The mayor of Garland, Texas has attacked AFDI President Pamela Geller for hosting a free speech event in his town, arguing that the “Draw Muhammad” contest had “invited” violence and that Geller’s “ideology,” and not that of the jihadist attackers, had “put my police officers at risk.”
The Dallas Morning News brings us the reflections of Garland Mayor Douglas Athas on the ISIS-linked terrorist attack that took place in his city over the weekend:
Garland Mayor Douglas Athas, like many in his city, said he wished AFDI president Pamela Geller hadn’t picked Garland as the site for Sunday’s event.
“Certainly in hindsight, we as a community would be better off if she hadn’t,” Athas said Tuesday. “Her actions put my police officers, my citizens and others at risk. Her program invited an incendiary reaction. She picked my community, which does not support in any shape, passion or form, her ideology.
“But at the end of the day, we did our jobs,” he said. “We protected her freedoms and her life.”
The Culwell Center, which is owned by Garland ISD, will host as many as 200,000 visitors in the coming weeks for school graduations. Athas said he expects no problems.
“There is no safer place in the country right now. The truth is, when ISIS goes looking for a target in the United States, they’re not going to pick the Curtis Culwell Center,” he said, using another name for the Islamic State.
Garland ISD Superintendent Bob Morrison agreed.
“There’s nothing out there that’s given us any indication that the building itself is threatened,” Morrison said. “We have not had any indication from the FBI or Homeland Security or anyone else that there’s that kind of talk out there. And they would let us know.”
“Incendiary response?” Geller’s event did not draw a fiery counter-protest that devolved into a big shout-and-shove requiring riot police. Two terrorists popped out of a car and tried to stage a mass murder. They were thwarted by a lone armed officer who displayed incredible marksmanship and cool under fire.
You’ve got to love that “like many in his city” editorial comment the Dallas Morning News deftly slips into its news coverage, without support or attribution. One suspects there are also “many” in Garland who support the American value of free speech, whether or not they agree with the speaker, and expect their government to defend it against armed fascists.
Question for Mayor Athas: Would New York City be “better off” if it had not built the provocative World Trade Center, target of multiple jihad attacks?
Unlike the WTC, no one seriously thinks Islamist killers have a personal grudge against the Curtis Culwell Center. Athas and the ISD superintendent obviously want to reassure the public that the Culwell Center is safe, which is fair enough. However, combined with his foolish comment about how Geller “invited” the attack, we have a strong-form endorsement of the murderous version of the Heckler’s Veto: the cost of freedom raised high enough to make its sworn defenders mutter that they’d rather not attend to their duties, and it would be far easier and safer to give the fascists what they want.
ISIS is indeed “looking for a target in the United States,” as Mayor Athas put it. Holding the targets responsible is an act of submission, unworthy of any elected American official.