When it comes to radical Muslims vs. blasphemers, it’s one strike and you’re out. According to the New York Daily News:
A charismatic terror leader linked to the botched Times Square car bomb has placed the Seattle cartoonist who launched “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day” on an execution hit list.
Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki – the radical who has also been cited as inspiring the Fort Hood, Tex., massacre and the plot by two New Jersey men to kill U.S. soldiers – singled out artist Molly Norris as a “prime target,” saying her “proper abode is hellfire…”
In an English-language Al Qaeda magazine that calls itself “Inspire,” Awlaki damns Norris and eight others for “blasphemous caricatures” of the Prophet Muhammed…
“The medicine prescribed by the Messenger of Allah is the execution of those involved,” writes Awlaki, 39, a Las Cruces, N.M.-born American citizen. “A soul that is so debased, as to enjoy the ridicule of the Messenger of Allah, the mercy to mankind; a soul that is so ungrateful towards its lord that it defames the Prophet of the religion Allah has chosen for his creation does not deserve life, does not deserve to breathe the air.”
Here’s the cartoon al-Awlaki is throwing his big baby fit over:
There’s nothing worse than having to explain a joke, and al-Awlaki wouldn’t listen anyway, but let me try: South Park made fun of radical Muslims’ insistence that Mohammed shouldn’t be depicted. They did this by… not depicting Mohammed! They put up an image of a guy in a bear suit, claiming Mohammed was hidden inside. It turned out to be Santa Claus. Comedy Central censored the repeats of that episode so nobody would try to blow them up (which somebody later tried to do anyway). Molly Norris then ran with the idea that these radical Muslims think depicting any inanimate object is blasphemy, if you claim the inanimate object is actually Mohammed. The joke is about dogma, not religion. It’s about zealotry, not any particular deity.
Almost immediately after publishing the cartoon, which she said was her effort to “counter Comedy Central’s message they sent about feeling afraid,” Norris backed down. She’s quoted here by MyNorthwest.com:
“I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a ‘poster’ entitled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” with a nonexistent group’s name — Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor — drawn on the cartoon also. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any ‘group’. I practice the first amendment by drawing what I wish. This particular cartoon of a ‘poster’ seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for. I am going back to the drawing table now!”
She also told a Seattle new station, “I regret that I made my cartoon the way I made it.”
The thing is, people like Anwar al-Awlaki don’t accept apologies. If you don’t believe what they believe, they don’t care about your regrets. They don’t want you to talk at all. Even if you live in Seattle and you live liberally and you draw cutesy little cartoons and you congratulate yourself for being “progressive.” Even if you’re just kidding. These thugs don’t care. They want you dead.
Hey, look over there! A Tea Party! I’m scared!