The Islamophobia event took place at the Curtis Culwell Center — a venue owned by the local school district. The AFDI asked the school district why they allowed the event on their premises. They said that their hall was open to anyone who wanted to rent it. So the AFDI decided that was the perfect place to have The First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest this May.
The AFDI will hold a contest for artwork and cartoons of Muhammad and the winner will be announced at the May 3rd exhibit at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. The winner will be awarded a $10,000 prize. There will also be a $2,500 People’s Choice Award.
The exhibit will display images of Muhammad, both modern and historic, and attendees will hear speeches by internationally known free speech advocates, including Geert Wilders. This is an event you don't want to miss. It has already gotten some news coverage on CBS (watch it here).
Muslim violence and intimidation has effectively imposed one aspect of Sharia law onto most of the free world — the rule that nobody can make fun of Muhammad or Islam. Most news organizations were unwilling to show the cartoons of Muhammad that orthodox Muslims took such exception to. On just about any other subject, newspapers and magazines revel in controversial issues. It helps create a readership. But when it comes to Islam, they tiptoe around it.
Free speech is the foundation of a free society. If something cannot be criticized, mocked or ridiculed, people cannot learn more about it or unite against it. That means it can grow in influence without the public being able to mount a resistance to it. Free speech is a fundamental protection against tyranny.
The way to gain and maintain free speech in a society is to exercise it. That is exactly what AFDI is doing with this event. We urge you to support it in whatever way you can, including flying to Garland, Texas in May to attend. The more people who show up, the more news coverage it will gain, which means the more this issue will be in the public conversation, and that's what we need.
The question now being answered in our lifetimes is: Will Muslim violence be allowed to impose limits on free speech in free societies or not? This contest says no: Free speech will dominate the world.
The security at the event will be intense, and of course, this costs money. If you would like to help cover these costs, you can contribute here.
The contest will be online, with entries posted on the AFDI web site. If you would like to participate in the contest itself, submit your artwork or cartoons by sending an email to MuhammadArtExpo@gmail.com. Read the rules of the contest here.
More information on the contest will be posted on the AFDI Facebook page.
The Executive Director of AFDI, Pamela Geller, wrote:
It’s time the free world said enough is enough.
On Saturday, an Islamic jihadist murdered one person and wounded three, firing multiple shots at an event entitled “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” at the Krudttoenden cafe in Copenhagen, featuring Muhammad cartoonist Lars Vilks and Francois Zimeray, the French ambassador to Denmark. Clearly he wanted to kill Vilks and continue the Islamic attack on free speech.
Last Monday, a Muslim mob in Pakistan that was protesting against the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Muhammad forced open the gates of a Christian school, smashed windows, destroyed property and demanded that the school be closed. This followed demonstrations in which tens of thousands of Muslims in Pakistan demanded that the West adopt Shariah blasphemy laws. An estimated 800,000 demonstrated against free speech in Chechnya. Muslim mobs in Niger set 45 churches on fire in their rage against the actions.
Meanwhile, a carnival in Germany canceled plans for a Charlie Hebdo float. A cartoon museum in Belgium canceled plans for a Charlie Hebdo tribute. An art museum in Paris removed an artwork from exhibit after Muslim threats. This stunning cowardice proves, yet again, that it hardly ends with cartoons. It begins there...They seek to control what we say, what we think, and how we live.
And we are giving them that power.
This is how France responds after Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre? Shameful.
The West has to stop this pathetic cowardice... They’re just cartoons. Enough already.
The Cartoon Exhibit was a logical next step following AFDI’s Free Speech Rally in Garland. This new event will stand for free speech and show that Americans will not be cowed by violent Islamic intimidation. That is a crucial stand to take as Islamic assaults on the freedom of speech, our most fundamental freedom, are growing more insistent.
After the Charlie Hebdo massacre – and after the violent Muhammad cartoon riots a few years ago – there should have been cartoon exhibits all over the free world, to show the Islamic jihadis (and their stealth allies in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other Muslim groups that are doing all they can to intimidate the West into abandoning the freedom of speech) that we will not kowtow to violent intimidation. But there were no such exhibits. The free world was ready to submit...
But we aren’t. We know the risks. Of course, this event will require massive security. But this exhibit has to be staged. If we don’t show the jihadis that they will not frighten us into silence, the jihad against freedom will only grow more virulent.
And we hope that this event will give others the courage to stand up as well, and show the world that they aren’t going to submit to this savagery.