Thoughts about Seattle cartoonist formerly known as Molly Norris

Terror threat to Seattle cartoonist should draw response

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

Danny Westneat
Seattle Times

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…

…Agents met with Norris this summer and occasionally have checked on her since. Security experts suggested she take a lower profile, said David Gomez, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle office.

But Gomez told The Seattle Times the FBI did not insist she vanish into a sort of witness-protection program.

“Whatever she did, it is what she decided to do,” Gomez said.

Pete Jackson, a local freelance writer, said he had lunch with Norris on Friday — two days after the Weekly story ran. It was his understanding the FBI’s advice consisted of things like varying walking routes and, “How to do the bomb walk around your car.”

“Her fear is very legitimate,” Jackson said. “but some of the details are getting blown out of proportion.”

Here’s one: Norris never drew a likeness of Muhammad in the first place…

…When the author Salman Rushdie was put under a fatwa, the British government not only spoke out against it, but paid for a security detail. Maybe that fanned the flames. But it was their way of not buckling…

Read the entire article at the Seattle Times.

Update: From Gates of Vienna, Molly Norris shows us how NOT to hide

In response to the first post, below, in which Molly Norris’ adventures as a dhimmi were recounted, reader GB sent a link to Mark Steyn’s original intuition – back in April – regarding this woman’s behavior.

Ms. Norris had sent Mark Steyn an email; she was angry about his attitude concerning her situation…

[Steyn wrote:] …Nobody asked you to cook up “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. You chose to do that – and, if you didn’t understand what you were getting into, then where have you been the last nine years? Kurt Westergaard, who’s 74, could have bailed after 48 hours and whined that it’s all getting way more attention than he ever expected and drawn a picture of himself in a peace-sign T-shirt. But he didn’t….

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