This is a day that I thought would never come. But I have to admit that conservatives are right on this one issue about ISIS.
No, I’m talking their claim that we are fighting a religious war with Islam or that there’s such a thing as “radical Islam.” As I have written before, there are radical Muslims, Muslim terrorists, etc., but the term “radical Islam” is a made up phrase that is inaccurate and misleading.
So where do I agree with conservatives on ISIS? Well it comes out of my “Draw your favorite Islamphobe contest” that I announced Saturday on my weekly SiriusXM radio show. My goal with this contest is to inspire people to draw a cartoon or image of any person or group that is actively stoking the flames of hate towards Muslims. I even offered examples such as Pam Geller, Republican Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett (who has called for cutting American Muslims out of our country like a “cancer”), and various right-wing media figures. And I made a special point of suggesting that people draw images of ISIS, noting that “they are truly one of the most anti-Muslim groups out there.”
The backlash to my contest was swift with several right-wing media outlets like Newsbusters, Twitchy, and PJ Media expressing their outrage over this comedic drawing contest. And then my Twitter feed lit up with people who read these publications. (I actually relish their tweets because frankly I’m a bit needy and like the attention.)
I received a range of tweets from right-wing peeps such as: “have a DRAW THE MOST BRAINWASHED LIBERAL COMEDIAN CONTEST.” (Caps in the original—why I don’t know)
And then there were the really angry conservatives (redundant, I know) like @johncardillo, who tweeted: “This gutless moron mocks people who won’t try to kill him for mocking those who will.” Apparently to some on the right, we should only have contests that pose the risk of death, not ones that might elicit some laughs while countering bigotry.
But what was truly impressive were the conservatives who helped make the point I’ve been trying to make for months. For example, @RBpundit who drew the word “ISIS” in stick figures. He then added a second tweet in reference to his ISIS drawing: “If the contest is based on who is stoking the most hate towards Muslims, I should win by a wide margin.”
Conservative David Burge also tweeted to me his drawing of a person whose head was cut off by ISIS (it was stick figures). Plus via the submission email, I received numerous images of ISIS fighters doing horrible things. (However, those images can’t be considered official submissions because the contest rules requite that you actually draw the image yourself, not steal it from the Internet.)
But the point was still well taken. And I agree one hundred percent with these conservatives on this point. ISIS is truly the most anti-Muslim group out there. The overwhelming number of its victims are fellow Muslims. ISIS slaughters Muslim men, women, and children on a daily basis.
ISIS has also beheaded countless Muslims and, as we saw with the Muslim Jordanian pilot, literally burned some people alive. Except for that pilot, we don’t see ISIS’ slaughter of Muslims reported too often in our media in part because ISIS doesn’t want that information out there. Instead ISIS releases videos where they are despicably slaughtering Christians because it’s part of their goal of fueling a sectarian divide based on religion.
Another reason ISIS deserves to win this contest is that its actions, along with Al Qaeda’s, have created a fear of Muslims. Without them, the Pam Gellers of this world would have little reason to stoke the fears of hate versus Muslims. Now don’t get me wrong, Geller and the other anti-Muslim activists are truly horrible people akin to the KKK or Neo Nazis. But they need ISIS and Al Qaeda for their message to get traction.
Now even though these conservatives are correct about ISIS, the drawings they have sent in so far are not that great from a creative point of view. By the way, to date I have received many cartoons of Geller, a few Sean Hannitys, and a few about ISIS—an interesting cross-section to say the least. I’m still hoping we see more drawings of ISIS as well as at least one Bobby Jindal and Louie Gohmert.
So what can you win with the best drawing? Well I can’t match the $10,000 Geller offered to draw the Prophet Mohammed because I’m not as well funded. As I noted last week, Geller is paid $200,000 a year from an anti-Muslim organization to spew her hate, and that doesn’t even include money she makes from personal appearances or books.
But the winner will receive a tasty falafel, which I will mail to you, or I will send you a gift certificate for up to $10 to a restaurant in your area that serves falafel. You also get a DVD of the comedy documentary I co-directed, “The Muslims Are Coming!”, which features some great comedians like The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo, David Cross, and more. Plus Noble Pies has offered to send you one delicious homemade pie. And you can be on my radio show to give an acceptance speech.
All things considered not a bad set of prizes. So pick your favorite person or group that you feel is stoking the flames of anti-Muslim hate, draw the image, take a photo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is this Friday, May 15 at Noon (ET).
So draw away and submit today. After all, who doesn’t like a tasty falafel?