The Jihad Against A Seattle Cartoonist

It should be front-page news in every newspaper in the country: Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris has given up her job, her home, and even her identity because of death threats for Islamic supremacists. That Islamic jihadists can force an American citizen into hiding for exercising her freedom of speech is bad enough; that her cause has aroused only indifference from the media and the nation’s leading officials is even worse.

Norris was a popular cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly. Her life changed forever a few months ago when she announced “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” on Facebook. It was a lark, but with a serious point about violent threats and intimidation: if Islamic supremacists were threatening to murder European cartoonists Kurt Westergaard and Lars Vilks because of their cartoons of Muhammad, and anyone else who dared to draw him, then if everyone drew him, the thugs couldn’t possibly kill us all, could they?

And now Norris herself has become a living illustration of how right her point was in the first place, and yet the political and media elites are not standing with her. “On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI,” the Seattle Weekly explained, “she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program–except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab.”

Read more here.

‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day’ Advocate Rattled by Death Threats

Radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has singled out a Seattle-based cartoonist as a "prime target" for assassination for her role in an online campaign that solicited depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. A Toronto woman fears she will now be targeted as well.

The creator of a now-defunct “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” page on Facebook fears she may be targeted for death now that the cartoonist who launched the online campaign has been placed on an execution list by a radical Yemeni-American cleric.

The 27-year-old Facebook page creator — a Canadian woman who asked not to be identified due to fears of reprisal — told FoxNews.com that she was visited at her home last week by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials who advised her to remove her page and not to talk to reporters.

“I’m scared,” she said. “I’m scared that somebody might kill me.”

The woman created her version of “Everybody Draw Muhammad” in late April, days after a Seattle cartoonist launched the online campaign to protest Comedy Central’s censoring of an episode of “South Park,” in which the Prophet Muhammad was depicted wearing a bear costume. The Canadian woman said she will no longer act as the administrator of such a page.

“I just want to be quiet now,” she continued. “I wish I didn’t do this.”

Read more here.

Why I Won’t Be Participating in ‘Draw M******* Day’ (PBUH)/Satire by IOWAHAWK

by Dave: IOWAHAWK

One of the most frustrating things that comes with being one of Eastern Iowa’s top 500 political satire bloggers is dealing with readers who presume to know where I stand on the issues. Worse yet, some even seem to think they can dictate the content of my posts. Like this recent disturbing email from a reader in Crown Point, IN:

Dear Dave,

Long time reader and fan! I trust you are planning to contribute something special for the upcoming ‘Everybody Draw [redacted] Day’ on May 20. Let’s stand up for free speech and let the [redacted]ofascists know they can’t push us around!

Cheers,

Bill C.

or this concerned message that came from an anonymous IP address in Yemen:

Dnt thikning u r to b draw cartooms the Prophet (pbuh) u fukin kaffir

Inshallah i m jihad to behed u and feed ur blood to pigs!!!!!

u r warnd

roast in hell!!!!

What bothers me is the shared assumption of these two readers that I would even consider participation in a cheap provocative stunt like this so-called “Draw M******* Day.” Because if “humor” today means mocking the founder of one of the world’s great religions — one with a proud 1400 year history of art, science, scholarship, and beheadings — well mister, you can count this humble internet funnyman out.

Why I have opted out of this event? It depresses me that our culture has reached such a level of debasement that I feel compelled to list the reasons. Firstly, it is a well known codicil of Islamic law that visual depictions of their holy prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) are strictly prohibited. Like all religions we should respect their views, and the cartoons (which incidentally I have proudly refused to even glance at) seem only to cause hurt. Yes, they hurt the feeling of millions of Muslims. But, ultimately, they also hurt the misguided cartoonists who produce them. Because let’s face it: having a rusty scimitar hack through your neck can’t be a walk in the park.

Second, it violates my American sense of fair play. I firmly believe all religions deserve my respect — depending on how they respect me. Yes, it is true that in the past I have sometimes made fun of various world religious faiths: Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddism, Rastafari, Wicca, Scientology, Global Warmingism, that filthy cult of Wisconsin Synod Lutherans. Equally, without malice, and without issue. But trust me, once any of them starts emailing me credible violent death threats, I guarantee they’re gonna start challenging Islam for top spot in Dave’s weekly religion respect rankings.

