Friday, September 17, 2010

Molly Norris Goes to Ground

Cartoonist Molly Norris is no more. Sort of:

You may have noticed that Molly Norris' comic is not in the [Seattle Weekly] this week. That's because there is no more Molly.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, 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. It's all because of the appalling fatwa issued against her this summer, following her infamous "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" cartoon.
So, Molly Norris, for drawing a cartoon of Mohammed, is forced to literally disappear from her life and career, and all on her own dime. At the same time, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, for insisting on building a $100 million mosque complex two blocks from Ground Zero, calling America an accessory to the attacks of 9/11, refusing to name Hamas as a terrorist organization, and drawing a moral equivalence between those who peacefully oppose the current location of the Park51 mosque complex and "extremist" Islamic suicide bombers, is forced to give interviews on CNN and ABC, make a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, travel on a U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of the Middle East, and continue going about his promotional and fund-raising activities without hindrance.

Remember that, the next time you hear someone lamenting the raging Islamophobia of America.

UPDATE: As Steve Miller reminds me in the comments, even though Molly Norris came up with the idea for "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day," Molly didn't actually draw Mohammad himself. She drew a spool of thread, a cherry, a domino, and several other everyday items claiming to be the true likeness of Mohammad. Which, as Steve says, just makes this "all the more infuriating and disgusting."