Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that was organized by an anti-Islamic group and billed as a free-speech event, Reuters reports.
Sunday’s attack took place shortly before 7 p.m. in a parking lot of the Curtis Culwell Center, an indoor arena in the suburb of Garland, northeast of Dallas. Geert Wilders, a polarizing Dutch politician and anti-Islamic campaigner who is on an al Qaeda hit list, was among the speakers at the event.
According to the source, Police said they had not immediately determined the identity of the two gunmen or whether they were linked to critics of the event who had branded it anti-Islamic.
The exhibit was organized by Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Her organization, which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, has sponsored anti-Islamic advertising campaigns in transit systems across the country.
Organizers of the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” said the event was to promote freedom of expression. They offered a $10,000 prize for the best artwork or cartoon depicting the Prophet, as well as a $2,500 “People’s Choice Award.”