Third, this insipid “humor event” has disturbing racist overtones. It is a needless provocation targeted at one billion people around the world of the Islamic race, and the millions of people — of every color and every nationality — who each year genetically convert to the Islamic race. Contrary to popular hysteria no more than 15% of these people with Islamic DNA have a genetic belief in killing blasphemers. Okay, 25% tops. The point is, by insulting M******* (PBUH) these cartoons will only result in radicalizing the vast majority of moderate genetic Muslims, who, at worse, probably only want to make blasphemy a Class II felony.

Fourth, all this ostentatious caterwauling about “free speech” and “preserving Enlightenment values” seem to me to be nothing but a cheap excuse for a few low-brow jokesters to engage in juvenile humor. For example, ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane, whom I understand is planning an upcoming episode of the popular infidel TV cartoon in which Stewie and Griffin family dog Brian take turns anally raping Islam’s holy prophet (PBUH) while singing show tunes. “After slamming Jesus and Christians countless times, I would qualify as the biggest hypocritical pussy in Hollywood if I didn’t give that psychotic medieval child molester the vigorous cartoon anal raping which he so richly deserves,” MacFarlane has reportedly said.

Iowahawk's view on upcoming Family Guy Prophet rape: wrong

Please, spare us your artistic sanctimony Seth. Your pretentious concerns about “hypocrisy” are no more convincing than those of the Brooklyn Museum, reportedly planning a new installation featuring Chris Ofili’s Elephant Dung Prophet and Andres Serrano’s Piss Be Upon Him. Or programming executives at Comedy Central, who have recently reversed a laudable policy against mentions of Islam with their all-new “M******* Mocking Monday” programming block — conveniently (and unsurprisingly) timed for May rating sweeps week. Be honest, Seth MacFarlane: your puerile obsession with anally humiliating the holiest figure of Islam through musical cartoon has more to do with Nielsen ratings than any of your pie-in-the-sky Hollywood “artistic integrity.” It’s obvious this is only a cheap tasteless ploy to draw attention to yourself and away from people like me who would never in a million years think of depicting Islam’s holy prophet (PBUH) at all, let alone getting backed-doored by a filthy cartoon dog.

So no; As a responsible humorist I will not, indeed cannot, sanction this disgusting and nihilistic ‘Draw M*******’ (PBUH) sideshow. Yes, we still have Freedom of Speech in this country. But there comes a time when a man must look deep inside himself and muster the courage to exercise his Freedom of Not Speech. And if having that courage also means not having his house firebombed, hey, win-win!

‘Everybody Draw Mohammed’ Page Briefly Vanishes Due to Facebook Glitch–Censorship?

Censorship?

By Joshua Rhett Miller- FOXNews.com

The original “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” Facebook page — with more than 80,000 followers — vanished briefly from the website Thursday, causing some users to accuse the social networking giant of censorship before the controversial page reappeared on the site.

Facebook officials said a “small technical issue” prevented users from accessing the page for a “very short period” of time.

“Once alerted to the problem, we resolved it as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others.”

The creator of a sister page dedicated to the campaign, meanwhile, said she has received roughly 1,500 images of the Prophet Muhammad via e-mail or through her page, which had nearly 9,000 followers as of early Thursday, the unofficial day for the “Draw Muhammad” protest.

Mimi Sulpovar said she’s received numerous death threats since she started the page on April 22 to protest what she calls the “manifestation of gradual silencing and subjugation” of free speech rights in the name of political correctness.

“There are death threats, but none of them are specific,” she said. “Nobody knows where I live or how to find me.”

Sulpovar said she will consider reporting the threats to local law enforcement authorities if they become more detailed.

“It’s generalized, like ‘We’re going to find you and kill you’ sort of thing,” she said. “At this point, it’s like throwing death threats to the moon.”

Sulpovar said traffic to her page had increased so much that she was having trouble moderating the comments.

“I can’t keep up anymore,” she said. “The activity on the site now is crazy.”

The brief disappearance of the original page Thursday morning led users to create a “back up” group page. While some users of the new page posted images of Muhammad as a caped superhero and atop a camel named “George Clooney,” others took out their anger at Facebook, accusing it of censorship.

“It’s pathetic that Facebook have taken the other page down!” one posting read. “We need to do something REALLY epic now to show them that censoring our freedom of speech is UNACCEPTABLE!”

Other users said they weren’t surprised that it was gone, given the “messages of hate” found there.

