictures of someone they know named Muhammad and post the pictures on Twitter with the hashtag #DM2015.
“It’s public knowledge by now that depictions of Prophet Muhammad are forbidden and offensive to Muslims,” the activist wrote on her blog, Muslim Girl. However, “Muhammad is the most common name in the world. Chances are that [everyone] knows a Muhammad. So, let’s draw Muhammad. Let’s honour his diversity. Let’s celebrate his many different faces. Let’s elevate his humanity. In a bleak world where the Pamela Gellers are the ones with the mic, let’s shine some light on the good.”
This is the promo video for the "How to draw Muhammad (a lesson for Pam Geller)" campaign.
Many social media users responded to Al-Khatahtbeh’s call for entries. In the tweets below, you can see portraits of 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, boxer Muhammad Ali, the first governor-general of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Algerian writer Mohamed Dib.
This portrait of Mohammed was posted on MuslimGirl' Facebook page.
Photo published onFacebook.