It’s possible, I suppose, that the guy who created the page simply took it down himself, but why he’d do that before the day is over and without any sort of farewell post escapes me. We got a bunch of e-mails this morning claiming that the page had been removed briefly and put back online shortly thereafter, so maybe this is FB’s version of a compromise: Leave it up for most of the day, then censor it a few hours early as a sop to the nuts who are freaking out in Pakistan. If so, it’s a neat illustration of Matt Welch’s point that the more urgent threat to free speech comes not from bomb-toting jihadis but from western media that’s overly eager to avoid giving offense. And indeed, according to NBC, reaction to EDMD has been low key in most Muslim enclaves. Most — but not all:
Khalid al-Maeena, editor-in-chief of the Arab News, worries that reactions could escalate.
“It is a series of provocations to incite people and could get idiots to issue statements calling for violence,” he said. “It is a determined effort to create a wedge between Muslims and other people. I hope they will rise to the occasion and be sane in dealing with it.”
If violence erupts, Maeena says he will lay blame at the feet of the cartoonist who introduced the Facebook idea in the first place.
“Sensibilities are being attacked for no reason but to create mischief. If anyone dies on one side or the other, [they] should be charged with murder,” said Maenna. “I am a secular person, I am a liberal, but enough is enough!”
Newsflash: If you’re willing to blame a cartoonist for the body count incurred in a fit of rage over his/her drawings, you’re neither a secularist nor a liberal. But good news: Molly Norris, the artist who kicked this whole idea off, is in full walkback mode, declaring, “I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this ‘day’ be called off.” So, hopefully they’ll let her off the hook. For now.
Update: Do note: The Facebook page opposed to Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is still online.