The Religion of Tolerance again shows that “irony” has real meaning: Because of threats against her life by Muslims outraged* over her suggestion that everyone draw cartoons of Muhammad to show support for freedom of speech, Seattle political cartoonist Molly Norris has been forced to abandon her identity and go into hiding:
You may have noticed that Molly Norris‘ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly.
The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program—except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. It’s all because of the appalling fatwa issued against her this summer, following her infamous “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” cartoon.
We’re told again and again that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, yet, again and again, people are forced to go into hiding or get police protection because they have dared to criticize Islam and have been threatened by Muslims: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, Lars Vilks, Salman Rushdie, and a bunch of Danish cartoonists, among others, all now run a real risk of being killed and have to live a life on the run. And they’re not just being paranoic “Islamophobes:” the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was gunned down by a Muslim and was stabbed and had his throat slit while begging for his life. All for exercising the liberty of free speech that is our inalienable, natural right.
Apologists will again try to tell us that what happened to Norris was just the work of a tiny minority of extremists who don’t represent the real Islam. (And is that true for Hirsi Ali, Vilks, van Gogh, and all the others, too?) Forget it. The Qur’an tells us that Muhammad is a perfect example for all mankind: his actions define what is moral. Thus the killing of those who criticize Islam carries the imprimatur of Muhammad, himself. While there are many, many Muslims who are rightfully horrified and embarrassed by moments like this, it is without doubt that those Muslims who threaten and act against critics of Islam are just following the path of Islam’s prophet.
I truly hope Ms. Norris, whatever she is calling herself now, has a concealed carry permit, a weapon, and knows how to use it, because it’s all too likely she will have to.
*(What else is new?)
And is there a difference?
Danish police on Friday shot and wounded a man trying to enter the home of an artist who drew controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The man, a 27-year-old Somalian who was armed with an axe, was caught trying to break into the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time, police said.
Police shot the man, injuring him in his leg. He was taken into custody and is expected to recover.
Mr Westergaard, 74, was one of 12 cartoonists commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago. He has received several death threats since.
Get that? This brave jihadi was trying to take an ax to a 74 year old man for drawing a cartoon. By another account, his wife and their grandchild were in the house at the time, too. This is what the dominance of Islam and sharia law would bring: a death sentence not just for an individual who criticizes Islam and Muhammad, but for free speech itself. No one would ever feel free to speak their mind, lest it offend some imam who’s just dying to issue a fatwa. And Westergaard is by no means the first: Salman Rushdie has been in hiding since 1989 for writing a book that offended Ayatollah Khomeini. More recently, Somali refugee and Dutch citizen Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, and Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan have all had to take measures against death threats for criticizing Islam. The simple exercise of freedom of speech cost Theo van Gogh his life, gunned down and stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street by a Muslim angry over his criticisms of Islam.
Killing for insulting Islam and Muhammad is an old tradition in Islam, of course, going all the way back to Muhammad himself. The Bukhari collection of hadiths relates how Muhammad himself had a Jewish poet, K’ab bin al-Ashraf, assassinated for saying things offensive to “Allah and his Apostle.” (See volume 5, book 59, number 369)
Congratulations to Mr. Westergaard for surviving this attack, and all praise to the Danish police for their quick response. And for all of you who shout “democracy go to hell!” and think it’s a blessing to kill those who exercise their rights as freeborn people, you can fatwa this:
To exercise your rights as a free human being and see more blasphemous images, including the infamous Jyllands-Posten cartoons, visit the Zombietime archive.
(hat tip: Power Line)
UPDATE: According to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, the assassin has “close ties to the Somali terror organization al-Shabaab as well as to al-Qaeda leaders in East Africa….” Fancy that.
Dutch parliamentarian and head of the Freedom Party Geert Wilders recently visited London, where gave a news conference in a meeting room of the House of Lords. Wilders is (in)famous for his opposition to the Islamization of Europe and the spread of sharia law. In my opinion, he’s a staunch, if flamboyant, defender of free speech and Western liberalism against a new totalitarianism. Others see him differently, including many Muslims, who showed up to protest his press conference. That’s their right: even speech we deem hateful is protected, though the line draws near when that speech carries an implicit death threat:
So, let me get this straight:
- The penalty for insulting the “prophets” is death.
- Geert Wilders had better watch his back (or neck, as the case may be).
- But the young Muslim at the start of the video isn’t threatening Wilders. Oh, no.
And lest you think I’m drawing too much from this, note the speaker’s reference to Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker murdered in Amsterdam by a devout Muslim for insulting Islam and Muhammad – by exercising his right to free speech. Van Gogh was Wilders’ countryman, and the Dutch lawmaker, who lives under police protection, knows exactly what message was intended.
But he’s an Islamophobe and overreacting; after all, Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, and perfectly compatible with Western democratic liberties.
Care to buy a bridge?
(hat tip: The Jawa Report)