Online 'Draw Mohammed' Campaign Triggers Protests Free speech advocates declared May 20 "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" to protest censorship of an episode of South Park that featured illustrations of the Islamic prophet. A Facebook page was created for people to post drawings, but many of the entries were anti-Muslim, leading the cartoonist who inspired the campaign to disavow it.
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Online 'Draw Mohammed' Campaign Triggers Protests

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Online 'Draw Mohammed' Campaign Triggers Protests

Online 'Draw Mohammed' Campaign Triggers Protests

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

LAURA SYDELL: Unidentified Man: The news has already sparked a shockwave of protest throughout the Muslim world.

(SOUNDBITE OF SITCOM, "SOUTH PARK")

TREY PARKER: (As Stan Marsh): Oh, come on, people. You really think anybody is going to be that pissed off about a cartoon?

SYDELL: Liam Fox writes for the website News Junkie and he supports the protest.

LIAM FOX: The reaction of people drawing cartoons and encouraging people to draw cartoons is to make the point that one group cannot impose its ideology or its theology on others simply by saying we don't allow that or that offends us.

SYDELL: Rex Babin is president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

REX BABIN: While it may be a sincere attempt at trying to make a statement about free expression, it just kind of strikes me as unnecessary and childish.

SYDELL: CAIR, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has condemned the threat of violence against the creators of "South Park." But the organization's Ibrahim Hooper says Everybody Draw Mohammed Day has created a worse situation.

IBRAHIM HOOPER: That it was being taken up by Muslim bashers and Islamophobes and those who have a deep hatred for the faith of Islam and that's what we're seeing today.

SYDELL: But protester Liam Fox thinks all groups have to have a thick skin in a free society, so he stands behind the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.

FOX: That's part of the freedom of speech. It's not always neat and clean. It's not always nice and smooth. Sometimes, it's a little ugly and a little bit dirty, but it's free speech.

SYDELL: Laura Sydell, NPR News.

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