A year after the terror attack at a controversial ‘Draw the Prophet’ contest in Garland, the man who won the contest is trying to sell his drawing.
Two armed men opened fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center on May 3, 2015. They were shot and killed before anyone was injured. The center held the controversial contest the featured drawing of Muhammad.
The man who won the contest took to eBay to sell the original piece, saying it’s a world famous piece of art.
In Islamic tradition, physical depictions are considered blasphemous, which is one of the reasons FOX 4 has chosen to not show the cartoon on TV.
Similar drawings triggered violence at the Paris office of a satirical newspaper and at a free speech event in Copenhagen.
“I do associate the Hebdo cartoons with freedom of speech,” said Pamela Geller, one of the contest’s organizers.” I associate the Danish cartoons with freedom of speech. It's absolutely iconic of freedom of speech.
The latest round of bidding on the cartoon closed at $8,000. However, it didn't meet an undisclosed reserve price and fell far short of the nearly $250,000 ‘buy it now’ amount.
The artist Bosch Fawstin told FOX 4 it could have sold for more. But a previous auction that had a $10,000 bid was taken down by eBay on a technicality.
“I don't know if you're a Muslim, but it's a fairly innocuous cartoon,” said Geller. “I mean, there's Mohammed looking studly. Saying you can't draw me and then you see the cartoonists’ hand saying, ‘That's why I draw you.’ And to say people don't care about it? I think that statement is egregious.”
Alia Salem with the DFW chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has another theory.
“To be honest, who cares?” said Salem. “Who's really paying attention to this? Nobody.”
Salem didn't know about the sale until FOX 4 asked her to comment. She says she doesn’t anticipate push-back over it -- at least not from the community she represents.
“He is free to be as reprehensible as he wants to be,” said Salem. “But what I say to our community, and I mean the entire North Texas community, is that we need to reject that kind of behavior and start working on understanding from one another and really building the ties of neighborhood and friendship and citizenry.
Fawstin says he didn't want to give an interview unless FOX 4 showed the cartoon on air. He did day he intends to list the piece again in the future.