“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” founder goes into hiding

It’s far easier to fight for principles than to live up to them

The immortal words of Adlai Stevenson still carry with them the poignant reminder that there is more to life than merely fighting for what you believe; you also have to live by those principles, even when it seems impossibly hard to do so.

You might recall a few months ago, cartoonist Molly Norris gained a great deal of media attention after declaring May 20th 2010 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day“, her response to Comedy Central censoring an episode featuring the prophet. Although she was enthusiastic about the project at first,  it soon spiraled beyond her control and she suddenly found herself desperately trying to disassociate herself from the “holiday”. By then it was way too late, and the day came to have a life of its own.

Fast-forward to today, where Molly has been forced to go into hiding after she became the target of a fatwa by the Radical American-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki back in July.

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.

Since the threat, Molly has changed her name and gone into hiding at the insistence of the FBI. Her life has forever been changed simply because she tried to fight for principles she believed in. The fear, anxiety and isolation she now feels is the direct consequence of those principles conflicting with the dogmatic and violent insistence from fellow humans who take their ridiculous books of mythology way too seriously. Just remember when you’re fighting against irrationality and fear-mongering, living up to the principles of free speech can tax the resolve of even the noblest individual.

NOTE: Here’s an interesting article written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali talking about the need to take a more serious stance against death threats. By doing what she suggests (seriously prosecuting individuals who issue them), do we erode the very idea of freedom of speech, or are we protecting it?

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Comments (3)

  • avatar

    Shamrock

    It does not encroach upon freedom of speech to prosecute someone that threatens the life of another, or calls for the death of another. People are not free to threaten violence or death for this infringes upon the rights of the person threatened. The cleric who called for Molly’s death should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law (unless he is hiding out in Yemen).

  • avatar

    Jon

    I think the next tattoo I’m going to get will be a cartoon of the prophet Muhammed… on one of my ass-cheeks! Hopefully my brother (the tattooist who’s going to have the misfortune of applying said tattoo) won’t have to go into hiding, but given that I’m not in the habit of mooning people willy-nilly, I’m thinking it won’t be a big deal.

  • avatar

    DragonForce

    Its no wonder why so many Americans are racist against those guys.

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