NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After a shooting outside of a provocative Muhammad drawing cartoon contest in Texas Sunday, the event’s organizer said “this is a war.”
The contest was hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative. It offered $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.READ MORE: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
Conservative blogger Pamela Geller is the president of the AFDI and said the following after the shootings:
“This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters? Two men with rifles and backpacks attacked police outside our event. A cop was shot; his injuries are not life-threatening, thank Gd. Please keep him in your prayers. The bomb squad has been called to the event site to investigate a backpack left at the event site. The war is here.”
A police officer shot and killed two gunmen who opened fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland on Sunday night. A security officer was wounded in the shooting.
Garland officer Joe Harn says the men had used assault rifles, and that one officer had fatally shot both gunmen. Harn also said investigators searched the men’s car and detonated several suspicious items, but no bombs were found in the vehicle.
“We were able to stop those men before they were able to penetrate the area and shoot anyone else,” Harn said.
The FBI says the gunmen were Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson.
The event featured speeches by Geller and Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker known for his outspoken criticism of Islam. Wilders received several standing ovations from the crowd and left immediately after his speech.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban
Geller told the AP before Sunday’s event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad. She said in a statement after the shooting that it showed how “needed our event really was.”
So who exactly is Pam Geller? Here are five facts you may not know about her:
1) Geller’s group is known for mounting a campaign against the building of an Islamic center blocks from the World Trade Center site and for buying advertising space in cities across the U.S. criticizing Islam.
2) Geller is the founder, editor and publisher of AtlasShrugs.com and the author of “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.”
3) In 2013, she was awarded the Guardian of Freedom award by the Nassau County Federation of Republican Women.
4) Geller began her publishing career at The New York Daily News and was the associate publisher of The New York Observer from 1989 through 1994.
5) In 2013, Geller purchased ad space at 39 New York City Subway stations for a new ad that “links Islam to terrorism. In 2014, Geller paid $100,000 for a series of ads to run on the MTA again. In April 2015, the MTA banned the ads.MORE NEWS: Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option
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