The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Jihad Watch co-sponsored the ‘First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest’. The contest was a response to the Charlie Hebdo Massacre where jihadists murdered twelve people in the Paris offices of the satirical magazine. It was organized in the same spirit as the Je Suis Charlie demonstrations and artists from all over the world who drew cartoons in support of free speech and freedom of the press. Many of the political cartoons reacting to the massacre included cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Similar to many other art contests, entries were submitted online for cash prizes with the winning entries appearing on the sponsor’s websites. The exhibit was held on May 3rd at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, which was chosen because it was the site of the “Stand with the Prophet” conference that denounced ‘Islamophobia’ shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Co-sponsors Pamela Geller, president of AFDI, and Robert Spencer, Director of Jihad Watch, spent 10,000 dollars on extra security for the opening of the exhibition. During the event two gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix, wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles pulled up to the event in a car. They immediately got out and began shooting at a police car wounding a security guard. A traffic officer working after-hours as security for the event armed only with a service pistol shot and killed them - demonstrating the saying ‘Don’t mess with Texas’. Investigators searched the suspects' vehicle for explosives and detonated the vehicle for precaution.
Elton Simpson linked himself to the Islamic State, aka ISIS, in a tweet posted just before the attack. The Islamic State subsequently took responsibility for the attack broadcasting on its Al Bayan radio station that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out Sunday’s attack and promised the group would deliver more attacks in the future. ISIS also threatened to kill Pamela Geller:
“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter. ……We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.”
In the face of the Islamic State’s frightening death threats against Americans, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been vilified in the press instead of being hailed as brave defenders of freedom. The rhetoric is getting uglier every day. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota cited critics who said there was a “fine line between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews accused Geller of provoking the violence, “I think [Geller] caused this trouble, and whether this trouble came yesterday or it came two weeks from now, it’s gonna be in the air as long as you taunt.” Surprisingly Bill O’Reilly accused Pamela Geller of provoking the violence that occurred in Texas. His May 5th talking points commentary titled ‘Defeating the Jihad by Not Being Dumb’ referred to the American Freedom Defense Initiative as “the anti-Muslim group who ignited the situation”
In an interview with Megyn Kelly, O’Reilly said “So they wanted to defy the fear the jihadists have imposed on the world?” O’Reilly asked….."But there’s always cause and effect,… this is what happens when you light the fuse — you get violence.” That is the same argument the left wing media used when they accused O’Reilly of inciting the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. Obviously Bill O’Reilly has been drinking the left’s Kool-Aid. In addition to blaming the victims the media continues to pejoratively characterize the event as Anti-Muslim, controversial and provocative because depicting the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous, irreverent and sacrilege. Although there is an abundance of sensitivity in not offending Muslims, there are no outcries when the sacred in Christianity is desecrated.
The few reporters that defended the event argued that art that offends Christians does not provoke the same outrage by the press or violence by worshippers. Piss Christ, the 1987 photograph by the American artist Andres Serrano depicting a crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine is often cited as the classic example of art that insults Christianity. It is both an actual and symbolic desecration of the sacred in Christianity. Adding insult to injury, it was the winner of a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored competition making it government sanctioned defilement.
Almost 30 years later desecrating a cross escalated from a photograph to performance protest artists mimicing shoving a crucifix into their anuses in the middle of Vatican square to simulate anal sex to protest the Popes religious morals. If you have not read about that protest art performance it is probably because CNN and MSNBC do not report when Christians are offended. Political correctness has created a cult of victimhood that has programmed the media to diminish Christian and anti-Semitic so called protest art while reporting any and all incidents of what Muslims find offensive.
