Artist behind "Draw Muhammed Day" threatened with violence

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From GetReligion.org.

By MZ Hemingway

A few months ago, we covered  the free speech campaign  called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” This was the campaign launched by a Seattle cartoonist who was disappointed in Comedy Central’s censorship of a South Park cartoon that, well, didn’t depict Muhammad. But it came too close for comfort and the media network engaged in censorship. Reason Magazine ended up picking up the ball and running with it and you can see the winners of the contest there, as well as some great discussion of the back story.

Artistic freedom has been coming up against Islamic extremism for years now and the latest news out of Seattle is not good. Unfortunately, there was very little coverage of that news. Here is how CNN reported it in their informative story:



A Seattle cartoonist who drew a cartoon about the Prophet Mohammed has been warned by the FBI about death threats made against her by a radical cleric with ties to al Qaeda, an FBI agent said Tuesday.

“She should be taken as a prime target of assassination,” terror suspect Anwar al-Awlaki purportedly wrote about cartoonist Molly Norris in an English-language magazine called Inspire that claimed to be a publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“This campaign is not a practice of freedom of speech, but is a nationwide mass movement of Americans” who are “going out of their way to offend Muslims worldwide,” the article signed by al-Awlaki continued. Al-Awlaki is himself being sought in Yemen for his alleged role as a planner of the failed bombing of a Detroit-bound passenger plane on Christmas Day last year.



It is a deeply disturbing story and one that I wish would get more media coverage. I can not imagine how awful this must be for the woman involved and how much her life has changed in recent weeks.

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