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.
I agree with what you wrote. Mostly. But why do I have to carry all of the weight? Why won’t others do their part and step forward? There is nothing stopping others from doing something positive!
I don’t get it. It can be like a relay race, but it’s easier to condemn and sound “right”- right?
Steyn writes back, on his blog:
MARK SAYS: Well, you’re not “carrying all the weight”, are you? I mean, surely you can’t be that self-absorbed, can you? There’s a guy called Kurt Westergaard. He’s a cartoonist, like you. Four and a half years ago, he drew the best and most provocative of the Mohammed cartoons. Since then, he has lived with explicit death threats, and in a house extensively remodeled to accommodate a safe room, to which he was obliged to retreat recently when an Islamic nutcase broke in and tried to kill him and his granddaughter. On top of that, he’s just been involuntarily retired by his newspaper on “security grounds”. You think he hasn’t occasionally wished over the last half-decade that “others” would “do their part and step forward”? Other cartoonists maybe? Members of a profession (the media) that incessantly congratulates itself on its bravery, except on those rare occasions when it’s actually called to display some?
As for whether it’s “easier to condemn”, I assume that’s aimed at me. Well, when you’ve got as many death threats as I got just from one tiny lie by Khurrum Awan and the Canadian Islamic Congress – that I called Muslims “mosquitoes” – then we can discuss who’s got the easier life. 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.
That’s why we’re all down on you. You took a bad situation and made it worse. You announced that at last there was a liberal progressive who was going to stand up to Islamic intimidation – and then you caved, in nothing flat. And even then I could have forgiven you, if it weren’t for the final self-humiliating coup de grace of your crappy peace-sign T-shirt. I’d love to have glimpsed the stage of the creative process at which you thought that would be just the ticket. Good luck betting your future on that crapped out obsolescent talisman. [my emphasis – D]
Steyn already said it. Back in April. Heck, I could’ve just quoted him and been done with it. On the other hand, my problem with her antics is the way in which she is choosing to “go ghost”. I swan…these drama queens and their abettors strike a fine po-mo ironic pose quite easily, but they sure are naïve. That “news” report is prima facie evidence that they don’t take the situation seriously. If they did, the blather wouldn’t be on the front page. In fact, they wouldn’t be writing about Molly Norris at all.
Does the left have any gravitas? This makes me think of Daniel Pearl’s father. Not even the brutal murder of his son could alter his belief system. In fact, he doesn’t see that raising his son in that Leftist bubble helped create the mind-set of Daniel Pearl, a world view that let him believe he was safe because he was a reporter. This failure to grasp the seriousness of his situation led to his own beheading. Yes, of course Daniel Pearl is a victim of hatred. And no, he did not deserve what his captors did to him.
Many of the former allies of folks like Norris and Pearl did suddenly “got it” when the World Trade Center towers crumbled. But people like Norris and Dr. Pearl are sadly, irretrievably trapped in the amber of one dead dogma while remaining soft targets of an even deadlier political theology. They are the true innocents because they’ve been indoctrinated in a multi-culti “we’re all brothers under the skin”. Cain and Abel were brothers, but that didn’t save Abel, did it?
Laugh? Weep? Walk away? It’s your call.
The post you’re about to read is swimming against the mainstream of opinion, but I need to get it out of my system. For months, every time I’d see a story on Molly Norris, a still small voice would say, “What is this woman thinking? Can her ratiocinations even be called “thinking”?
Now the latest chapter is making the rounds and frankly it smells. In fact, its fragrance wafts back to the beginning episode, last April. That was when Norris, the ‘gifted’ cartoonist [you decide on the merit of that adjective] thought she’d be cool, hang in with some solidarity for the big guys and maybe get a bit of the limelight reflected her way by declaring a “Draw Mohammed Day”:
Reacting to Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of “South Park” that depicted Mohammed — itself a reaction to the threats and murder committed by Muslims upset at other people for depicting the prophet, a big no-no in Islam — Norris drew a cartoon in protest and declared the unofficial holiday.
Then all hell broke loose.
Facebook groups popped up in support of Norris’ invocation of the First Amendment. Other Facebook groups popped up in protest. Then… a Pakistani court order[ed] the social networking site blocked, presumably to help its people forget that a central tenet of one of its religions was being treated as a punchline by those in a country with which it has, um, a complicated relationship.
ONE of its religions? Cute. As cute and ignorant as Molly herself. Pakistan declared Sharia the law of the land in 1979. It doesn’t tolerate other religions very well. Just ask the few remaining Christians.
“It’s been horrible,” says Norris, who says she’s lost seven pounds because of stress, to [a reporter]. “I’m just trying to breathe and get through it.”
That was back in May, after her light-hearted solidarity with the Comedy Central brouhaha gave her gobs of publicity and a Facebook page with large numbers of followers. The Facebook page ended up in a big headache she couldn’t make go away.