There are many more examples of provocative, offensive and incendiary art and art exhibits that are not criticized because they support liberal agendas. Similar to the Muhammad Cartoon contest, many art exhibits are organized on line around a political theme. For example ‘Artists Against Police Violence’ is a blog run by a small group of self-described artists-activists of color who are calling all artists across the U.S. and the world to rise up against anti-Black police violence. They have created an online space “featuring graphics and artwork to be used for communities against police murders of Black people”. Artists Against Police Violence state on their website:
“We strive to feature and generate a diverse collection of hi-res images to empower families, protests, social media, the streets and beyond. When the language that white supremacy and anti-Blackness have given us fails, we must rise with our broken tools and forge a new visual language toward accountability and justice….In light of the upcoming protests across the country, we are calling all artists across the US and the world to rise up against anti-Black police violence. ….With that in mind, we also acknowledge that the way police officers terrorize Black communities is not limited to extrajudicial killings, but include sexual violence, the violence of the medical establishment, and the violence of the prison industrial complex. …Police and prisons play essential roles in enacting, compounding, and colluding with the abuse, incarceration, and gender and sexual violence targeting Black women (trans women in particular)”
This online art exhibit is controversial and provocative. In fact it can be described as having the potential to incite protesters to commit violence against police who it claims murder and rape black people. The political message behind the Draw Muhammad Cartoon event was the protection of free speech. The political message of the Artists Against Police Violence exhibit is to empower people to rise up against alleged police violence for accountably and justice. While Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are labeled Islamophobes and anti-Muslim for organizing an art exhibit to protect free speech, political correctness prohibits anyone from labeling the artists-activists Against Police Violence as racists, black supremacists or as an anti-government hate organization. When the cause is liberal it is not inflammatory they are just artists.
The line between art and protest is often blurred in what is referred to as performance art, performance protests or guerrilla actions. It is perfectly acceptable to desecrate churches, Christian and Jewish religious objects, interrupt traffic, and spew hatred as long as it is in the name of feminism, anarchism, socialism or Islam.
An interesting example of liberal bias is the only group that was not targeted by Western media for insulting Islam. FEMEN, founded in 2008 in the Ukraine and currently based in Paris, is an international feminist protest organization that became known for organizing topless protests on women’s issues. Their mission is "fighting patriarchy in its three manifestations - sexual exploitation of women, dictatorship and religion" and resulted in protests against both Christian and Islamic religious institutions. The self-described “sextremists” have staged protests at the belfry of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and at Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City.
Three topless FEMEN activists used a chainsaw to cut down a large wooden crucifix near Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev in support for the Russian group Pussy Riot. Topless Femen activists dressed as nuns to counter Catholics against same-sex marriage march in Paris. The topless activists wearing nuns habits had "In Gay We Trust" and Fuck G-d written on their bare chests. During a Pro-Life demonstration in Madrid, Spain FEMEN activists were holding crosses sprayed with red paint and had 'abortion is sacred' written on their naked chests. Three FEMEN activists went to Vatican square and wearing only black ankle boots, leather miniskirts, and flower garlands in their hair, dropped to all fours and began mimicking putting crucifixes in their anuses simulating anal sex. Written on their backs was ‘Keep it Inside’ indicating that the Popes activities should stay within the papal enclave in Rome. Where is the outrage? Blasphemy only makes the news when Muslims are offended. There are no limits to insulting Christianity.
FEMEN also staged a topless protest at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London to draw attention to what they call “bloody Islamist regimes” taking part in the Olympics. Two topless women were painted with the slogans “Olympic shame” and “No Sharia”. Imagine if Pamela Geller had done that instead of a cartoon contest. On April 4, 2013 FEMEN activists staged protests in various European cities in what they dubbed “International Topless Jihad Day” in support of a young Tunisian activist named Amina Tyler, 19, who received death threats for posting topless pictures online in which “F--k your morals” and “My body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone's honor” were written in Arabic on her naked chest and stomach.
Women demonstrated in support of Tyler in several European countries outside Tunisian embassies and mosques including in front of the Ahmadiyya-Moschee in Berlin. They protested topless with writing across their chests with slogans such as “No Sharia” and “No Islamism” and held signs that read “Naked Freedom,” “No Masters No Slaves,” and “Free Amina.” They also burned the Salafist Black flag in front of the Great Mosque of Paris. There were a few accusations of Islamophobia to which Inna Shevchenko, leader of FEMEN France tweeted "I'm not an Islamophobe but a religiophobe."
That is why FEMEN receives positive press from the Western liberal secular media. If you are hosting an online Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest fighting for free speech you are an Islamophobe. If you are a naked beautiful feminist burning the Black Salafist flag in front of the Grand Mosque of Paris fighting against patriarchy then you are a freedom fighter. These double standards are part of a brilliant strategy of symbolic warfare designed to silence free speech, incite protests, promote Muslim and black victimhood and suppress criticism of jihadists and anti-police groups.
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