Pamela Geller was the organizer of the cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, when two men came in with body armor and assault rifles, and started shooting, killing a security guard. A 60-year-old traffic cop gunned them both down before they could harm anyone else. Homeland Security and the FBI, who were monitoring social media, sent out a warning to the Garland police, that the contest was a potential target, so security was increased for the event.
The contest was about the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. According to Islamic tradition, any physical description of the Prophet Muhammad, even a considerate one is thought to be offensive. The winner of the contest is a former Muslim, but because of what happened, the media would not show the winning drawing.
The two men were Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, the pair were roommates at a Phoenix, Arizona apartment complex. A federal official said there was an open investigation on Simpson before the shooting. Federal authorities were monitoring Simpsons Twitter account, and a tweet was sent out from that account moments before, saying may Allah accept us as guerilla fighters. After the shooting, the terrorist group Isis, sent a recorded message to a radio station, claiming responsibility for the shooting. Isis has never claimed responsibility for any act of terrorism before.
Simpson’s parents issued a statement, saying that they had no idea of their son’s plans for the event. The only reason the parents issued a statement, was in order to satisfy public curiosity, as to whether or not they knew of what he intended to do.
Simpson’s neighbor was shocked and stunned, saying that he never knew a nicer person. He said he was always smiling and polite. The neighbor said, Simpson never said a bad word about anyone, there was no sign he could be capable of such a thing.
A threat was published on a web site associated with the Islamic organization, naming Geller a target. The authorities in New York are investigating thoroughly, to decide if there is anything that necessitates giving her police protection, NYPD spokesperson, Steven Davis, said to reporters, but he would not mention what the threat alleged.
Fox News anchor, Martha MacCallum, interviewed Geller, and asked her why she would put on such a contest, and not think that it would anger Muslims. Geller replied, she did not do it to anger anyone, she simply does not want to stop living her life the way she feels comfortable, because of barbarians. MacCallum then asked what she thought of comments Donald Trump made, when he said she was antagonizing the men. Geller took offense and replied that Trump was always talking about someone. Then she mentioned that Rosa Parks stood up and refused to be bullied by bias people, as she herself refused to be bullied by terrorists, that want to kill anyone who lives their life in a way they do not approve of, nor does she want to tell anyone how to live their lives.
The news media is saying that Gellar is being offensive with her contest, using it to oppose the Islamic tradition. Gellar got her opinion out there with pen and paper, the gunmen got their opinion across by killing a security guard.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
Photo by Gage Skidmore-Creativecommons flickr license