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Muslims Condemn Texas Shooting: ‘Violence Is Never An Appropriate Response To Hate Speech’

Posted by on May. 5, 2015 at 11:54 AM
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Muslims Condemn Texas Shooting: ‘Violence Is Never An Appropriate Response To Hate Speech’

MAY 4, 2015 4:19 PM

A security guard was wounded outside an anti-Islam event in Texas on May 3. The event, staged by right-wing extremist and hatemonger, Pamela Geller, was billed as an “art contest and exhibition.” A $10,000 prize was offered, apparently to the artist who submitted the most profane, vulgar, or insulting cartoon drawing of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

The two men who staged the attack, one who was previously accused of attempting to join a terrorist group in Africa, were both killed. According to the LA Times, the attempted attack lasted for a matter of seconds. The first gunmen was immediately shot by police, while the second was shot moments later, after he reached for a backpack.

Garland Mayor, Doug Athas, said the security officer who was shot works for the Garland school system. As to his condition, Athos said:

“He was shot in the leg, transported to the hospital and he’ll be fine.”

While the mainstream media has focused on statements made by a very small number of Muslim extremists on Twitter, an overwhelming majority of Muslims have condemned the shooting and denounced violent attacks as a means of defending their faith.

In response to the shooting, Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, National Vice President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, released thefollowing statement:

“Violence is never an acceptable response to hate speech, no matter how inflammatory and uncivilized that speech is. While we do not yet know what motivated these shooters, we urge calm and defer to local, state, and federal authorities to peaceably and justly resolve this.”

Dr. Bilal Rana, President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association released a statement as well:

“On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association – the largest Muslim youth group in the country – we stand by our fellow Americans in shock and horror at today’s shooting. While we wait for investigators to tell us more about the shooters, we wholly condemn any such acts of violence and find them completely unjustifiable. Our faith calls us to engage in dialogue. So we condemn any use of violence to intimidate anyone.”

The group Muslims Against ISIS responded to the shooting with the following statement on Facebook:

“Whoever the shooters are, we condemn them whole heartedly, that goes without saying. Any act of violence on innocent people should be condemned. Cartoons or insulting Our Prophet (pbuh) should never result shootouts like this.”

 

As the Daily Beast reported, members of the Muslim community expressed support for Geller’s ‘free speech’ rights, both before and after the shooting. The night before Geller’s event, Alia Salem, head of the Dallas chapter of the Council on Islamic Relations, spoke with Dean Obeidallah, reporter for the Daily Beast by phone, saying that:

“she had “passionately urged” Muslims to ignore Geller. Salem said that she’s a strong supporter of freedom of expression and believes that Geller certainly has the right to draw hateful cartoons about any religious figure she so chooses, including the Prophet Muhammad. But she urged Muslim community members to not give Geller “what she wants” and respond or even protest the event.”

On April 25, Salem posted the following statement on Facebook:

I am calling on ALL community members in Dallas/Fort Worth to ignore and encourage others in the community to ignore Pamela Geller who will be holding a “Draw the Prophet Muhammad” contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland on May 3rd, 2015. This is her effort to incite our community and rile us up and I do not want us to give her the satisfaction or the media attention she thrives on. Without our reaction she has no story at all and no draw for the media which is what keeps her going and allows her to get publicity.

 

The Council on American-Islamic relations also issued a statement about the shootings.

CAIR statement condemning Garland attack:


In spite of all the denouncements that have been issued against violence by the Muslim community as a whole, right wing extremists continue to characterize the entire Muslim community as ‘animals,’ ‘dogs’ and ‘violent terrorists,’ (and those are just the nice descriptions).

