A little more than ten years ago, American cartoonist Molly Norris drew a spool of thread, a domino, a teacup, and a few other inanimate objects and gave them names. After Norris’s drawings became public, Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki ordered a fatwa—an order for Muslims to kill her.1 Norris offended Muslims by her whimsical drawings with the headline, “Will the Real Likeness of the Prophet Mohammed Please Stand Up?”2 Her goal was to jump-start an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” event, encouraging participants to draw the founder of the religion. This is forbidden under Islamic law, but not in the United States.3 Norris knew that jihadists wouldn’t be able to kill everyone who participated, and so she thought there was little threat.4 However, al-Awlaki singled out Norris. The FBI then suggested she go into hiding.5

And so she did. Norris was forced to shed her identity and walk away from the life she had built for herself. She has yet to resurface. . . .


1. Jonathan Mark, “Media Watch: ‘There Is No More Molly,’” New York Jewish Week, October 5, 2010, https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/media-watch-there-is-no-more-molly/.

2. Michael Cavna, “Texas Shooting: What Have We Learned Five Years after ‘Draw Muhammad Day’?,” Washington Post, May 4, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2015/05/04/just-what-have-we-learned-five-years-after-everybody-draw-muhammad-day/.

3. “What Does Islam Teach About . . . Killing Critics,” The Religion of Peace, https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/insulters-islam.aspx.

4. “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody_Draw_Mohammed_Day.

5. Nicholas Provenzo, “Peaceful Death Threats by Bosch Fawstin,” The Objective Standard, November 21, 2019, https://theobjectivestandard.com/2019/11/peaceful-death-threats-by-bosch-fawstin/.

6. Pierre Buet and Eliott C. McLaughlin, “Samuel Paty Beheading: Teacher’s Slaying Spurs Protests across France,” CNN, October 18, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/18/europe/samuel-paty-france-protests/index.html.

7. “Drone Strike That Killed Awlaki ‘Did Not Silence Him,’ Journalist Says,” National Public Radio, September 14, 2015, https://www.npr.org/2015/09/14/440215976/journalist-says-the-drone-strike-that-killed-awlaki-did-not-silence-him.

8. Lucy Williamson, “France Targets Radical Islam Amid Row with Turkey,” BBC, October 27, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54692802; Anthony Cuthbertson, “Charlie Hebdo Muhammad Cartoons Projected onto Government Buildings in Defiance of Islamist Terrorists,” Independent, October 23, 2020, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/charlie-hebdo-cartoons-muhammad-samuel-paty-teacher-france-b1224820.html.

9. “France Pays Homage to Slain Teacher Samuel Paty at Sorbonne Ceremony,” France 24, October 21, 2020, https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20201021-france-to-pay-respects-to-beheaded-teacher-with-ceremony-at-sorbonne; Stacy Meichtry et al., “Deadly Raids End Terror Spree in Paris,” Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2015, https://www.wsj.com/articles/charlie-hebdo-suspects-take-hostage-after-shots-fired-1420793234.

10. Larry Salzman, “Welcome, Ayaan Hirsi Ali,” May 18, 2006, The Objective Standard, https://theobjectivestandard.com/2006/05/welcome-ayaan-hirsi-ali/.

11. Craig Biddle, “Drawings of Mohammed, in Defense of Human Life,” The Objective Standard, April 28, 2010, https://theobjectivestandard.com/2010/04/drawings-of-mohammed-in-defense-of-human-life/.

12. “Revolution Muslim,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_Muslim; Dave Itzkoff, “South Park Episode Altered after Muslim Group’s Warning,” New York Times, April 22, 2010, https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/arts/television/23park.html#:~:text=In%20a%20new%20episode%20of,when%20his%20name%20was%20said.

13. Itzkoff, “South Park Episode Altered After Muslim Group’s Warning.”

14. Biddle, “Drawings of Mohammed, in Defense of Human Life.”

15. “Ex-Muslim Sarah Haider at Portland State (5/26/17),” June 6, 2017, YouTube, https://youtu.be/noa5m8w4v0U?t=878.

16. “Ex-Muslim Sarah Haider at Portland State (5/26/17).”

17. Apostate Prophet, “The Most Ignorant Quran Verse,” YouTube, July 18, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYCwVcaBUlk; Quran 9:30.

18.Apostate Prophet, “Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant For Me!” YouTube, October 26, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U_lQ4rjtk4&feature=emb_logo.

19. Yasmine Mohammed, Free Hearts, Free Minds, https://www.freeheartsfreeminds.com/life-coach.

20. Paul Taske, “On Activism and Women’s Rights: A Conversation with Yasmine Mohammed,” Immigration and Human Rights Law Review, May 1, 2019, https://lawblogs.uc.edu/ihrlr/2019/05/01/on-activism-and-womens-rights-a-conversation-with-yasmine-mohammed/.

21. Paul Taske, “On Activism and Women’s Rights.”

22. “Support #NoHijabDay on February 1st!,” Ex-Muslims of North America, https://exmuslims.org/support-nohijabday-on-february-1st/.

23. Yasmine Mohammed, Twitter, https://twitter.com/YasMohammedxx/status/1318506926297305090.

24. Atheist Republic, https://www.atheistrepublic.com/about-us.

25. “Armin Navabi: The Poison Pill of Islam (Part 1 of 2),” YouTube, July 13, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAEVyFT4Mkk; “Armin Navabi: The Poison Pill of Islam (Part 2 of 2),” YouTube, July 15, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G5ojHshjPU.

26. “Armin Navabi: The Poison Pill of Islam (Part 1 of 2)”; “Armin Navabi: The Poison Pill of Islam (Part 2 of 2).”

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