To the Readers' Forum:
I see we are celebrating "Banned Books Week" once again, and, once again, the real forbidden works are not mentioned, the books and images that have actually been censored, that is, those you cannot purchase at the bookstore or on Amazon or see on the television, movie screen or other media.
Let's talk about the "The Cartoons That Shook The World" which Yale University Press chose to publish only after excising the said cartoons, as well as other historical illustrations of Mohammed which had been included by the author.
Or, the fact that almost all American publications have yet to publish the famous cartoons, despite covering the story of the Danish cartoons.
Or that the writers of the Comedy Central cartoon show "South Park," who received a death threat in response to an episode concerning the non-portrayal of Mohammed, were censored by the network, and now cannot mention the name "Mohammed" nor can it show his image, (even in a bear suit).
Or Seattle artist Molly Norris, who drew a very banal Mohammed cartoon to show her support for the "South Park" creators, and quickly withdrew from the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" campaign which she inspired, when it attracted national attention. It also attracted the attention of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim cleric now based in Yemen, who called for her death. She has now left her job with an alternative weekly, and assumed a new identity, with encouragement from the FBI.
As we pat each other on the back for being so broad minded, we permit Ms. Norris to be driven into what amounts to a witness protection program and away from family, friends, and livelihood because she was foolish enough to take the First Amendment at face value, and greatly misjudged our devotion to defending free speech, particularly when it involves Islam.
I hope while underground the former Molly does not get a yen to see Uncle Remus sing "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" as that has been censored as well.