Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that was organized by a group described as anti-Islamic and billed as a free-speech event.
It’s Pamela Geller’s group; Geert Wilders was there. It was a far-right event as opposed to a secular-left event. Not helpful.
The exhibit was organized by Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Her organization, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, has sponsored anti-Islamic advertising campaigns in transit systems across the country.
Organizers of the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” said the event was to promote freedom of expression. They offered a $10,000 prize for the best artwork or cartoon depicting the Prophet, as well as a $2,500 “People’s Choice Award.”
The mayor said the city had permitted the event even though officials knew its inflammatory theme could provoke an attack.
“There was concern, which is why we had heightened security in the area, but we all swear to uphold the Constitution, free speech, free assembly and in this case perhaps, free religion,” Athas said. “So in this case they were free to use the building.”
God what a mess. This is bound to strengthen mistaken people in their opinion that Charlie Hebdo is the same kind of thing as Geller’s contest.