ROCHESTER (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A New Hampshire man wants to defy an Islamic prohibition on depicting the prophet Muhammad in pictures and plans to host a “Draw Muhammad” art contest in August.
Jerry Delemus, a 60-year-old former Marine, says the freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment trumps any religion’s limitations on such expression, “If we back away from our freedom as citizens a little bit at a time, the next thing you know, we don’t have any freedoms left,” DeLemus explained to the CBS affiliate WGME.
DeLemus said he hasn’t heard from the local Islamic community, but residents in the area aren’t sure the event is a good idea. Eric Adema said, “I don’t understand the point of inciting violence, it’s just going to cause more problems.”
A venue has yet to be determined, but DeLemus says the contest will likely take place in August. He says he recognizes there are risks inherent in hosting such an event, but adds that he plans on having plenty of security on hand.
In early May police killed two gunmen and a security guard was injured at a similar event in Garland.
Early this year, a gunman killed 12 people at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine for publishing satirical pictures of Muhammad.
Jerry Delemus plans on holding his own “Draw Muhammad” contest — despite what happened in Garland: http://cbsloc.al/1JMMJ6F
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