US cartoonist behind “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” on Facebook goes into hiding

Friday, September 17, 2010

WASHINGTON - American cartoonist Molly Norris, who inspired the controversial “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” on Facebook, has gone into hiding on the advice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

According to The Telegraph, Norris has moved and changed her name following a call for her assassination by US-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

“You may have noticed that Molly Norris’s comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly,” the newspaper quoted The Seattle weekly newspaper, as saying.

“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,” it added.

“Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” was a protest in support of free speech, specifically in opposition to those who threaten violence against artists who draw representations of Prophet Muhammad.

Norris drew the cartoon in April to protest the decision by the US television channel Comedy Central to cancel an episode of the “South Park” show over its depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.

In her cartoon, Norris satirically proposed May 20 as an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, which quickly turned up on Facebook.

Norris had however said that she had nothing to do with the Facebook page.

“I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this ‘day’ be called off,” Norris had said.

The controversy led to Facebook being temporarily blocked by Pakistan, and sparked angry street protests.

The ban was lifted after Facebook agreed to block the page for users in India and Pakistan.

Islam strictly prohibits depictions of the prophet as blasphemous. (ANI)

Filed under: Facebook, World

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