Norris is the Seattle cartoonist who has gone into hiding after launching, and almost immediately repudiating, “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” It was her way of standing with Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, who stirred controversy earlier this year by making fun of Mohammed. Well, more accurately, they made fun of the Islamic dogma prohibiting the depiction of Mohammed. That inspired Norris to do a silly little cartoon mocking extreme religious fundamentalism, and now she’s under threat of death by extreme religious fundamentalists.
The Washington Examiner makes a very good point about this situation:
Incredibly, her plight has drawn precious little media attention, even though it is infinitely more newsworthy than, say, a fundamentalist preacher in Florida threatening to burn Qurans…
Freedom of speech and press are in deep trouble when the American government thinks the best it can do to protect a journalist from death threats is to counsel her to go into hiding, and when the elite voices of American journalism can’t be bothered to say anything in her defense. But it’s actually worse than that. The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof thinks Muslims are owed an apology. “I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you,” he wrote Sunday. “The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you.”
Instead of telling the rest of us that we’re all bigots, shouldn’t Kristof and the rest of the journalism profession be outraged by what has happened to Molly Norris?
Yeah, isn’t that weird? Some dummy in Florida threatened to burn some books — not kill anybody, not even give anybody a bloody nose, but burn some books in a stupid, spiteful gesture — and it was a media firestorm for a whole week. Even the President of the United States felt the need to condemn it. But now we’ve got an American citizen who doesn’t feel safe in her own home because she drew a cartoon, and apparently all those same people are fine with it.
We’re supposed to apologize to the entire Muslim world whenever a single one of them might have hurt feelings. Somehow, if a Muslim feels slighted, that’s a violation of the First Amendment and proof that America isn’t America anymore. Meanwhile, this woman has been silenced under threat of death for exercising her First Amendment rights, and… Crickets. No big deal.
Apparently, religious fundamentalism is a problem only when you think its adherents might not vote for you.
P.P.S. Here’s some promising news: Anwar al-Awlaki, the idiot who put out the fatwa on Norris, is having a very bad day.