While the local Muslim community purports to stand with Norris, Dr. Christopher Boucek, associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Program, told TheDC that such a threat is not something to be taken lightly. “I think it is very serious and the fact that it was in an English language magazine makes it even more so. If you listen to al-Awlaki’s speeches, especially ‘The Dust will Never Settle Down,’ over and over he makes the point that the worst crime a person can commit is blasphemy, and that you need to respond to that crime,” Boucek said. “Obviously she should be concerned, as the FBI has rightly said.”
Nonetheless, Amanullah is working to fight back against the extremism that is responsible for such threats.
“I’m hoping that people who wish to target people because of their speech realize that it is becoming more and more futile,” he said.