Although that incident was some time ago, South Park recently aired an episode satirizing the conflicts around the depiction of the Prophet pbuh. This angered the Revolution: Muslim organization who sent a threatening letter to the show’s creators. In response to this, Molly Norris, a cartoonist, made a satirical fake poster deeming May 20th “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” in an effort to promote “free speech”, which inspired people to turn this into an actual event on Facebook.
Outrage over this caused the creation of a Facebook event for boycotting Facebook on May 20th. Pakistan acted by blocking Facebook and Youtube. Although I love that Pakistan chose to represent itself as an Islamic country that was unwilling to stand by and watch this happen, in my humble opinion, boycotting Facebook for a day is not really significant. I don’t see how that would bring about any change. In one of his lectures, Sheikh Yusuf Estes points out that instruments like Facebook are neither good nor bad. To make a point, he used the example of a knife – he pointed out that you can use a knife either to spread some jam on toast or you can use it to kill someone. The fault lies not in the knife, but in the person. Just like getting rid of knives won’t solve anything, banning Facebook for a day won’t either. Of course it’ll make a point, but what after that?
What appealed to me were the groups that used this as an opportunity to do dawah – to turn this day into a day of educating non-Muslims about Islam and our Prophet pbuh and why he means so much to us. Among these events, one of them thought it would be beneficial to introduce May 20th as “Everybody Introduce Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) Day!” As great as all of this dawah and passion for a day was, as Muslims we need to understand that since Prophet Muhammad pbuh was the last of all prophets, it is now our duty to carry on his message. It needs to be something that is done regularly, instead of on one appointed day of the year.
-Zenaira Ali, U of T