A young cartoonist named Molly Norris learned first hand the influence that Islam demands upon the sphere of Arts & Entertainment in our nation. In response to censorship of the show “South Park” by Comedy Central, Norris drew a cartoon declaring an event called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” Although nothing in the Qur’an bans depictions of Muhammad, there are passages in the hadith (statements or actions of Muhammad) that bans the depiction of any living creature, including images of Muhammad or any other prophet in case the images become idols.
The creators of South Park had been threatened by members of an organization called Revolution Muslim because the group considered the depiction of Muhammad wearing a teddy bear costume in an episode insulting to Islam. A threat was posted on the group’s website saying that violent retaliation would likely happen to the show’s creators. In addition the website published the addresses of the show’s production office in Los Angeles and Comedy Central’s New York office. Comedy Central obscured all images and bleeped all references to Muhammad and removed a speech about intimidation and fear from the next episode.
Molly Norris drew a cartoon on April 20, 2010 declaring May 20,2010 as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” in protest of Comedy Central’s censoring of South Park. She reasoned that if everyone drew Mohammed, Islamic terrorists would be unable to murder them all and thus their threats would become unrealistic. Part of the text on her cartoon read, “Do your part to both water down the pool of targets and, oh yeah, defend a little something our country is famous for…the first amendment.”
The idea quickly became popular on Facebook and was supported by many bloggers drawing attention to Molly Norris. In a radio interview, she explained her reasoning behind the cartoon, “…as a cartoonist I just felt so much passion about what had happened, I wanted to counter Comedy Central’s message about feeling afraid.”
The cartoon and the idea took on a life of its own and by April 29, Norris suggested that “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” be called off. She said the campaign had grown much bigger than she ever imagined and her cartoon was being used in ways she could not control. “I said that I wanted to counter fear and then I got afraid.”
Unfortunately for the cartoonist, al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Awlaki called for Molly Norris’ execution even though she tried to end the campaign. The FBI notified Norris that they considered it a “very serious threat.” Norris changed her name and went into hiding.
We read of art displays that are offensive to Christians, yet however repulsive Christians may find the art they do not attempt to force their beliefs on the artist through death threats. Molly Norris is only one of many within the Arts & Entertainment industry that discovered firsthand what happens when western freedoms are met with the archaic system of shariah law. Unlike law within the Christian and Jewish faiths, Islamic law applies itself to non-believers and believers alike.
Fear is a weapon oftentimes used by Islamists to intimidate Muslims and non-Muslims. Christians believe “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”
PRAYER FOR ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
- Pray that Christians will begin to understand that love does not mean compromise or capitulation – Jesus Himself was perfect love, yet part of His very essence is Truth.
- Pray that western Christians will take a decisive stand and insist that Muslims, who choose to live in our nation and use our system of Judeo-Christian laws to protect their rights to practice their religion, do not infringe upon the rights of all other Americans to exercise their freedom of expression.
- Pray that Muslims and other non-Christians will begin to see the differences between the two religions and be drawn to the gospel message and freedom in Christ.