Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that was organized by an anti-Islamic group and billed as a free-speech event.
The shooting in a Dallas suburb was an echo of past attacks or threats in other Western countries against art depicting the Prophet Mohammad. In January, gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in revenge for its cartoons.
Sunday's attack took place at about 7 p.m. in a parking lot of the Curtis Culwell Center, an indoor arena in Garland, northeast of Dallas. Geert Wilders, a polarizing Dutch politician and anti-Islamic campaigner who is on an al Qaeda hit list, was among the speakers at the event.
Now, this seems important: we don't have a motive for this yet, but people are making a lot of assumptions. At least one of the suspects was in fact someone the FBI has been watching, a convicted felon on probation.
The exhibit was organized by Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Her organization, which is 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."
Depictions of the Prophet Mohammad are viewed as offensive in Islam, and Western art that portrays the Prophet has sometimes angered Muslims and provoked threats and attacks from radicals.
I'll spare you the link to Geller's blog on this event, but she's thrilled and ecstatic this happened because it proves that basically all Muslims in America need to be shot, or something. Yes, the gunmen opened fire and they were immediately killed by the hefty security forces that Geller hired for the event. one security guard was shot in the leg, and nobody else but the gunmen were killed.
But frankly, if the worst "Christians" in America got into a shooting match with the worst "Muslims" in this country, I'd be rooting for nobody to be left standing so that the rest of us can get back to our lives.
"Cartoon Event Organizer" describes her perfectly.