- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2016

Comedian Steven Crowder has decided to use his YouTube channel to delve into dangerous free-speech territory by drawing the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

Over 330,000 people have viewed Mr. Crowder’s “Painting Muhammad with Bob Ross” video, in which the comedian portrays the famous “Joy of Painting” artist while creating a scene with Muhammad and his many wives.

“Aisha, Muhammad’s favorite wife, was six — nine when he consummated. She was a good student and a tender lover,” the comedian says while imitating Bob Ross’ soft-spoken delivery.

Video viewers left comments expressing concern for Mr. Crowder’s safety.

“So, according to Islam, you have to die now, correct?” one asked.

“I hope you and your family carry after this. Seriously. Stay safe,” added another.

The concerns aren’t unfounded: A “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, was attacked on May 3, 2015, by Islamic radicals. Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi died in a shootout with a police officer while attempting to enter the event, which was hosted by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Islamic terrorists also killed 17 people over the course of three days in January 2015, responding to satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s criticism of Islam. Editors said after the attack that they would no longer draw pictures of Muhammad.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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