American Muslims Come Together To Condemn Garland Shootings

Photo: Brandon Wade/AP Photo.
On Monday, Americans woke up to the news that a man had been wounded in an attack in Texas, and both the gunmen killed. The Sunday night shooting — at a deliberately provocative "Draw Muhammad" contest in Garland — has since been claimed by the terror group ISIS, and the violence condemned by Muslims around the world.

The shooters, since identified as Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson of Phoenix, drove across state lines to carry out the attack. One tweeted about his allegiance to ISIS before they began. The two wounded a security guard, who's since been released from the hospital, before being killed by police. 

The event they'd targeted, the first annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, was organized by Pamela Geller, an extreme anti-Muslim figure, and was designed to violate the strictures of Islam (drawing Muhammad is considered offensive, though not universally banned). It was much like hosting a contest to draw caricatures of the religion.

And yet, American Muslims have come out in force to reject the violence of Soofi and Simpson. Vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Harris Zafar told CBS, "People need to hear a strong Muslim voice condemning this insanity." The Daily Beast reports that leading up to the event, area Muslims had been urged to simply ignore the event, and most did so — there weren't even protesters outside the contest.
The popular blog Muslim Girl condemned the attack. Before the "draw Muhammad" event, it also hosted its own mock contest, pointing out that Muhammad is the most popular name in the world and asking everyone to draw their own versions of the Muhammads they knew.
Duke University Islamic Studies Center director Omid Safi wrote his condemnation on Facebook:

Somewhere we read that our means and our ends have to be consistent. If you want to defend the honor of the Prophet,...

Posted by Omid Safi on Monday, May 4, 2015
And, prominent Muslim scholar Omar Suleiman tweeted:
Civil rights activist Linda Sarsour shared this:
Alongside them, Twitter was flooded with condemnations from other American Muslims, all reiterating that however odious that may find Geller and her "art event," violence is not part of their religion.

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