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On Not Forgetting Molly Norris
by Hugh Fitzgerald
In Argentina, in the time of the right-wing generals, many Argentinians were made to "disappear" – that is, they were killed for their political views, often in such grisly ways as being thrown out of airplanes. They became known, in Spanish, as "los desaparecidos" ("the disappeared ones"). But there is another set of "los desaparecidos" — people who all over the advanced Western world, that world which prides itself on its protection of free speech — have been threatened with death because of what they dared to say or write about Islam, and have been forced to go into permanent hiding, changing their identities, "disappearing themselves." It's a sign of the times that there is no general outrage, no marches in support of those threatened with death for speaking their mind about Islam, no political leaders in the United States reminding us in public of this campaign of Muslim intimidation, that has destroyed the lives of those who were brave enough to speak out about Islam who had to "disappear themselves."
Do you remember Molly Norris? She was the Seattle cartoonist who suggested, as a response to the death threats against Lars Vilks and Kurt Westergaard, two cartoonists who had dared to depict Muhammad, that there be an "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" as a lighthearted sign of solidarity with the threatened cartoonists. For her pains, she received death threats from Muslims, and she was advised by the FBI to change her identity, as reported by Mark Fefer in the Seattle Weekly:
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