More Muhammad Cartoon Contests Coming, Organizers Say

May 5, 2015

By Steven Nelson at US News

Organizers of the Muhammad-drawing cartoon contest attacked by jihadi gunmen Sunday are planning to host more events showcasing depictions of the Muslim prophet.

The organizers tell U.S. News it's essential to stand up for their First Amendment rights against pressure from religious fanatics, brushing off criticism they are recklessly provoking Muslims.

“We must hold more,” says Jihad Watch blogger Robert Spencer, who organized the event near Dallas, Texas, with activist Pamela Geller.

"That seems to be essential," Geller agrees. "Otherwise the message is sent that violence works and will silence free people."

Observant Muslims generally consider depictions of Muhammad offensive, and Western artists who thumb their nose at the taboo risk paying with their lives.

Jihadi brothers in January murdered 12 people at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical publication that on several occasions featured cartoons of Muhammad on its cover. Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoons launched global protests by Muslims a decade ago, survived an ax attack in 2010. Earlier this year, Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew Muhammad’s face on the body of a dog, avoided an assassination attempt that killed an audience member at a cafe where Vilks was delivering remarks about his work...