Despite the fact that her latest effort ended in a botched terror attack and personal threats against her life, American Freedom Defense Initiative President Pamela Geller recently announced a new campaign that will include prominently featured representations of Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Terrorist organization ISIS took credit for the gunfire that disrupted Geller’s previous event, an art contest in Garland, Texas; and at least a few radical Islamists have publicly stated she should be executed for organizing it. Instead of lying low in hopes that the controversy will die down, however, Geller issued a statement announcing her group’s new line of ads set to be displayed on buses in the D.C. area.
“Because the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire,” Geller said, “we are running an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.”
She went on to assert that there was nothing about the contest that invited the attack, noting that if Americans are implicitly denied the freedom to satirize certain subjects, “the freedom of speech is a relic of history.”
Robert Spencer, vice president of ADFI, elaborated on Geller’s point by addressing the common argument that it is not worth the risk to provoke Islamic radicals. He explained that terrorists have made it clear they intend to conquer and enslave non-Muslim nations.
“In light of that,” he wondered, “what is the point of asking whether or not we should provoke them? They’re already provoked. A more useful question now is whether it is really productive and helpful to signal to them that we will acquiesce to their threats of violence and change our behavior accordingly, or whether we will instead signal to them that their violent threats are not going to frighten us into submission.”
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