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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The organizer of Sunday night’s Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland had plenty to say after the shooting in Garland that left two people dead — fervently defending holding the event.
Pamela Geller, American Freedom Defense Initiative’s (AFDI) Houston-Based Founder, says the shooting reflects the need for just such conferences. Monday morning she called the attack a violent assault on the freedom of speech.
Geller also said that all Muslims are not violent… and that, of course, there are peaceful Muslims. But she says there is a problem in Islam and that Sunday night’s shooting illustrates that people will be attacked, for speaking their minds.
“Intentionally incendiary and provocative by drawing a cartoon. This is the low state of freedom of speech in this country. I disagree, and I disagree most vehemently,” she said. “The First Amendment — not the Eighth, not the 10th, but the First, protects all speech. Not just ideas that we like.”
AFDI founders and members say the group is a human rights organization, but The Southern Poverty Law Center lists AFDI as an active anti-Muslim group.” The group is probably most famous for their rally against the building of an Islamic center a few blocks away from the World Trade Center site.
In 2012 AFDI also bought advertising space in NYC subway stations and in other major U.S. cities criticizing Islam. It read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
Geller, 56, is the also the president of another group called Stop Islamization of Nations, which “calls for an immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population.”
Geller also publishes the blog Atlas Shrugs. She began blogging more after the 9/11 attacks and interests in her posts seem to go up the more she spoke against extreme Islam.
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