September 20, 2021

FBI Advises Social Satirist to “Go Ghost”

Muslims Protest Cartoon of Mohammed

Muslims Protest Cartoon of Mohammed

Molly Norris, the Seattle cartoonist whose satirical illustration encouraged readers to draw images of Muslim prophet Mohammed, stirred up a hornet’s nest of religious controversy has been encouraged by the FBI to go into hiding.

The original publisher of Ms. Norris’ cartoon entitled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, the Seattle Weekly, has reported that top security specialists at the Federal Bureau of Investigation advised her to move, assume an alias, and essentially wipe away her identity by “going ghost”.

Reporters’ telephone calls to the Seattle office of the FBI seeking additional information were not immediately returned.

Social satirist Norris was identified as a “prime target” for violence earlier this summer by Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. The U.S. born cleric who issued the threat on a Muslim website has been linked to al Qaeda and is thought to be hiding in Yemen.

Norris’ mock campaign was initially launched to protest threats of violence issued against those who depict Mohammed, an act that is regarded as blasphemous in Islamic traditions.

In 2005, protests – at times violent – were staged when a caricature of Mohammed  by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was published. More recently, the. U.S. animated television program South Park generated additional protests and threats by depicting the prophet Mohammed in a bear costume.