The Internets v. Radical Islam

Posted by Emory Kale

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day. Pakistan bans YouTube and Facebook. Reviews of Four Lions. Death to us!

The Internets - acknowledged guardians of freedom of expression for people who have a fake picture, a fake name, and an IP blocker - are feeling a mite cocky these days. They've decided to turn it up a notch on people whom I hope I don't offend and won't try and kill me, hereafter referred to as, radical Islamists, pistachio nut jobs, men without hair care products or, "thems."

Anyways, let's start with Everybody Draw Muhammad Day. Historically, it started off as a reaction to a South Park episode that depicted Islam's prophet, Muhammad (not a recommended activity for anyone, apparently). Not a reaction to the death of Theo Van Gough, a Dutch director who was killed for making a film that was critical of the treatment of women in Islam. Nope. Not even a reaction to the attacks made against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The paper had printed 12 cartoons of Muhammad on September 20, 2005, resulting in the possibility of some nut taking out the whole of Copenhagen.

Nope. You upset someone watching Comedy Central and you'd think the world was going to end. I guess that's funny so, good job Comedy Central. You make us laugh. As implied by your name, Comedy Central. I get it.

Then, as a direct result of this, Pakistan, which has a heck of a problem with "thems," goes and blocks YouTube and Facebook. Maybe. Maybe it was the commentary on this video on YouTube that did it. Who knows. Awful lot of reasons to be blocking stuff on the Internets if you're sitting on a powder keg.

Who cares. Are we really that afraid of what happens on our computer screens? This kind of activism seems lame in comparison to the people who actually take a stand in the real world. Remember the Green Movement in Iran? It's still going on. Real people, real threats to their lives, real experiences of going up against real "thems."

And if that isn't enough, we get Four Lions. Four Lions looks great! I cannot wait to see it. Even if it is not a great movie, it's a hundred times more courageous than anything the Internets is doing, and it's funny at the same time. Man, I wonder how courageous the Internets would be about getting up and going to the movie theater to watch it. I mean, there's all that possible death and mayhem that could come your way from "thems." Oh, wait, maybe not.

According to Ronald Baily at Reason Magazine:

"Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered."

So bring it on "thems" because, I am Emory Kale and I do not fear you. I do not fear you because, I am just another a schnook on the Internets. But, we warned, I know that you have yet to perfect the art of traveling down high speed data links and reconstructing your molecules inside my bedroom. If you check Moviefone, you can find out when Four Lions is on, and try me then, but I might have been run over by moose before you get to me.

I have it all figured out, dude.