“I am so very disappointed in Facebook, but I am not surprised given the messages of hate that appeared on both sides on this wall,” one posting read. “Perhaps if we try to keep it clean this time, the page can survive?”

The online campaign that began as a cartoonist’s call to action against censorship — an open invitation to submit caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad — also led to a court order in Pakistan to temporarily block parts of the website, and a call for a boycott of Facebook to protest what Muslims believe is blasphemy.

A company spokeswoman told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that Facebook was “disappointed” by a Pakistani court’s decision to block some of the pages.

“We are very disappointed with the Pakistani Courts’ decision to block Facebook without warning, and suspect our users there feel the same way,” the statement read. “We are analyzing the situation and the legal considerations, and will take appropriate action, which may include making this content inaccessible to users in Pakistan.”

“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” began last month as the brainchild of a Seattle-based cartoonist named Molly Norris, who said she was appalled by Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of “South Park” that depicted Muhammad in a bear costume.

As a way to protest the network’s decision — which came after an Islamic extremist website warned of retaliation against the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker — Norris declared May 20 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” — and her efforts quickly went viral, spawning several Facebook pages with thousands of followers dedicated to the event.

They also prompted a “protest” movement by thousands of other Facebook users opposed to it. As of early Thursday, more than 82,000 Facebook users associated themselves to the original page dedicated to the event, and Sulpovar’s page was “liked” by more than 9,000 users. More than 96,000 users, meanwhile, have joined a Facebook page opposing it.

“We tried our level best to have a healthy discussion on this page about this controversial topic with other non-muslims on this page, but some of them were bent upon abusing Islam and Our beloved Prophet (SAW),” one posting read on the AGAINST ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’ Facebook page. “So we are now banning anyone who is abusing our prophet on this page and in future anyone who will abuse on [this] page will be shown zero tolerance.”

Other members of the group against the campaign asked users to boycott Facebook on Thursday and to post a graphic in their status update urging others to do the same.

One posting read, “IF THESE PAGES ARE NOT BANNED, WE WILL BOYCOTT FACEBOOK!!!”

May 20, 2010: Freedom Day-Everyone Draw Mohammed Day-Updated with New Pics from Today

A lot has been said since the “South Park” incident. Comedy Central edited the episode, but then later came out with the news they are making a “Jesus” cartoon. Reactions were very much different. Christians did not get angry, throw insults and make death threats as some Muslims did to the producers of “South Park”.

Much is a stake here. Many have died protecting the freedoms of Americans. One of those freedoms is the freedom of speech. There are many outside our country and many within our country trying to curtail and abolish this right we have given under the U.S. Constitution. Do not give in, do not be intimidated or scared, however, stand tall and proud. Stand up for your rights and the rights of all Americans to voice their opinions, thoughts ideas and so forth.

God Bless America! God Bless Freedom!

As a Christian, I see how badly Christians are treated day in and day out around the world. I also see Buddhists and Hindu’s slaughtered around the world. And even so, I do not see or hear of these religions threatening death to innocent life. I see tolerance, love and peace in these religions, not death and murder.

God Be With You Today.

May 20, 2010: Freedom of Speech Day, Freedom of Religion Day.

Here are some new pics making their way onto the internet. I am looking for humor, not offensive cartoons.

‘Everybody Draw Mohammed’ Day Unleashes Facebook Fracas/05/20/10: The Beginning…..

By Joshua Rhett Miller- FOXNews.com

What started out as a cartoonist’s call to action against censorship — an open invitation to submit caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad — has led to death threats, a court order to temporarily block parts of the website in Pakistan and a call for a boycott of Facebook to protest what Muslims believe is blasphemy.

“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” began last month as the brainchild of a Seattle-based cartoonist named Molly Norris, who was appalled by Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of “South Park” that depicted Muhammad in a bear costume.

As a way to protest the network’s decision — which came after an Islamic extremist website warned of retaliation against the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker — Norris created a poster with likenesses of Muhammad as a domino, a teacup and a box of pasta.

She declared May 20 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” — and her efforts quickly went viral, spawning several Facebook pages with thousands of followers dedicated to the event.

They also prompted a “protest” movement by thousands of other Facebook users opposed to it.

Now the day is almost upon us, and Norris herself has withdrawn from the cause — but she says she’s glad her efforts encouraged others to speak out.

