Sunday, April 25, 2010

WASHINGTON POST..Seattle cartoonist 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' grows in reaction to 'South Park' death threats by

WASHINGTON POST... By Michael Cavna April 25, 2010; 10:30 AM ET

Postings on the Islamic website led last week to Comedy Central bleeping a "South Park" speech about fear and intimidation. That network censorship, however, has spawned another cartoon event: "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" -- a campaign that might not be so easily quieted.

The event, scheduled for May 20, is gathering momentum online. A poster-like cartoon titled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" has been posted on sites ranging from Dan Savage to Andrew Sullivan. But here's the rub: This is not at all what the cartoonist Molly Norris intended to occur.

Molly Norris told KIRO Radio's Dave Ross that cartoonists are meant to challenge the lines of political correctness. "That's a cartoonist's job, to be non-PC." "As a cartoonist I just felt so much passion about what had happened I wanted to kind of counter Comedy Central's message they sent about feeling afraid," Norris said. That "takeover" now includes a Facebook page titled Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. As of Sunday morning (ET), the page had exceeded 2,000 "confirmed guests."

The creator of the page, Jon Wellington, tells Comic Riffs: "I created a Facebook event because that's an easy way to remind myself of upcoming events, and I thought it might serve that purpose for others too."

The text of the cartoon that's circulating says, in part, that an Everybody Draw Muhammad day would "water down the pool of targets" for Islamic terrorists. It also jokes that the day is "sponsored by Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor or CACAH (pronounced ca-ca)."

Elsewhere, Gawker quotes Younus Abdullah Mohammed of Revolution Muslim as saying that he felt media coverage of the controversy has been unfair: "It was typical of the mainstream media. It was senseless -- they never cover any of the other crimes against Islam we write about."
"I made a cartoon that went viral but [this campaign] isn't really my thing," Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris tells Comic Riffs, characterizing her cartoon as merely a personal response to Comedy Central's censorship. "Other folks have taken it over" -- an unintended appropriation she clearly distances herself from.

The Revolution Muslim representative also tells Gawker that most Americans are "dumbed down, stupid and pathetic. They're worried more about missing their favourite TV show than they are about the world."

Regarding "South Park," specifically, the TV show created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, depicted Muhammad nearly a decade ago, sparking relatively little uproar. In the wake of the Danish "Muhammad cartoon" controversy that has simmered for five years, however, the show's depictions of Muhammad this month (the religious leader appears in a bear suit) have received far more attention -- particularly since Comedy Central last week bleeped a 35-second speech about intimidation and fear, MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST..

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