Seattle cartoonist launches "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day"

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By JAMIE GRISWOLD
MyNorthwest.com

After Comedy Central cut a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris wanted to counter the fear. She has declared May 20th "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."

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."

Listen to Molly Norris on Dave Ross

Producers of South Park said Thursday that Comedy Central removed a speech about intimidation and fear from their show after a radical Muslim group warned that they could be killed for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The group said it wasn't threatening South Park producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but it included a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004, and said the producers could meet the same fate. The website posted the addresses of Comedy Central's New York office and the California production studio where South Park is made.

"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.

Norris has asked other artists to submit drawings of any religious figure to be posted as part of Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor (CACAH) on May 20th.

On her website Norris explains this is not meant to disrespect any religion, but rather meant to protect people's right to express themselves.

Update: After the massive response to the cartoon Norris posted this on her website:

I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a 'poster' entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" with a nonexistent group's name -- Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor -- drawn on the cartoon also. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any 'group'. I practice the first amendment by drawing what I wish. This particular cartoon of a 'poster' seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for. I am going back to the drawing table now!

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