Are there extremist elements in the Muslim community? Of course there are. There are also a lot of extremist elements in the Christian community. As a Christian, I am constantly battling against the violent, hateful, disturbing influence that radical right-wing extremists keep trying to have on my family. I completely reject the ideology of people like Pamela Geller, and I have to constantly fend off critics of my faith, who assume that because I am Christian I must be a right-wing fanatic who has a “God hates fags” bumper sticker on my car. Not a day goes by when I don’t feel the need to issue a statement denouncing the hateful actions of someone who calls themselves a “Christian.” Someone who claims to be”‘defending Christianity,” and “Christian values” when in reality they’re doing nothing but bringing shame and embarrassment to all Christians, everywhere.

The back story to yesterday’s shooting in Texas is more extensive than the media would lead people to believe. In January, the Sound Vision Foundation, a Muslim media organization, held their annual conference in the same city and location that Geller staged her ‘art expo.” The theme of the conference was reclaiming the Muslim religion from the radical elements that have seized it.

The New Inquiry reports that the convention was called “Stand with the Prophet Against Terror & Hate”. Literature associated with the conference said:

The convention was called “Stand with the Prophet Against Terror & Hate”:

We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad,” the gunmen shouted after killing 12 at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. The publication is known for lampooning the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

Well. The Prophet banned revenge as he built his peace sanctuary in seventh-century Madinah, establishing instead the rule of law. Peace was his goal, which he achieved by developing alliances between Muslims and Madinah’s non-Muslim Arabs, Jews, and Christians.

“The Muslim love for Prophet Muhammad is unquestionable. We love him more than we love ourselves. God’s peace and blessings be upon him. It hurts us when any one insults our Prophet. It is, however, the ignorant, who do not know the loving path of mercy and forgiveness taught by the Prophet; they are turning into violent extremists like ISIS and Boko Haram and committing crimes in his name.

This is not love. This is hate.

The conference was met with jeers and hatred from ‘Christian’ extremists. Geller and her ilk reframed the conference, claiming that Muslims calling for an end to violence committed by other Muslims was:

“an obscene stand for them to take after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.”

One of the keynote speakers for Geller’s event, Geert Wilders, was previously brought up on charges of “inciting hate” in the Netherlands, a crime that doesn’t exist in the United States. UK laws make it a criminal offense to deliberately provoke hate toward a racial, ethnic or religious group. That includes distributing inflammatory literature, making inflammatory public speeches, creating websites that promote hatred of another group and inciting rumors. If the US had similar laws, there’s no doubt Geller and her ilk would have been jailed long ago.

Geller has billed her event as an exercise in free speech and the right has continually referred to the attack as a ‘war on free speech’. I find it interesting that those who turned out for this event, calling it a celebration of their ‘right to free speech’ openly advocate for denying others the same right to “free speech” they claim to hold so dear. Wilders faced charges in his own country after he openly advocated for outlawing the Koran in the Netherlands.

For $50 a ticket, right wing hatemongers were invited to mock and defame another culture’s religious figure, I guess because for them insulting and offending other people is really fun. I suppose in their demented minds they believe that Jesus approves of their shameful behavior. Remember when Jesus called his disciples together and had them draw pictures of the Greek Gods, and how they all chuckled like third graders do, after someone cuts a fart?

According to Breibart, Geller’s event sold out, as Christian extremists flocked to Garland, Texas, to get their chance to see cartoons desecrating an image that other people hold sacred, all in the name of Jesus. In the name of free speech, they listened to speakers who advocate banning the Koran and forcing Muslim women to pay a special tax to wear a hijab.

The same Christian extremists who provoked the Muslim extremists now feign their innocence. All they did was draw a few pictures…

The response from the Muslim community in condemning this violence has been quick and clear. On the other side of that, the Christian community has done nothing but defend the disgusting behavior of Geller and others, who clearly intended to provoke this type of event.

Jesus said this, in Mathew chapter 5:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

There are a lot of self-professed Christians who clearly have no desire to do what Jesus told them to do. It is the responsibility of the Christian left to condemn the actions of people like Pamela Geller, just as much as it the responsibility of the Muslim community to condemn the actions of Islamic Extremists.

by on May. 5, 2015 at 11:54 AM
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