More cartoon jihad

On one hand it isn’t surprising that Islamic extremists want to kill Molly Norris. All you have to do is consider who you’re dealing with. On the other hand, it’s absolutely insane. Someone draws a harmless picture that wouldn’t offend your average kindergarten teacher, but due to the depraved retardation of (insert term the Obama administration doesn’t want to use here), Molly Norris is marked for death. To recap, Molly Norris drew a completely non-offensive picture about a fictional “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” and upon it’s rise in popularity apparently realized lunatics might want to kill her in the name of their religion and back peddled. The momentum had begun and despite censorship and the like Everybody Draw Mohammed Day did come into existence and barbaric morons now want her dead.

These are not followers of a so-called religion of peace. These are madmen. The only true moderate Muslims in this scenario are the ones that have swiftly denounced the actions of the “cartoon jihadists”. I’ve  engaged in discussions with some people that felt offensive depictions of Mohammed (Muhammad, pick your preferred spelling) would push moderates towards the side of the radicals. Well, if they’re moderates they would never even consider this. I’m a not a fan of Scientologists, but if someone starting calling for the execution of all Scientologists, it’s pretty clear whose side I’m going to choose.  The moderate position is usually pretty easy to find. True moderate Muslims would have no part in any of this insanity.

After the initial cartoon jihad a few years ago, I made a stick figure depiction of “Muhammad” having sex with a camel. The reason for doing so was simple, cartoonists were being threatened with death (and one has since had a man with an axe break into his house) over mundane cartoons. It was absurd. So, in response I made something intentionally offensive. I went on to make a equally crappy stick figure depiction, but I tried to make more of a point. Not to be deterred by my lack of artistic ability, I made a small web site and then took one more stab at with a “cartoon” that asserts the extremists are the ones that put the bomb on Mohammed’s head, not the cartoonists (I used a picture of Theo Van Gogh, who was viciously murdered for “defaming” Islam). Pakistan subsequently circulated a memo banning my website but that was pretty much the end of that.

After the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” fuss, I made a rather lengthy post complete with images and links and all that fun stuff. To me, the matter was clear. We simply can not bow to these extremists. My issue with not with true moderate Muslims (other than requesting they stop being a silent majority), it is with the radicals, the violent nutjobs that are using your religion as a tool for violence. Of course, despite my lengthy post, all some people seemed to get out of it was my depiction of Mohammed’s unusually long dong getting it on with a camel. You see, I was inciting violence and defeating the purpose, etc, etc, etc… My contention is and was that A: We can’t make people crazy and B: It was the best way I knew how to show solidarity with the cartoonists marked for death. Now, we find out Molly is on that list as well. Her life might become one of panic rooms and madmen trying to kill her. Fortunately, radical Islamists do not have as dense a population in most parts of the Americas as they do in some European countries.

This never should have been allowed to occur. If the moderates had risen up to denounce the violence and threats of violent, if the cartoonists had received a true show of solidarity from the western media, websites, etc… I firmly believe this would be a non-issue. As it is, my website was in a small enough minority to be singled out. Molly and the other artists were a small enough minority to be singled out as well. So many people waved the white flag that we taught the extremists that they can in fact control our actions. We continue to let a violent few affect our way of life and unless we decide to put a stop to it and take a stand, we’ll continue to lose ground. I sincerely hope I don’t have to post an update about Molly being attacked, but if she is, our inaction and cowardice will have contributed.

Related articles:
  • FBI warns Seattle cartoonist about threats from radical cleric (cnn.com)
  • Anwar al-Awlaki Hit List: Molly Norris, Everybody Draw Muhammed (nowpublic.com)
  • “Charismatic” Imam Issues Fatwa Against Seattle Cartoonist (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
  • Time to Change Their Behavior? (powerlineblog.com)
  • In which Goldy draws Muhammad (horsesass.org)
  • God needs more blood (scienceblogs.com)
  • New jihadi magazine calls for the execution of those who defame Mohammed (freethinker.co.uk)
  • Seattle cartoonist added to terror leader’s hit list (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
  • Report: Seattle cartoonist on terrorist hit list (seattlepi.com)
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    One Comment

    1. Posted July 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm Permalink

      I had a lengthy discussion on a message board regarding my “A War the West is Losing” post (which really become about my camel picture) and in light of Molly being threatened and the person that threatened South Park being arrested, I decided to post a response. Since it’s relevant to this as well I thought I’d post it here:

      I felt like this topic was caught in in a narrow context. It is about Theo van Gogh and Salman Rushdie. It’s also about Lars Vliks, Kurt Westergaard, and now Molly Norris. One key distinction here is that none of this individuals did anything remotely violent. Yet, all live under the thread of death (well, Theo is dead) and with the exception of Rushdie and Norris, all have been attacked. It is about radicals and terrorists, as Anwar al-Awlaki and Zachary Chesser demonstrate.

      Some in this discussion seemed to want to confine it to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, which is like starting a book on the last chapter. Others seemed to want to downplay the threat that these artists live under, pointing out that the “threats” (The Smoking Gun’s wording) against South Park didn’t result in arrests and originated in the United States (as though that somehow lessens the concern?). There was even the appeasement argument, that we shouldn’t do anything to upset the radicals or people will die…

      The “cartoon jihad” started years ago, as did the “Draw Mohammed” response, unfortunately now Molly is someone that has to fear for her life as well now, despite her capitulation to the radicals. The FBI saw fit to arrest the individual that made “threats” to the South Park creators and he hardly seems completely harmless (stupid, yes as are most terrorists). As far as appeasement, did that do Molly any good? Her image itself was almost as unoffensive as one could make it given the subject matter, and then she took the further step of disavowing even that, yet she’s still marked for death.

      The simple fact of the matter is that we are not dealing with reasonable people here. We’re dealing with violent madmen and a silent majority that usually doesn’t see fit to call them out for their actions. The radicals can not be appeased, however they can win and they certainly have some victories in this “cartoon jihad” (Molly apologizing, newspapers apologizing, governments apologizing, etc…). I understand why some were upset with certain depictions, in truth some were intentionally done to elicit that response. I think they were a perfectly reasonable response to violent radicals, they threaten lives and others draw pictures.

      The fact is this is not about Islam unless Muslims want to make it about Islam. Some Islamic teachings say not to depict Mohammed (and this set of beliefs leads all the way to silly things like the removal of faces on a foosball table), but this is a teaching of Islam. One can not insist non-believers follow this belief or any Islamic beliefs unless they wish to not only throw free speech under the bus but freedom of religion as well as well. Instead, this is about violent radicals and the need to resist them. Drawing pictures (or making movies, writing books, etc…), however disrespectful, of Mohammed will not cause people to be killed any more than not meeting a kidnappers demands cause the kidnapped to be killed. However, meeting the demands does have consequences. In countries in which meeting kidnapping ransoms have become common, kidnappings tend to skyrocket and deaths involved in kidnappings consequently go up as well.

      There is only one logical response to the radicals: resistance…. I respect those that do so in as respectful a manner as possible, but I also respect those that intentionally push the issue. We can’t bring Theo van Gogh back from the dead, but we can continue the spirit of his fight, which was not that of appeasement or even respect for Islam, but rather resistance as he saw fit. We don’t need to learn to co-exist with Islam, Islam needs to learn to co-exist with us.

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