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Op-Ed: Strange Happenings in the 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' World

By Johnny Simpson     May 26, 2010 in Internet
Earlier today I dropped the ' Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' story as over and done with. Point made. We can draw Mohammed on EDMD. But can we still?
Recently, several Facebook Pages encouraged people to draw the Muslim prophet Mohammed in an act of global defiance. Several of these pages "went down" on Facebook.
Here, in detail are EDMD Facebook Pages of note:
Everybody Draw Mohammed Day - This is the Facebook page which has been causing all the worldwide stink, and which has been banned in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and India. More than 110,000 members prior to vanishing for at least a day now. It was successfully hacked twice before. A new version with the same spelling is currently up online, but with an astonishingly low 17 members. Even stranger, there are only two Nazi-like comments with swastika flags, which have been up for over 13 hours now. The Facebook user who posted them is Hei Mitler. UPDATE: Hei Mitler's swastika avatars and Nazi comments are gone. But I got screen caps.
Everybody Draw Mohammad Day - Mohammed with an a instead of an e in the last syllable. The page avatar is a Teddy Bear holding a sword. Quite incongruous, if you look at it in light of some of the unofficial EDMD contest winners. A lot of the page's images are Teddy Bears. This was the 'secondary' EDMD page everybody ran to when the main page went down last week. Now at 18,108 members. That page group's response to my inquiry is worth repeating.
Everybody Draw Muhammad Day May 20 (back up) - This new page, with 4300 members, bears the sword-holding avatar of the original 110,000-member page that has now vanished. Images of Mohammed are wide-ranging. Here's the defiant post on their Facebook page wall:
Everybody draw muhammed day May 20th (Back up group)
Racist/insulting messages and trolls/spams will be deleted.
This is about having the right to draw whatever we want without being scared of death threaths.
We will not give up our freedom!
Please post drawings/pics of Mohammed and not of dead people/naked people/ etc ..., it just makes it harder for the group.
So here's the big picture. The original 110,000 member-strong page has vanished yet again. The secondary page is quite tame, considering the passion level and emotions involved in this controversy. The third page, which now occupies the popular original's Facebook domain, boasts only 17 members, two comments of HEIL HITLER! and two swastika flag avatars.
And late last night I received this most incurious response from the Mohammad EDMD page, answering my email inquiry to 'drawmohammad (at)' yesterday, as to what may have happened to the popular Mohammed page hacked and taken down twice last week:
Hi there,
I have no connection to and no interest in any other pages, including the one to which you are referring. My page is very different in its approach in the way I treat it, and there is nothing "secondary" about it.
If you want to know anything about MY page, let me know.
Infidel Bear
I also emailed an inquiry to the Everyone Draw Mohammed blog, which is not connected to the popular Mohammed page. I got this response from the email address listed at that site:
I answer the question for you and others, here:
I would be (pleasantly) surprised if it came back.
Here are the answers that respondent provided in his recent Big Facebook Page is Gone post:
I am getting several emails asking what happened to the Big Facebook page. Now I have no special knowledge of it—this page is independent of theirs, although I consider them “brothers/sisters in arms.” But this is what I saw.
Yesterday, they had a message that they were shutting down the page voluntarily... Apparently a lot of people were posting pictures that violated Facebook policy. This forced the page’s organizers to delete those pictures, lest they get the site shut down. But with 110,000 followers this was becoming a real chore. That, operating off memory, is there (sic) explanation.
Then later that night, it was down. I saw a new page purporting to be created by the same guys, and this time requiring everyone to be “nice.” I don’t know if it was really them or not. I'll post some of those links here, presuming facebook hasn't kicked me again.
Read the whole blog post. Their last blog entry, issued just prior to the 'Big Facebook Page is Gone' posting but curiously dated May 30, is both heated and defiant: "A Welcome to New Visitors: We Are Calling the Terrorists' Bluff!" The EDM blog's creative and widely varying Mohammed images are also very much in the extreme free speech spirit of the original and most popular 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' Facebook page now cached at Instapundit.
I contacted Facebook Media over 24 hours ago for clarification on why the most popular page is gone. Very simple questions. Did the page creator pull it? Did Facebook? Was it hacked again? Where is it? I have yet to receive a response from Facebook. So it goes with this Facebook member I found, who also contacted Facebook for answers minutes before me and has yet to receive any. I found his email troubling enough to reprint the opening passage:
Letter To Johnny (I figured a direct email instead of a reply on Facebook is safer in case your Facebook profile is not really you. This is in response to the message you sent me on Facebook)
Yeah, you got it. I've been keeping up to date between here and Youtube, but recently communications have been pretty low. I haven't gotten any emails in the past 2 days so I'm a bit uneasy. They were hacked the first time around according to an email exchange I had with Andy. Rumours have it this time there was an issue with hate speech so they shut it down.
But is that really it? He was hacked before on Skype, and so was his hotmail. The hacker reset the password on Skype, logged into it, and through tracking Andy's IP he got his personal data. I'm currently guessing there is something else in the works that we do not know about. International pressure and hackers everywhere wanting your info to give to a radical group who wants you dead makes for a messy scenario.
I mean, the man is the main admin of the global Facebook group to shut down an entire country's Internet and freedom, disrupting business globally, causing protests, and death threats galore. Islam has never been bigger, and offending potentially the largest religion with over 9000 pictures of Mohammad when one is enough for death... there's a bit of pressure.
The whole email reads as disturbingly lucid as that passage. Very confusing story, also. Just who is even who here in relation to the main page being offline, now permanently it appears? Did the page creator pull it down? Statement made, see you next year? Did Facebook pull it because of obscenity, hate speech or other? Facebook has been rather stalwart in its defense of the original EDMD page that was hacked and restored it in full, so I'm giving Facebook the benefit of the doubt here. But what's up with the remaining EDMD pages? Only two Nazi swastika flags on one main page, giving the appearance of a racist White Supremacist site?
A lot of questions and very few answers, granted. I wouldn't even care about this cyberspace weirdness but for the key question behind EDMD itself. So the important questions I will wrap with are these. Given all the incendiary opposition and banning of the EDMD page, and all the pressure from all over the world, did the original EDMD page go quietly into cyberspace night and fog? And could the other pages possibly be subversive attempts by EDMD opponents to either soften the impact (i.e. filter the worst in their eyes) or portray EDMD proponents as Nazis? Like I said. Strange happenings.
But whatever is going on, it is far above my pay grade as a citizen journalist. It's a tangled and confusing mess requiring investigative resources I just don't have. But answers would be nice. I'd sleep better knowing them, anyway. You know. Like this all isn't just a subtle stealth under-the-radar method of doing to EDMD what Comedy Central did openly to South Park. If so, where does that leave us? If you want all the deep background on EDMD from soup to nuts, my EDMD archive. I called the hacking the day before news broke.
Lastly, and this may not be anything, but I'm starting to have Internet problems of my own. My web browsers are taking forever to load now (when they even do), and it has taken me three full boots and cleans just to enter these last two sentences. Again. Strange happenings. UPDATE: I am now getting repeated Trojan horse attacks that my AVAST! live scanner is blocking. Two Trojan attacks within three seconds. That's a first in my twenty years online. UPDATE@6:23AM: Another Trojan attack while accessing Instapundit to correct my link.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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