Now maybe Ms. Norris thought Islam was Rainbows and Lollipops and wouldn’t harm a cute little leftist like her. Or perhaps she slept through the global bloody terrorism of the last decade (she’s young, let’s give her some room for childhood). Oh, right…and she’s from Seattle so she well could have believed that all those ugly stories about the Danish, umm… cartoonists maybe… were issuing not from reality but from the vasty depths of right wing paranoia.
In the beginning, I was giving her points for courage of a sort, even though she appeared to have gone out of her way to poke a stick in the anthill to no serious purpose. But then, when a fatwah was issued against her, whatever courage there was went out the window.
As soon as the shariah hit the fan, Ms. Norris began apologizing. She begged to be forgiven, she squealed like a dhimmi feeling the wind from a swinging scimitar. She even tried to cancel the “Draw Mohammed Day” but like Dr. Frankenstein, she found her monster had taken control. Part of the world was busily engaged drawing him for the Big Day, and another portion was threatening her with execution for having suggested such a thing.
No matter what Ms. Norris did, the nightmare wouldn’t go away.
There was one step she could have taken and been instantly forgiven. The problem would’ve been resolved instantly. Scimitars sheathed. Fatwahs declared null and void. In fact, she’d have gotten even more publicity.
Molly Norris could have converted to Islam.
Lord knows she’s proved not to have even a passing acquaintance with the tenets of shariah or with any recent history regarding the fate of those who make pictures of Mohammed. Otherwise, she’d have been waiting for the inevitable fatwah, right? Instead, we were treated to watching a second full-blown case of the Victorian vapors when that fatwah descended.
Now she’s telling the world that the FBI has told her to disappear. If you read nothing but the headlines, you’d swear they put her in some kind of Witness Protection program. But no, they told her if she liked living to make herself scarce and she’d have to do it on her own dime.
So how does Ms. Norris proceed to make herself scarce? Why, with yet another drama, aided and abetted by the weekly newspaper which published her drawings:
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 [sic] artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists [sic] 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.
This is a lot of taradiddle, folks. Having helped a number of women disappear, I can guarantee you not one of them would have let the press know about her planned disappearing act. Nor would any of their family or friends have been willing to discuss her, much less run a story in the newspaper about how they’re going to miss her.
When you’re serious about disappearing, you don’t announce it. You get rid of your charge cards, your social security card, your other IDs. You gather what money you can, take very few clothes, and you get out of Dodge. You don’t even tell your family where you’re going; they may not know that you’ve gotten on the bus until they read the note you’ve left behind.
That note will be some form of “Dear Mom and Dad” note. Here’s an more-or-less accurate example:
“This is so hard to write.
I have to tell you goodbye, as much as I don’t want to. I love you and wish I weren’t forced into doing this, into giving up all the people and places I love. But after talking to some people who know about the danger I face, I am leaving here to make a new start. I will miss you very much but you know better than anyone else that it is too dangerous for me to stay where I will be killed.
I am taking the children because they need me (and I need them, too). You know you would be in danger if I left them in your keeping.
I will find a way to contact you, but it will have to be absolutely secure. You can’t trust the phone or the mail. But I’ll find a way.
Love from your [daughter], [sister], etc.”
And then she’s gone — on to a safe place where people know how to help her get new identities for herself and the children. She’ll live suspended in a half-life for a long time, fearful and always looking back. She’ll spend the time before falling asleep asking herself a hundred versions of “if only…”
Should she have the least inkling that her persecutor, the father of her children, may have found her, she’s gone again. She can leave more quickly this time because she’s been saving money against the possibility of his tracking her down. She always has a bag packed and ready for her and the children against this soul-sinking possibility.
It’s a heart-rending situation when a person is forced to leave their home and community. A non-Muslim woman forced to flee a murderously angry spouse spends many hours soul-searching, asking herself why it took so long to recognize the danger [for Muslim women, the situation is far worse, but that’s for another time]. At no time, however, does she talk to the media about the problem, though she may consult the police, lawyers, friends and family. Or maybe not.
When she leaves, the woman is often forced to work out the details of her flight in utter secrecy in order to avoid arousing the suspicions of her spouse, who has long been hypervigilant about her behavior anyway.
Ms. Norris didn’t mean any harm, but it is obvious she lived, worked and breathed in a bubble of great ignorance. Each step of the way, when she felt threatened, she ought to have become quieter. Instead, she seems to have upped the noise at those junctures, leaving herself open to a danger to which she seemed willfully blind and deaf.
So now, because she couldn’t or wouldn’t learn, she is supposedly in hiding. Or on her way. Given her behavior since April, one must question if this is really the final act for Ms. Norris as a public figure.
Somehow I doubt it. So far she hasn’t demonstrated that she’s learned anything at all about her part in these events. Of course it’s not fair that the pompous jerk issued a fatwah against her. At no point does she deserve what has transpired. However, people die all the time for just the slightest whimsical disrespect towards the Religion of Peace.
No one is exempt, including bloggers. But people like Ms. Norris, who thoughtlessly throw down the gauntlet so publicly, are in more immediate danger.
If only she had consulted Flemming Rose before she issued her call for cartoons. If only…she’d known who Flemming Rose was.
…Methinks she may be back.