WASHINGTON, May 5, 2015 – Last January, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held its annual “Stand with the Prophet in Honor and Respect” conference at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. “Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet?” asked the event’s organizers on their Facebook page. “Remember [the] anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims’… This program will raise funds to establish a Strategic Communication Center for the Muslim community, which will develop effective responses to attacks like those mentioned above.”
The event came a little more than a week after Muslim gunmen defended the Prophet Muhammad by shooting 12 people to death in the Paris offices of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Like their Dutch counterparts, the magazine’s cartoonists produced humorous drawings of the Prophet Muhammad.
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Around 2,000 Texans held a protest outside the conference venue, where Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, gave the keynote address.
Imam Siraj once said, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Quran… should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
In reaction to the Charlie Hebdo killings and the CAIR conference, the American Freedom Defense Initiative held its inaugural Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest at the same Curtis Culwell Center last weekend, which included Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders as the event’s keynote speaker, offering a $10,000 prize for the best cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
Wilders, you may recall, is under constant threat for his stance against the violent attacks by radical Islamists upon their critics. Wilders wants the Quran banned in his country and all immigration from Muslim nations stopped. “We must answer hatred and violence from terrorists with exclusion and intolerance and show who’s boss in The Netherlands,” Wilders said in 2005.
After Wilders delivered his remarks last Sunday evening, two heavily-armed Islamists shot and wounded an unarmed security guard in the ankle as they attempted to enter the Curtis Culwell Center, where the “Draw the Prophet” contest was underway. By the time Kevlar-vested, well-armed SWAT officers arrived on scene, a traffic officer had already shot and killed both gunmen.
“I am shocked. I just spoke for half an hour about the [anti-Muhammad] cartoons, Islam and freedom of speech, and I had just left the premises,” Wilders told Agence France-Presse. “This is an attack on the liberties of all of us.”
One of the dead gunmen was Identified as Elton Simpson of Phoenix. A 2010 grand jury indictment accused him of lying to the FBI concerning his plans to travel to Somalia “for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad.”
Although he was convicted for giving false statements to the FBI, U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia dismissed the government’s charge accusing Simpson of participating in terrorism. A defendant “who harbors sympathy and admiration for ‘fighting’ non-Muslims abroad and establishing Sharia law… however obnoxious to most people, may not be taken into consideration by a sentencing judge,” ruled Murguia.
Judge Murguia, appointed to the District Court in 2011 by President Obama, found “insufficient evidence to support that the false statement [by Simpson] ‘involved’ international terrorism.”
Still another wise, black-robed King Solomon reduced Simpson’s sentence to three years’ probation.
Faced with limited options, Simpson and his friend Nadir Hamid Soofil took their jihad to Texas.
Hearing of Sunday’s events, British jihadist Junaid Hussain, fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq, tweeted, “The brothers in Texas may have had no experience in shooting, but they was quick to defend the honor of the Prophet Muhammead.”
Lucky for the cartoonists gathered at the Curtis Culwell Center in Texas, the jihadists were “quick” when it came to Muhammad’s “honor” but slow when it came to imposing his will on the defiant, ink-stained satirists.
New York City’s corrupt 19th-century political boss William Tweed didn’t care “so much what the papers” had to say about him. After all, he said, “My constituents don’t know how to read.”
But the relentless, satirical attacks by Harper Weekly’s political cartoonist Thomas Nast slowly turned the city against him. The Big Apple’s illiterate masses may not have understood the words on the printed page, but they couldn’t “help seeing them damned pictures,” said Tweed.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And the jihadists would like the visual condemnations to stop. But a hail of accurate return fire proved that Garland, Texas, is no Paris, France.