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The Winner of the Draw Mohammed Contest
“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, after the attack on the United States embassy in Libya.
“If the Freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” The first President of the United States, George Washington, and a better man.
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire.
“Gellar can draw any damn cartoon she wants and I defend her right to do so…I have always fought for her right to be a bigot and I have the right to counter her bigotry with my own speech.” Linda Sarsour, a Muslim leader in New York City.
By Rob Behr
When Pamela Geller, the woman who coined the term “Ground Zero Mosque” and co-founder of the American Freedom Defense Institute, added a “Best Cartoon of Mohammad” portion to their conference in Garland, Texas, the group chose to accept risk of retaliation in order to remind Americans that they still enjoy the right to personal expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Those rights were challenged by men with guns who lost their lives striving to undermine our Constitution and national identity. They were enemies of America because they were enemies of free speech and they were opposed for the same reasons that we have always fought. We, as American, defend freedom.
The usual craven groups came forward to complain that the contest, along with the conference as a whole, were insensitive. They were ashamed that Americans would belittle a religion and its tenants and were quick to suggest that Christians had killed and oppressed on a scale that eclipsed anything that had ever been done in the name of Muhammed and Islam. They chose to look away from the blatant cruelty that these radical Islamists would have brought with their guns and instead sought to blame the group that had legally and peacefully assembled for public discourse.
They missed the key point in both the contest and the resulting violence that occurred: In America people are allowed to legally meet and discuss their beliefs and should be able to do so without fear of being killed. The apologists feel that a group of Americans discussing ideas, even abhorrent ones, somehow reflects poorly on all of America. They fail to understand the free expression of ideas, not the content of the ideas, is what has made America exceptional in the world. There are American Fascists, but America is not Fascist state, no matter what the left would tell you. There are American Communists, but American is not a Communist state, no matter what the right might say. We are Americans. We are guaranteed the right to speak freely and it is this idea, along with our other protected freedoms that truly define us as a nation. American was created to be a nation of ideas freely expressed driving a government moved by the majority. We cannot give way to fear of a violent minority that would stifle freedom of expression or speech.
Douglas Athas, the Garland mayor, wasn’t overjoyed at the prospect of high-profile event meant to push back against political correctness and fear regarding radical Islam in the United States. Despite that, he recognized his obligation to his citizens. “She (Geller) picked my community, which does not support in any shape, passion or form, her ideology. But at the end of the day, we did our jobs. We protected her freedoms and her life.”
So, in case you missed it, here is the winning entry in the “Draw Mohammed” Contest. It wasn’t well covered in the media for fear of seeming insensitive to people who are offended by American constitutional rights. The winner was Bosch Fawstin an artist and anti-Jihad activist who grew up in the Bronx as a Muslim.
Piss Christ on the other hand, which depicted a crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine, was the winner of Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art’s “Awards in the Visual Arts” competition. It was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, which does not control content. How very American. Nobody killed anyone over it.