Having incurred the wrath of Islamic extremists, Molly Norris, the satirical cartoonist who inspired the controversial 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Page' on Facebook has gone into hiding on the advice of the FBI.
Paying a huge price for just doing her job as a satirist, Molly Norris has been forced to start her life afresh because there are people in this world who are willing to kill her.
Norris has moved and changed her name after U.S.-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki issued a fatwa against her.
Awlaki, alleged to be behind the botched Times Square bombing and believed to be the inspiration behind the Fort Hood massacre, singled out Norris as a "prime target," saying her "proper abode is hellfire,” for humiliating the prophet.
Seattle Weekly Editor in Chief Mark Fefer wrote Wednesday, "You may have noticed that Molly Norris's comic is not in the paper this week. That's because there is no more Molly.
"The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, 'going ghost': moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.
"She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program -- except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab.”
Paying a huge price for just doing her job as a satirist, Molly Norris has been forced to start her life afresh because there are people in this world who are willing to kill.
The furor began last April
The Norris furor began last April, when she posted on her blog a cartoon declaring May 20 as 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.'
The blog contained drawings and cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and characters from other religions, including Hinduism and Christianity.
The cartoon was in response to an internet warning issued by a Muslim group to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the satirical animated show 'South Park,' for portraying Muhammad in a bear costume.
The cartoon quickly gained attention and numerous Facebook groups it.
Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are forbidden in Islam. It was perceived by some to be anti-Muslim, provoking outrage and sparking angry street protest in the Islamic world.
The 'Draw Muhammad' page led to Facebook being temporarily blocked by a court in Pakistan.
Norris had rendered an apology
Norris earlier said she regretted the cartoon. She had stated that the drawing and day were not planned out of disrespect for Islam but to protect the right to freedom of expression of cartoonists.
On her website at the time, she wrote that the cartoon was satire and she did not really mean that May 20 should be 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.'
"I made a cartoon about the television show South Park being censored. I never started a Facebook page. I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this 'day' be called off."