Sep 15 2010
Remember after Molly Norris’ idea took off online, so frantically worried was she about her offense to jihadis that she apologized for it and distanced herself from any participation? Too late, alas. The lesson: Appeasement after the fact of the insult won’t work.
Appeasement before the fact doesn’t work, either. Just look at Obama and Iran. Appeasement is merely surrender on the installment plan.
HOT AIR 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.
Norris views the situation with her customary sense of the world’s complexity, and absurdity. When FBI agents, on a recent visit, instructed her to always keep watch for anyone following her, she responded, “Well, at least it’ll keep me from being so self-involved!” It was, she says, the first time the agents managed a smile. She likens the situation to 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.
Actually, appeasement before the fact won’t work either. If it did, Terry Jones’s non-burning of the Koran wouldn’t be part of Khamenei’s weekly Two Minutes Hate and it wouldn’t have already been the pretext for a body count in Afghanistan. But then, that’s how self-censorship progresses. Whereas before you were apt to get stabbed for drawing Mohammed cartoons, now you’re apt to get stabbed for suggesting (then retracting) that Mohammed cartoons should be drawn.
Question for Obama: If Terry Jones was endangering the troops by burning the Koran, then presumably Molly Norris is to blame for the threats against her, right?
EDM Day wasn’t aimed at all Muslims, though. Some moderates were bound to take offense, but the point of the day was to push back against the sort of jihadis who’ve now forced Norris into hiding.