September 17th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

'Draw Mohammed' cartoonist goes into hiding, paper says

Muslims burn an effigy of cartoonist Molly Norris in Karachi, Pakistan, on May 26.

A cartoonist for Seattle Weekly in Washington state is in hiding after she received death threats for mocking the Prophet Mohammed five months ago, the newspaper reported.

The alternative weekly’s editor in chief reported this week that artist Molly Norris is “going ghost” on the advice of FBI security specialists. She will be moving and changing her name, Mark Fefer wrote.

“You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly,” he said. “She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program – except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab.”

Norris’ hasty exodus stems from an April controversy in which the creators of “South Park” saw their 201st episode censored over its inclusion of Mohammed as a character. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker received death threats because their 200th episode featured the Muslim prophet in a bear suit.

Norris dedicated her cartoon that week to Stone and Parker and attacked bloggers at Revolution Muslim, who she said made threats against the “South Park” masterminds. Couching the cartoon as a First Amendment protest, she accused the Comedy Central network of cooperating with terrorists for pulling the original episode.

(Revolution Muslim's organizers told CNN in April the blog post - which said Parker and Stone would "probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh," the Dutch filmmaker stabbed to death after releasing a film about the oppression of Islamic women - was a call to protest, not violence.)

Norris announced that May 20 would be “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” above a cartoon of a cherry, domino, handbag, cup of coffee, spool of thread and box of pasta arguing over who was the “REAL likeness of Mohammed.”

But by the time May 19 rolled around, Norris had been overwhelmed with the attention surrounding her tongue-in-cheek proclamation. Tens of thousands of people took to Facebook to lambaste her, similar numbers jumped to her defense and Pakistan blocked access to the social-networking site until the furor subsided, according to The Big Blog, a cultural offering from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“It's been horrible,” Norris told the blog, explaining she had lost seven pounds and spent previous weeks issuing apologies and talking with national media. “I'm just trying to breathe and get through it.”

The controversy didn’t pass after the fictional holiday. On July 11, The New York Daily News reported that Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki – who has been linked to the Fort Hood massacre and the botched May 1 bombing in Times Square – called for Norris’ assassination.

In the July issue of al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, which included an article on how to “make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” by the AQ Chef, al-Awlaki called for Norris and others to be executed for their “blasphemous caricatures.”

“The medicine prescribed by the Messenger of Allah is the execution of those involved,” The Daily News quoted al-Awlaki as writing.

The FBI told the newspaper the threat was serious and said it was working with the targeted individuals. On Wednesday, Seattle Weekly reported Norris had gone into hiding.

Fefer wrote that Norris likened the development to cancer: “It might be urgent and serious, it might go away and never return or it might pop up again when she least expects it.

“We’re hoping the religious bigots go into full and immediate remission, and we wish her the best.”

Post by:
Filed under: Al Qaeda • Anti-Islam • Islam • Pakistan • Religion • Washington state
soundoff (793 Responses)
  1. lamar

    welcome to the 21st century. people who buy into any religion are people who have stopped asking why. religion is for mentally lazy people.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Yelka

      Religion is also for organizations that want power and control.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      Iamar – don't you think it's mentally lazy to label ALL people with a religion as mentally lazy? Having grown up in a Christian household where my parents AND everyone else in my community actually practiced the values of the faith, not talking about others, forgiving others when taken advantage of or hurt by them, showing love and generosity to those less fortunate than ourselves, and to those more fortunate. NONE of them would remotely qualify for the extremist label that can be put on some in any religious community, including those that claim to have none.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rich

    Here is my drawing. Come and get me.

    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y172/Kutulhu/mohammad.jpg

    September 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      LOL, he needs a peace symbol on his forehead and maybe a doobey hanging from his mouth

      September 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waqas

      Address plz... And dont worry.. im only coming to talk!! just want to know if you really meant what you drew or you just wanted to prove how brave you were.. Because my friends there a BIG difference between being brave and being STUPID!!

      September 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      Rich – you really do need to be careful. You are not dealing with human beings here, but with organic pestilence that has somehow managed to read, write, and ambulate.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      There is nothing brave or stupid about drawing a picture. There is only stupid for wanting to kill an artist for drawing a picture.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      That wasn't me I 'm the other Rich... lol which one are you gonna look for?

      September 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • BLH

      You have no talent. Get a life.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Todd

    I'm thinking about having a Mohammad tramp stamp done. Would that be disrespectful?

    September 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jacob Lind

    All religions except the one true faith, Zoroastrianism, praise to Ahura Mazda

    September 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. No-to-Islime

    If no one ever saw the ugly face of self-styled stand up pedophile prophet Mohommo...I mean Mohammed, why would thay care if anyone drws a cartoon of what he might have looked like?
    The death threats to Miss Molly Norris by Islamic terrorists goes to show how intolerant and totalitarian fascists they are. Muslims who threaten Miss Norris are willing to go to jail or even risk receiving the death penalty for a simple cartoon.
    On top of that, Muhammed was not a prophet, he was just another human being. Only Israel ahd real prophets authorized to realy the messages God gave them. All others who claim to be phropets are swindlers and con artists who justify their pedophilia and other crimes by claiming God told them to do so.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Sorry, pal. All religions are stupid. Take you Zionist crap and shove it along with the Muslims, Christians, etc.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Todd

    Muslims are very protective of their imaginary friend

    September 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David M.

