The New York Times reported chilling news Thursday that cartoonist Molly Norris has gone into hiding on advise from the F.B.I. following her involvement in the controversial "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" event earlier this year. Until recently a cartoonist for Seattle Weekly, Norris has changed her name, deactivated her Website, moved, and, as her former editor put it in a letter to readers, "essentially wiped away her identity".
Norris was urged to "go ghost", as the F.B.I. puts it, after her life was threatened by Muslims who were offended by her contribution to and promotion of "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day". Some translations of the Qur'an, Islam's holy book, forbid any visual depiction of the Prophet Mohammed. For her work, Norris was identified in July by a radical Yemeni-American cleric as "a prime target of assassination".

Norris' Seattle Weekly editor, Mark D. Fefer, wrote that the cartoonist's predicament is similar to those diagnosed with cancer: "It might basically be nothing, it might be urgent and serious, it might go away and never return, or it might pop up again when she least expects it."

Molly Norris's situation is the latest in a deeply troubling series of violent events perpetrated upon artists by Muslim extremists. "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" was itself a protest against the censorship of a pair of Mohammed-based episodes of "South Park", which themselves were commenting on, among other things, the death threats and alleged assassination attempts made against Dutch cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who also drew a version of the Muslim prophet. The creators of "South Park" were also threatened with death for their work, with one extremist Website suggesting Trey Parker and Matt Stone would "probably wind up like Theo van Gogh", a Dutch filmmaker who was brutally murdered for his film "Submission", which dealt with the abuse suffered by some Muslim women.

For much more information on "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" and the "South Park" situation, please check out ComicsAlliance's previous coverage of the subject.

Coverage of Molly Norris on "The O'Reilly Factor":

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