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Garland shootings: pre-empting the arguments

Two men have been killed and a security guard injured during an apparent attack on a "Draw Muhammad" competition hosted by "counter-jihadist" Pamela Geller and attended by Geert Wilders in Garland, Texas. The attack comes amid ongoing debate over the merit of drawing caricatures of the Islamic prophet. This is an attempt to lay out the inevitable fallout of the latest attack in the simplest terms possible.


1. Pamela Geller's American Freedom Defense Initiative is a racist organisation which aims to build hatred of Muslims


2. Holding a "Draw a Muhammad cartoon" competition is childish


3. The American Freedom Defense Initiative has every right to hold a childish "Draw a Muhammad cartoon" competition


4. People have every right to be offended by cartoons of Muhammad


5. That does not in any way, shape or form give them the right to attempt to kill people


6. There is no obligation to observe other people's taboos


7. Fear and hatred of Muslims in the western world is a real thing and should be fought


8. The people who attempt to shoot others for drawing cartoons do not do so in order to combat Islamophobia. If anything, they do so to encourage Islamophobia. Jihadists and Caliph-chasers have a vested interest in division between Muslims and non-Muslims


9. Well-meaning though it may be, casting jihadist attacks as a symptom of "Muslim anger" is to buy into stereotypes of Muslims as irrational and violent, and ignore the complexity of Islamist and jihadist politics



Padraig Reidy is the editor of Little Atoms. He is Director of Editorial at 89up and has written and ghostwritten for The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Observer, The Irish Times, The Daily Telegraph, The New Statesman, The Sun, and The Irish Post.

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