Thursday, September 23, 2010

More on Molly "Draw Mohammed Day" Norris

Regarding my post from 16 September  Seattle cartoonist goes into hiding on FBI advice, Seattle Times columnist Denny Westneat agrees:
Terror threat to Seattle cartoonist should draw response
By Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist

The case of the Seattle cartoonist who used to be named Molly Norris makes me wonder: Shouldn't we be sturdier than this?

Last week Norris made worldwide news, when it was announced she was "going ghost" because she had been put on an Islamic terror hit list.

"There is no more Molly," wrote the Seattle Weekly newspaper, where her cartoons once ran. "On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is ... moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity."

This news was bewildering. The FBI had insisted a U.S. citizen renounce her identity, all because some radical in Yemen doesn't like her art?

It turns out to be more complicated than that. The FBI says it never insisted Norris go underground. But it is true, her friends say, that an al-Qaida terror threat is driving a Seattleite to change her name and give up her art. It has happened without a peep of concern, either public or private, from Seattle's political power structure.
I find it plausible that the FBI had security experts check up on her, and make suggestions ("Agents met with Norris this summer and occasionally have checked on her since. Security experts suggested she take a lower profile... the FBI's advice consisted of things like varying walking routes and, 'How to do the bomb walk around your car.'")

I also find it plausible that someone who never lived in a world where the threat of violence was real, suddenly finding herself the target of threats from medieval loons who feel that she should not be permitted any garb than a full-body burlap sack, and her role in life is to pop out sons according to schedule, might be so intimidated that she would emulate The Fugitive. 

{Added later:} I find it plausible that someone billed as a cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly Really Believed the leftist take on 9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq, Really Believed that Islam is The Religion of Peace, Really Believed that The US Is To Blame, and so forth.* 

And I find it absolutely predictable that someone like that would not know what to do when she learns the hard way that there are evil people out there who are not only willing, but eager, to do evil to her, will not know how to react.

I do find it sad, to say the least.

I share Westneat's outrage that the only ones outraged are bloggers.
*Note that "I find it plausible" is not the same thing as saying that saying that "I know that she really did believe all that."  I don't pretend to know what Molly Norris knew or thought she knew about terrorism, al qaeda, Islam, 9/11, or anything else.

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