Last night the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) hosted an event in Garland, Texas called the “Draw Mohammed contest” in response to the terror attack in Paris. Pamela Geller, a popular but divisive blogger and President of AFDI, appeared alongside Dutch anti-Islamization politician Geert Wilders in an event to promote free speech (not, as The New York Times deemed it, an “anti-Islamist event.”
Two gunman opened fire outside and shot an officer guarding the event before they were shot and killed by police. The gunmen exited the vehicle with one objective: to take down as many event attendees as possible. Why is it that the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris led to so much more carnage than that in Garland?
Those organizing the “Draw Mohammed Contest” in Garland understood the risk to attendees, in part because of the attack in Paris. The local police responded to this threat accordingly and thankfully, a SWAT team was already in place before it even began. Geert Wilders even took a photo with the team before they would need to spring into action:
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 4, 2015
Compare this to the first response of the Paris police department at the Charlie Hebdo offices. Despite a prior attack and warnings of a future one, Parisian officers were entirely unprepared for what they would find at Charlie Hebdo, arriving at the scene unarmed and on bicycles. The gunmen escaped the area and were able to perpetrate another attack days later against a police officer and at a Kosher supermarket in the Paris suburbs.
Despite the similarities in the motives of each attack, the media’s response has been polar opposite for the journalists in Paris and the activists in Texas. Immediately Geller was attacked as a bigot and turned into the villain of the incident.
Comment below: Has this attack turned you into a fan of Pamela Geller?