Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest shooting at Texas: Two gunmen shot dead

Texas, 4 May 2015: A controversial cartoon contest in Texas witnessed gun-violence. As per media reports two armed men who opened fire on a security officer outside of a provocative contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad were killed by the police.

Authorities in the Dallas suburb of Garland said on Sunday night that two men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center and began shooting at a security officer.

Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest shooting at Texas: Two gunmen shot dead
Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest shooting at Texas: Two gunmen shot dead

“As today’s Muhammad Art Exhibit event at the Curtis Culwell Center was coming to an end, two males drove up to the front of the building in a car. Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland ISD security officer. The GISD security officer’s injuries are not life-threatening. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed”, read statement by City of Garland, Texas Government.

“Police suspect the vehicle may contain an incendiary device and the bomb squad is on the scene. The surrounding businesses including Academy Sports, Walmart and Sam’s are being evacuated. Event participants are also being evacuated from the Curtis Culwell Center for their safety”, the statement reads further.

Earlier on Sunday, about 75 attendees at the contest were escorted by authorities to another room in the conference center before they were taken to a school bus. Authorities said they would be taken to another location.

The New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative had been hosting a contest at the center that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Such drawings are deemed insulting to Muslim devotees and have sparked violence around the world. According to Islamic tenets, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous and is thus prohibited. Any such attempt hurts the feelings of the Islamic world.

It may be recalled that in January this year, 12 people were killed by gunmen in an attack against the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had lampooned Islam and other religions and used depictions of Prophet Muhammad.

The Charlie Hebdo incident had triggered an intense intellectual debate between liberal secularist thinkers and Islamic intelligentsia.

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