Again? Two more killings at a U.S. display of Muhammad cartoons

May 3, 2015 • 8:32 pm

This just arrived from my CNN news feed:

Two people were shot by police outside of an event billed as the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” in Garland, Texas, on Sunday evening, according to Garland Mayor Douglas Athas, who added, “I believe they are dead.” A security guard was also wounded, according to Athas.

CNN producer Chris Lett, who was covering the event, said there were about 40 people gathered when police announced there had been a shooting. The event, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, claimed to have received “over 350 submissions of Mohammed cartoons from all over the world.”

I guess they deserved what they got, for they were clearly punching down. And even if it’s true that the event was hosted by the odious Pamela Geller, that doesn’t warrant murder.

46 thoughts on “Again? Two more killings at a U.S. display of Muhammad cartoons

    1. I’d prefer, “anti-terrorist.” Because it’s their murderous violence that calls for such protests.

      1. Be careful who you side with. I would think the organisers of the event will be absolutely delighted they managed to provoke some idiots into attacking the event. In other words their motives were almost certainly anti-Islamic (and likely pro-fundie-Christian) rather than a peaceful free speech protest.

        1. You can’t know that.
          While it is important to be careful who one sides with, some issues are big enough that siding with ones enimies is valid.
          This Islamo-fascist multironged attack on free speach is the biggest issue goind around at the moment. (For thssoe of us to live in ‘lucky’ countries).
          So I will side with her and then use yhr same principals to attack her views on drugs and theism.

        2. You can’t know that.
          While it is important to be careful who one sides with, some issues are important enough to warrent such siding.
          The Islamo-Fascist proclivities, such as death (literal) to free speach, world wide, is the big issue in front of us right now.
          I will side with someone like Gellar, who doesn’t seem too bad, and then use the same principals we are trying to defend, to go after her erronious views such as drugs and her relifious belifs.

          1. I will side with someone like Gellar, who doesn’t seem too bad, and then use the same principals we are trying to defend, to go after her erronious views such as drugs and her relifious belifs.

            A number of the attendees expressed anger that the event, and they by extension were being portrayed as “anti-Muslin”. They were there, as I might have been if it were nearby, not in support “hate speech”, but in support of free speech.
            I would like to see Muslims attending such events. I don’t see why they couldn’t attend, admit they find the cartoons offensive, while supporting the right of those who draw them, too offend, and not be murdered for it.

    1. I say because I found the headlines confusing (“Two shot at event”) and it sort of sounds like JC may have had the same confusion I did when I initially saw the CNN headline.

    2. Thank goodness the casualty list wasn’t longer. What a scary shock that must have been to the participants, though. 🙁

      1. In this case I don’t think they were shocked. They were actually being deliberately provocative (an organizer said they picked the venue precisely because they had heard that there had been a Muslim meeting there after the Hedbo shootings) and had, apparently, SWAT teams or something similar on hand in anticipation of possible violence.

        I don’t say this to excuse gunmen in any way. The measure of free speech is odious and provocative speech. A million kindergarten classes do not inform us about the status of free speech as much as a single neo-Nazi or Westboro Baptist rally. It is only by observing that the intentionally provocative can speak that the rest of us know that we can too.

  1. On the one hand I think it is terrible that people get so riled up about drawings, but on the other hand it seems that the people who participated in this event are sort of asking for trouble. Why be so deliberately provocative?

    1. Yes, by all means let’s be intimidated by Muslim violence. If they threaten to kill you if you criticize them, and then you don’t because you’re scared, then they’ve insulated their faith against provocation.

      You clearly don’t understand the principle of freedom of speech.

    2. “Why be so deliberately provocative?”

      Why not, it’s their right to do so.

      In my opinion we should protect people’s rights. Seems a bit unfair to criticize victims, how despicable you may find them, for violent acts done by others. If tolerance has any meaning it should include opinions you don’t like. So I don’t agree with your support for this sort of violence.

  2. The event was, imo, deliberately provocative. However, there is no excuse whatsoever for violence. When people respond in this way to the provocation, they are proving the stereotypes of their detractors.

    If you want to prove Islam is the religion of peace, it would help your narrative if you, in fact, behaved peacefully.