    "In the July issue of al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, which included an article on how to “make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” by the AQ Chef, al-Awlaki called for Norris and others to be executed for their “blasphemous caricatures."

    It is comments like this that convince most people that Islam is a religion of violence and hatred. And you want to build a 'community center' in NYC to promote understanding and tolerance, yet call for the execution of somene for a cartoon??? You hate anyone who is not a Muslim as evidenced by the fact that you consider us all "infidels". Christianity at its worst was never the extremist that Islam is. Not even close.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark Yelka

    God is a puppet. Not sold in stores. But, available on every continent by those who crave power and domination.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MuslimsROCK

    All you racists hate mongols on here: Todd, John, and whatever else your name might be....please dont use freedom of speech as a means to an end, spewing the hate you have for your father playing find the new toy i shoved down my pants this week...please, we know what you are, Muslim hating, tobacco shewing, red neck loving, ignorant, uneducated shams of the human race....just saying.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Please don't kill me Oh peaceful one!

      September 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      MuslimsSUCK – we are not racist. We hate haters. And as a Christian, I keep waiting for some small light to shine out from under your bushel basket. Got batteries, or just darkness? It is possible to co-exist, but you all will have to become just a tad more human. Keep those cells dividing. The DNA will eventually get you there.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuslimsROCK

      wait what? couldnt even bring myself to read it again, wait...arent you the same John Doe that could wipe his ass earlier? Ahh....that explains it.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      What I was saying was I/we are all waiting for you all reps of your religion to show some light, some human loving attribute, some tolerance, some respect. Read your postings. Others are, and they are influenced by the way you express yourself. So far I see no light (hide this little light of mine, I'm gonna make it shine – a Sunday School song many Christians know that says you need to show your faith, and not keep it under a bushel basket). All I have seen from you are threats, curses, and outrage over being treated the way, I guess, you want to be treated. You get what you give.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuslimsROCK

      Dear John,

      Stick to wiping you ass with what many consider a holy book, per your earlier post....again, please dont attempt to hold the higher ground here, you are the one who has been spewing racist remarks about half the world needing to evolve with respect to DNA, im just calling you out for what you are. What a looser.....are u serious?

      September 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuslimsROCK

      Oh, and my religion? Like i said earlier, religion is a SICKNESS of the mind, delusional and against all cosmology, quantum mechanics, theory of evolution and only embraced by morons (that must be self evident for you hu?)

      September 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      Like I said earlier – it's not racist to hate people who express hatred and intolerance so often. My remark about the koran was, by a long shot, not said in love. It was said in frustration toward muslims that they are so intolerant that one of the ways to get even, as seen here in others' posting, is to fling the greatest insult at them. A far cry from threatening them or from actually doing something hurtful towards any of them. That's why I'm glad I was raised in the faith I was; maybe not a good example of what I should be given my statement that I'm a Christian, but sometimes muslims just push us over the top. OUR top is insult them. Their tip is...see the picture above. But after my outrage I still hopefully look for some moderation/care in muslims, as there certainly has been on the West's part towards islam.

      September 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuslimsROCK

      “to get even”, “fling the greatest insult at them”, do you hear yourself?

      See John, the problem with people like you is the belief that solutions to all your problems lie within your faith, when in fact, it’s the stem/root of all your problems. You have this superficial reality where good battles evil, white and black, where in reality there is no good or evil, these are human conceptions of their fears and fantasies.

      You want to get even with people you clearly fear because you lack substantial understanding of them and their cultures. You, my friend, are ignorant (don’t take it as an insult, try to use it as a challenge to better understand what you may lack understanding of)

      Also, do yourself a solid, read some technical literature and un-drill the cancer that has been drilled into your head at a young age, namely religion. whether its Muslim and Christianity, you are seeing evidence of it first hand.

      September 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Todd

    Did you hear the one about the Muslm football player who refused to catch the ball?

    September 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. No-to-Islime

    If no one ever saw the ugly face of self-styled stand up pedophile prophet Mohommo...I mean Mohammed, why would they care if anyone draws a cartoon of what he might have looked like?
    The death threats to Miss Molly Norris by Islamic terrorists goes to show how intolerant and totalitarian fascists they are. Muslims who threaten Miss Norris are willing to go to jail or even risk receiving the death penalty for a simple cartoon.
    On top of that, Mohammed was not a prophet, he was just another human being. Only Israel had real prophets authorized to relay the messages God gave them. All others who claim to be prophets are swindlers and con artists who justify their pedophilia and other crimes by claiming God told them to do so.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    I drew a picture of Mohammed sucking c*** and getting f***d by Obama.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Roscoe Chait

    Why is everything "Death" or "Assassination" with these AQ bozos? Can't they come up with a little less radical solution? Like making the perpetrator watch the same episode of Bones or Smackdown 1,000 times?

    September 17, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike Speakman

    I would say that freedom of speech and expression stands higher than freedom of religion. Muslims making these threats need to be tracked down and executed. If it's thousands so be it, these types of threats need to stop now or Islam needs to be considered a cult and banned from the U.S.. Muslims have no right to tell us who we may or may not ridicule.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. moefugger

    stinking muzzies

    September 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29