Let me ask you something, Bill.
Are you really surprised by this outcome?
A little, yes. Not because I didn't think the demented assholes would be pissed; but because I hoped the tens of thousands of other pics posted on May 20th would be sufficient to broaden the target sufficiently that no one person would be targeted. Unfortunately, they blamed it all on a lady who never promoted actually doing it, and apologized for even conceiving of it.
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Or that you believe in free speech with the caveat that if you offend you might be killed?... as if that threat is just an understandable, predictable reaction if you purposely offend.
How many comedians, cartoonists, etc could possibly do their work under such a philosophy?
You're getting closer. I never said understandable. I simply said predictable. Come on, Bill. You're an intelligent person. You know that there are legal limitations on free speech -- such as screaming "FIRE" in a theater when there's no fire. There are also prudent ones - based on predictable outcomes. They exist in all aspects of life. I don't say most of what I think when I'm around my in-laws, for example. It wouldn't be prudent and, to use Cyclo's phrase, it's just stirring up ****.
Till this point, I agree. You could legally go into the most dangerous neighborhood in Harlem and yell, "ni**ers should all be shipped back to Africa", but it would be as foolish and dangerous as the sentiment is idiotic. Indeed, a man who chose to ignore my
warnings against belligerently calling a bartender friend of mine the C-word met a violent reaction from me. There is no ambiguity in your point here.
She didn't need to make an inflammatory call to action in order to keep her livelihood.
Neither did I... but that's not the reason she made the call. Obviously, it isn't the reason I promoted it here and on Facebook either.
Her call to action was in response to death threats that had already been issued, remember? She didn't start anything; she responded to an unknown evil that was already threatening her colleagues for doing their job. IF we agree that Matt and Trey had every right to make their cartoon, and I think we do, and we agree that being threatened with death for cartoons is ridiculous, and again I think we do; then do we also agree that steps should be taken to defend their right to do so?
And if we agree that the lives of satirists are worth defending; the question becomes how can we do so? We already have laws against threatening people with death... but the criminal justice system isn't equipped to prevent ideological murder. At best, it can be used to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, after the fact. That doesn't offer much protection to the guy in the gun sights, does it?
The Simpsons people were probably walking right up to the edge of the line with the cartoon stating they'd stand up too, if they weren't too scared. I'd wager most everyone in the satire business considered standing up too, but ultimately most were too afraid as well.
So what else can we do? Obey every bully who makes a credible death threat? Does that really seem appropriate to you? Various bullies continue to threaten to kill gay people, for being gay. Would you recommend gays stay in the closet so as not to offend these bullies? (Btw, these same bullies hate gays every bit as much as they hate cartoonists.) Or, would you recommend that rather than staying in the closet; gays should openly oppose those who would harm them? Should other gays join them in walking in parades to show the bullies they will not be intimidated? Would you join them in that walk even though you're straight? (Time permitting, I be you would.)
Molly, (I'm assuming now) must have reasoned that it was not fair for Matt and Trey to shoulder the load alone. After all, all satirists lampoon people and practices for a living. It's what they do, and they most certainly don't deserve to die for it, no matter how distasteful their work may be. So why not demonstrate solidarity by exercising the same right Matt and Trey were under fire for? And not wishing to be the only other cartoonist in the crosshairs; the logical next step would be to invite everyone to join her.
I wouldn't describe her call to action or her very docile cartoon as particularly inflammatory either. I think any rational person viewing that cartoon, be they Muslim or not, would have to concede that she went out of her way to be as gentle as possible while getting her point across.
Her scheme seemed logical enough on the surface. Heck, 1 in 36 people will die by accident without any help from an unknown assailant, so broadening the target to many different artists should certainly serve to reduce the chances of any of them in particular being executed.
The flaw in her theory, although sound, is she may not have realized that she alone would be blamed for the actions of everyone who agreed with her. Had she had some mechanism of spreading the word of the plan anonymously; it probably would have been a complete success.
I believe her actions were very heroic indeed. She didn't make a living bashing Islam. I've never seen another cartoon from her that could be deemed offensive to Islam. What she did is speak out on behalf of a colleague who was being threatened with death, and I can only commend her for it.
By issuing a Fatwa against her, the intention is clear. al-Awlaki believes he can intimidate the rest of the planet into bowing to his demented demand that all people respect this tenet of his version of Sharia Law. **** him. He has no more right to superimpose his will on me than anyone else. While I certainly wouldn't like to get my own head sawed off for opposing him; neither do I expect a handful of brave satirists to carry the burden of defending freedom of speech on their own.
Molly is the victim here. She is being victimized for having the decency to stand up for her colleagues. History will remember her as a hero, and I wish her the very best of luck in whatever she does next.