Join Oliphant, Garry Trudeau in petition


Since we wrote about cartoonist Molly Norris being added to an execution hit list a few days ago here, there’s been an article in the Huffington Post here, and an article in the Washington Post here.  (Nothing from the New York Times.)

It’s a spit in the bucket, I know, but Pulitzer Prizewinning cartoonists are circulating a petition protesting politically and religiously based attacks on cartoonists around the world.  Please join Oliphant, Garry Trudeau, and others by signing the petition here.  The petition is sponsored by Cartoonists Rights Network International, a sort of Amnesty International for cartoonists.

The organization last month gave its Annual Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning to Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani.  Sandya Eknaligoda also accepted a Special Recognition award for her spirited challenge to the Sri Lankan government to account for her disappeared husband, writer and cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda.

Back to Norris.  CNN spoke to FBI Special Agent Marty Prewett:

“Prewitt declined to comment on where Norris is and whether she is receiving protection from law enforcement. Al-Awlaki also threatened eight other cartoonists, journalists and writers from Britain, Sweden and Holland.”

Colleague David Horsey, a Seattle cartoonist, blogs about Norris here.

Mark Zuckerberg

Meanwhile, BBC Urdu reports that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is being investigated by Pakistani authorities under a section of the penal code that makes blasphemy against Muhammad punishable by death:

“According to the paper, Section 295-C of the penal code reads: ‘Use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.’

Molly Norris

So, peace be unto Muhammad. But not unto Mark Zuckerberg.”

As the daughter and the mother of cartoonist, this cause has a special resonance.  However, one doesn’t seem to be able to address this issue without offering the politically correct proviso, so here goes:  I respect Islam.  But I also respect freedom of speech, and protecting those whose exercise of such freedom has been entirely non-violent. Freedom of speech can only begin when you say something that I find offensive.

Mollie Norris’s website, which disappeared when she did, is reported to be under construction.  We wish her well.

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One Response to “Join Oliphant, Garry Trudeau in petition”

  1. Jim Erwin Says: