Art and the Freedom of Expression - Garland, Texas
by Sonja Harris on May 11, 2015 at 12:43 PM
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. John F. Kennedy
After the attack in Garland, Texas by two terrorists, we have to ask, did the art exhibit cause the terrorist attack or do the Islamic terrorists provoke such an art exhibit? Which came first?
The terrorist attack was on May 3, 2015, the opening day of the ‘Draw Muhammad Art Exhibit’, a cartoon contest to draw the Prophet Mohammed. The exhibit had been well-publicized, as I knew about it in February and even thought about attending. What attracted me to the exhibit was the fact that a ‘taboo’ subject had been selected. Certainly as conservatives we ‘shun’ ‘taboo’ subjects. But knowing the Art World, any subject is game. Yes, I refer to it as the Art World, because it is another world, a world conservatives seldom enter or participate in.
The liberals' blame game began immediately, with Pamela Geller as the villain. Geller is now targeted for ‘death’ by Imam Anjem Choudary. The progressive, tolerant, diverse, inclusive liberals cried the loudest, but it wasn’t just the liberals that pointed fingers, it was some conservatives as well. In fact, discussion is still being heard on the Sunday TV shows as to whose fault it was.
It seems to me that the art exhibit organizers knew exactly what they were up against and prepared for it. Fortunately, it was the Islamic terrorists that were killed and not the guards or any of the 200 or so attendees at the cartoon show. Had the patrons been slaughtered, would Geller be given the death penalty?
The terrorists, Elton Simpson and his accomplice, Nadir Soofi, met their fate when they chose to attack the Curtis Culwell Center, as neither made it inside the exhibit because they were shot dead outside the event center. According to a CNN news article, "ISIS claims responsibility for Texas shooting but offers no proof. "ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack outside a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas and warned of more attacks to come.” But in the same article, it states that, “CNN cannot confirm the claim, and ISIS offered no evidence the gunmen were affiliated with the terror organization.”
The winner of the cartoon contest, Bosch Fawstin, interviewed by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, summed it up by saying, “As artists, as writers, as thinkers, as Americans, as people who love freedom, and the entire West, we need to hit back. Not with violence, with the truth, with our art, with our writing. Once free speech goes, it’s over.”
This attack should be a reminder we need to be ever vigilant because of the radicalization of Americans and the ‘Lone Wolf’ plots. Considering that America is vulnerable because of its weak leadership, lax immigration system and the apathetic view of Islam and its danger to our Western culture, we are indeed ripe for a rude awakening…even greater than 911.
As Americans, as conservatives, we need to stop thinking of Freedom of Expression in art as ‘inferior’ because whether we agree or disagree with the artist, Freedom of Expression is vital in taking back our culture.
Pamela Geller vs Imam Anjem Choudary 'You Want Her To Die!'on Fox News [FULL INTERVIEW]