By Kase Wickman
This weekend, news of yet another act of religiously charged violence on U.S. soil made headlines. On Saturday (May 2), two gunmen opened fire on a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas. Both men were shot dead by police as they attacked a crowd of about 200 people toward the end of the event, an art contest sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which, it should be noted, has been classified as a hate group. The question isn’t whether the two suspects were in the wrong in attacking the event. (They were.) But how can the thought of drawing a cartoon be potential grounds for extremist violence? MTV News spoke with Edgar Hopida, communications director for the Islamic Society of North America to find out. [link]
- Islam prohibits renderings of God, the Prophet Muhammad and other prophets.
- Yes, Islam still has art.
- There have been periods in history where a veiled Muhammad has been depicted.
- Yes, freedom of speech means the contest was legal…
- …but that doesn’t mean it was respectful.
- The best course of action: turn the other cheek.