Jun 12, 2015 5:54 PM
ROCHESTER - A former U.S. Marine and Strafford County Sheriff candidate is hoping to host a 'Draw Muhammad Cartoon Contest' in the Granite State.
Jerry DeLemus, of Rochester, says he got the idea following a similar event in Texas last month.
"This is America – Sharia Law does not apply here," DeLemus said. "It may inside their mosques, I don’t know how that works.”
DeLemus said he had received positive feedback as of Friday afternoon. The event, he says, will focus on Constitutional rights and free speech.
"Just to make the statement that you don’t get to kill us because of this," he said. "And I think that’s a fight worth the risk.”
Less than 20 minutes away from Delemus’ home is an Islamic mosque in Dover.
Member Amanda Rosedoff, who said she converted to Islam recently, had mixed feelings on an event that would be focused on drawing the prophet.
“People in America have the right to express themselves," said Rosedoff. "But on the other hand, I think they should use a little bit of judgement in what they draw. And don’t make it too controversial.”
The similar event in Texas, which was publicly controversial in the Islamic community, resulted in an attack by two gunmen outside the cartoon competition. They were shot and killed by police.
DeLemus said he has security ready to ensure another Texas situation doesn’t happen in Rochester.
The event will be civil and respectful – but DeLemus said his message will stand: that a drawing doesn’t deserve death.
“You shine the light on it, evil hates that light," he said. "And I think you need to shine the light on it.”
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