    1. I’m not sure this event can be called a provocation; it can easily be avoided by any people who might take offense.

  3. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but if you draw a picture I’m gonna kill you.”

    quick, call out the liberal regressionists! We have hurt muslim terrorist feelings that have gotten hurt, and the only thing that makes them feel better is to blame the victims!

    1. Yes the first thing that came to my mind when I heard of this is the wreckage caused by these liberal “regressionists” (assuming this is a thing). Terrorism would be a thing of the past if it weren’t for these powerful “regressionsists” controlling the entire country.

      1. I have decided that there are two types of liberals, the progressives and the regressives. Progressives are the ones who continue to fight for human rights, freedom, etc. and the regressives are the ones who still think it’s 1962, and only non-white, non-western, non-male people are worth fighting for. Along with the PEN members, Trudeau, and their ilk, count the majority of women writing for Jezebel (who claim even using the term “female” is sexist) Ben Aflleck, and those cowards who attack Rushdie and Hirsi-Ail. Basically, it’s the difference between logical, rational thought and panicky reactionary thought. So, it’s a thing, but it didn’t have a name yet. or it may just only make sense in my cramped, confused little head.

  4. Seems like a lot of folks think that being provocative is a bad thing. I disagree.

    Women exercising their right to have an abortion is provocative to many social conservatives.
    Two gay men kissing is provocative to many homophobes.

    We need more provocation.

  5. This appears to essentially be a radical Islamist sting operation and Texas doles out deadly venom. While this “art exhibit” is from an odious, anti-Islamic group, I don’t have a problem with it. I wish these Texas officers had been protecting our free expression martyrs at Charlie Hebdo.

  6. This post is confusing me. The police killed two people trying to disrupt the cartoon-drawing session. If the perps were trying to kill the cartoon drawers (wouldn’t be unheard of) then the police killing them could be justified, and it wouldn’t be murder.

    1. It does seem from Jerry’s ‘punching down’ comment, that he assumed that participants in the event were shot. (Apologies if i have that wrong, Professor). However, it doesn’t alter the fact that there was an attack, shots were fired, and people were killed at what should have been regarded as a harmless event, which should have passed almost without notice. Drawing cartoons of Mo has resulted in violence. Again.

  7. Following the link PCC gave, it appears a couple of guys rolled up in a car and started shooting at police, who shot them.

    The comments in that link, though, seem to show that Texas good ol’ boys are just as bad as the worst radical Muslim terrorists. Either that or they’re full of hot air. There’s only one sane person in the whole damn lot. Why do comments columns bring out all the crazies?

  8. From the NYT report: “Pamela Geller, an outspoken anti-Islam activist and an organizer of the event . . . .”

    “outspoken . . . .” If one speaks out, then by definition one is “outspoken.” Seems one ought to reasonably, always include the adjective “outspoken” to describe the originator of any media editorial.

    Were the bloody gunmen “outspoken”?

    I wonder if Geller is also “strident.”

      1. The CBS a.m. program quotes some pro-Islam outfit to the effect that the gathering was “baiting” Muslims.

        1. Considering its sponsors it was probably trying hard to do just that.

          (And DO NOT try to compare it with Charlie Hebdo, who criticised everyone equally and defended minorities – including Muslims – even while it attacked extremism).

          1. Yes, I think it’s pretty clear that they were trying to “bait” Muslims. Their success shows us that it is still risky to criticize at least one religion.

            I agree also that this group is not in the same heroic moral category as Hebdo. It is a bit closer to a KKK rally than it was to Hebdo (neither category is quite right). Nonetheless, I do not condone in any one opening fire on a KKK rally either. And, importantly, our society’s ability to tolerate KKK rallies is exactly what gives me some assurance that my own speech won’t be silenced the moment it is deemed unpopular.

    1. That’s being way too kind to Geller, since as we know ‘strident’ is used of such reasoned critics as Harris and Dawkins. Her organisation, the American Freedom Defense Initiative aka Stop Islamization of America, is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. I feel fairly confident the latter at least is not an Islamic sympathiser group. (Source Wikipedia).

      The Ku Klux Klan would also, no doubt, oppose all things Islamic. That doesn’t make the KKK good.

      1. ” . . . the Southern Poverty Law Center . . . .”

        Does anyone know what the SPLC’s position is on the Charlie Hebdo massacre?

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