From the U of M student group.
We are aware that depicting images of Muhammad is a controversial issue that is highly offensive to many Muslims around the world. We acknowledge that you may view this as an unproductive, misguided, or hurtful event. We are very sensitive to these facts, and want to ensure that this event is done in a way that does not lead to Muslims feeling uncomfortable on campus. That is why I want to explain our position and our intentions as clearly as possible before the event takes place.
These drawings are not intended to mock, intimidate, or harass anyone – rather, we aim to make the following statements:
1) We have the right to criticize religion and to perform actions considered blasphemous, even if many individuals find this offensive.
2) A free society cannot tolerate violence or threats of violence which seek to limit our freedom of expression.
Well when they went out to do the chalking, they were met by a large group of muslims.
Immediately upon arriving at our agreed upon meeting spot, we were somewhat surprised to see a large gathering of MSA students – also armed with chalk. After a brief discussion, and another explanation of the purpose of the event, the MSA informed us that they would not try to prevent us from drawing anything or attempt to censor our work, rather, they would merely be expressing their own freedom of expression by “adding to” our drawings.
Thus, Muhammad (the Prophet) became Muhammad Ali (the Boxer)!
I’m glad it worked out OK. Now we know that you can draw all the Muhammad you want as long as you put “Ali” somewhere close to it.