Wednesday January 17, 2018
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2 suspects shot dead after gunfire outside Prophet Muhammad cartoon exhibition

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

On Sunday, US police shot two outraged gunmen outside a provocative conference on cartoons depicting the imagery of Prophet Muhammad in the Dallas suburb of Garland.

Police killed the two gunmen and managed to evacuate the place without having any casualties. However, a security guard was injured.

Police also searched the gunmen’s car for any bomb.

The event was organized by a Islamic group and contests were arranged to draw the cartoons of the Prophet, that hoisted the rage of certain non-social elements.

The event was also attended by Dutch anti-Islamic politician, Geert Wilders, who later tweeted that the shots had been fired and he had safely left the building.

According to Garland Police Department spokesman Joe Harn, the reason for intrusion and shooting was not clear. He further added that there had not been any credible threats in advance of the event.

A news agency in a word with one eyewitness reported that around 20 shots were fired from a car driving past the conference centre, which was followed by two individual shots.

“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,” the City of Garland government said.

“Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland ISD (Independent School District) security officer. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed.”

Police suspected that gunmen’s vehicle could contain some provocative substance like a bomb. Therefore, the bomb squad was called at the scene.

The conference was attended by more than 200 people who were moved to the back of the building before being evacuated using school buses, stated police.

The event was controversial and provocative that jolted the very foundation of different terrorists organizations, said BBC’s Alastair Leithead.

Event was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which has campaigned against the building of an Islamic centre near the World Trade Center site in New York.

AFDI is operated by controversial blogger and activist Pamela Geller. It is also considered as an anti-Muslim group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group.

Commenting upon the incident, Geller told a news agency that the reason for conducting the contest was to have a free speech. The event also included a $10,000 (£6,600) prize for a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier this year, a fund raising event was organized by the same conference centre in Garland to build a local Islamic centre, which was besieged by the opponents. Depicting Prophet Muhammad through a cartoon is considered as an offence by many Muslims.

A similar incident happened in January this year when 12 people were murdered by two Islamist gunmen at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that published similar cartoons.

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Will prohibiting Burqa result in freedom from under house arrest or religious bias?

According to Islam, it is not necessary to cover the face.

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Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election. Wikimedia Commons
Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election. Wikimedia Commons

In recent years there have been several incidents involving the Burqa. In 2009, a state college in Karnataka told a student she was not allowed to attend classes wearing a Burqa. It was later reported that the young girl reached a “compromise arrangement” with the college but did not continue in the same college. Days later, violent protests sparked in Hyderabad after a college principal allegedly told students not to wear a Burqa.

But opposite episodes have also occurred. In July 2010, a teacher at Kolkata’s Aliah University, which has a focus on Islamic studies, was not allowed to teach without a Burqa. The report followed an official notice released in April 2010, in which the university dismissed suggestions it enforced a dress code, mentioning specifically the use of the Burqa within its campus.

There is steep rise in the cases related to crime against burqa clad women. Wikimedia Commons
There is a steep rise in the cases related to crime against Burqa-clad women. Wikimedia Commons

At some point imposing a ban on Burqa will be beneficial…
Point 1:
According to Islam, it is not necessary to cover the face. Hands and face can be uncovered. So banning won’t conflict freedom of practicing religion. And it will not be against any religion.
Point 2:
There are security issues. Imagine man/women under burqa leaves a bag in a public place which later blasts. Now, what do police have? CCTV cameras, forget face they cannot determine if is it male or female due to Burqa. It is the biggest security Loophole.
Point 3:
Many Muslim women do not have a bank account because they are not allowed to cover their face in bank premises. If you didn’t know then yes you cannot cover your face with bank premises and ATM.
Point 4:
It’s easy to have multiple voters ID. Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election.
Point 5:
Crimes under Burqa are on the rise. Murder, kidnapping, robbery are been carried out using Burqa. It’s the biggest advantage for criminals.

What Noorjehan Safia says…
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, a founding member of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, a movement which works to improve the status of Muslim women in India, said security concerns have not been a major issue when it comes to dressing. “Muslim women in India comply with all the laws. They are active participants when it comes to elections and has their photos on their passports. So identification and security have never been an issue as such,” she said.
Discrimination, however, has sometimes caused problems, said Ms. Niaz. “There are cases when women are not considered for a particular job because they wear a Burqa. In such cases, women have negotiated. They do not wear Burqa while at work but before and after it they put it on.” Overall, Ms. Niaz said that women themselves – not the law – should decide what to wear. “Let each woman decide what she wants to wear. Neither can you enforce a ban on Burqa nor can you force women to wear it.”