That “draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas, where the shooting occurred, was sponsored by “‘kind of a loon,’ Maher said, noting it was “obviously was a provocation. But this is America. Do we not have the right to draw whatever we want?”
He accused the PEN protesters of being guilty of the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” saying, “this assumes we just have to expect that Muslims are unable to control themselves the way we would ask anyone else in the world.”
Six writers withdrew from sponsoring tables at PEN American Center’s annual gala in protest of the org’s Freedom of Expression Courage Award being given this year to Charlie Hebdo. And more than 200 writers signed an open letter of dissent, criticizing the French publication, saying it insulted Muslims. Gary Trudeau also weighed in couple weeks ago, chastizing Charlie Hebdo for “punching downward.”
Last weekend, two gunman opened fire outside of a “draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. A security guard on duty was wounded in the shooting. The two gunmen, who police say were armed with assault rifles, were shot and killed by a traffic cop on the scene, according to police reports. ISIS has claimed credit for the attack, but not offered proof.