CHICAGO, Ill. — Two people were shot, and several others injured, after violence broke out during a “Draw Muhammad Ali” cartoon contest held outside a Chicago area elementary school.
The contest, sponsored by art teacher Daisy Moses, was meant to educate 3rd and 4th graders about the former world heavyweight champion, who died on June 3 at the age of 74.
“I just wanted to teach the young people,” Moses told a group of reporters. Moses, a retired art teacher who calls Ali a role model, volunteers her time at Chicago’s Milburn Drysdale Academy three days a week.
“I don’t know what all happened,” explained Moses. “A lady who lives around the corner asked me what we were drawing today, and I said, ‘We’re drawing cartoons of Muhammad Ali!’ Maybe somebody overheard what I said, but didn’t hear the ‘Ali’ part.”
“The next thing I knew,” Moses said, “a big crowd was in front of the schoolyard.”
“How wonderful for the arts!” she exclaimed, but moments later she heard what she
thought were firecrackers. The crowd scattered, and panic ensued. Drysdale called the police, and ushered the children and Moses inside.
The “firecrackers” Moses heard were actually gunshots, reportedly fired by agitators and religious radical terrorists who believe that artistic depictions of the prophet Muhammad are blasphemous.
Police arrived in riot gear after receiving a call that a mob had assembled in front of the academy chanting “in a foreign tongue,” holding picket signs, and reportedly waving what one witness described as “an ISIS-looking flag.”
“Now I’m getting phone messages telling me to leave America, and go back to where I came from,” said Moses. “I was born in this house! Where am I supposed to go to? I’m not a rich woman! I can’t just load up my truck and move to Beverly Hills!”
Several arrests were made at the scene, and all students were safely returned to their homes. Moses is unsure if she will resume her volunteer art classes.
“Well, I certainly won’t be teaching outside anymore. Eyes and ears everywhere!” she added.
by Alexander Crouton-Skitch