“I just thought that Viacom or Comedy Central had overreacted to a veiled threat from a tiny blog or website that not many people even belong to, and I think it just set a precedent for a slippery slope in censorship,” Norris told FoxNews.com.

“If artists have to be afraid of what they draw, then what’s the point of even living here? That’s what really bothered me.”

She insists she “never wanted to lead anything,” but she acknowledges her brainchild ignited a controversy.

“It’s turned into something completely different, nothing I could’ve imagined it morphing into,” she said. “I’m happy some people are talking, because obviously this needs to be addressed.”

As of Wednesday, more than 41,000 Facebook users associated themselves to one page dedicated to the event, and a similar page was “liked” by at least 4,400 users. More than 56,000 users, meanwhile, joined a Facebook page opposing it.

Mimi Sulpovar created her “Everybody Draw Mohammad” Facebook page on April 22 to protest what she calls the “manifestation of gradual silencing and subjugation” of free speech rights in the name of political correctness.

“I and members of my group feel that we, as citizens of the free world, should be able to discuss Islam openly and honestly — even if it means drawing Muhammad, being very critical of some of the elements of that religion and/or culture,” she wrote FoxNews.com in an e-mail.

“Our group does not advocate violence or hatred toward Muslims as people — instead, we talk openly about Islamic practices and, of course, terrorism.”

As administrator of the page, Sulpovar said she moderates users’ comments and removes any references to violence or bigotry in their posts. She said she and others in the group have received death threats, but she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

“Our goal is to demonstrate that it’s OK to talk about Islam specifically, and that if we want to draw Muhammad, we will not be intimidated or silenced by those who want to subjugate us simply because they find what we do offensive,” Sulpovar wrote.

She said she’s received about 200 depictions of Muhammad, and more than 300 caricatures have been uploaded to her page. She said she plans on continuing the campaign well after this week.

“Free speech and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are not limited to just one day — so as far as we are concerned, every day should be ‘Draw Muhammad Day,'” she wrote.

But they won’t be celebrating in Pakistan, where a court on Wednesday ordered the government to block Facebook pages associated with the campaign until May 31. Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad to be blasphemous, and it is a crime punishable by death.

“The court also has ordered the foreign ministry to investigate why such a competition is being held,” Azhar Siddique, a representative of the Islamic Lawyers Forum who filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, told Reuters.

Organizers of the Facebook page protesting the drawing campaign are calling for users to boycott the social networking site on Thursday — and beyond — for the company’s inaction against the “Everybody Draw Mohammad” pages. Some say the campaign is nothing more than a way to incite Muslims.

“Now a days it has became a fashion for the west to irk muslims,” one post read. “We never scolded jesus for ur misdeeds. That shows the difference of character.”

A Facebook spokesman told FoxNews.com it has no plans to censor any of the pages associated with the campaign or the counter-campaign, though threats will be removed.

“Threats of violence and direct statements of hate against particular communities violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and are removed when reported to us,” reads a company statement to FoxNews.com. “Facebook is highly self-regulating, and users can and do report content that they find questionable or offensive. Groups that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs — even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some — do not by themselves violate our policies. When a group created to express an opinion devolves into threats or hate speech, we will remove the threatening or hateful comments and may even remove the group itself.”

The statement continued: “With now more than 400 million people around the world with varying opinions and ideals using Facebook as a place to discuss and share things that are important to them, we sometimes find people discussing and posting about controversial topics.”

Matthew Quigley, a member of the “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” group, said he joined the cause after Comedy Central censored “South Park,” which happened after a message on RevolutionMuslim.com warned that the cartoon’s creators “will probably end up” like Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered after releasing a film critical of Islam.

“It is a line drawn in the sand,” Quigley wrote FoxNews.com. “On one side are those who are unwilling to allow the threat of violence to blunt the edge of Free Speech. It is a vocal and organized and headless movement to deny extremism the power of control.”

Quigley, who has already uploaded his depiction of Muhammad, said he’s pleased to see the solidarity behind the cause.

“My depiction featured Muhammad staring blankly at what I imagine were the open expanses on the road between Medina and Mecca,” Quigley wrote.

“Above him, in Arabic script are the words that all Muslims speak after saying his name: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasalam (“May God’s Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him”). Below, in Arabic, is the phrase, ‘I Love Hummus.’ I think we can all connect more with a man if he likes our favorite food.”