How Not to Memorialize Aqsa Parvez

The story of one of the most disgusting publicity stunts I think I’ve ever heard of: Chris Selley: How not to memorialize Aqsa Parvez.

As the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington reported last week, the online campaign to properly memorialize Aqsa has been led by one Pamela Geller, proprietor of the blog Atlas Shrugs, with support from other prominent right-wing bloggers on both sides of the border. It hasn’t been going so well. Geller raised more than $4,000 US for a headstone—it was to read, “Loved, Remembered, Free”—but apparently you can’t just plunk down whatever you want atop somebody else’s daughter’s grave. A correspondent reasonably suggested paying for a tree, bench and memorial plaque to be installed in the arboretum at the University of Guelph, but again, no dice. The manager of the arboretum replied that as it would “draw much public attention,” it would be “inconsistent with [the area’s] current use” as a sort of oasis.

Warmington, Geller et al profess bafflement at all this, the former suggesting last week that “the politically correct police seem to be winning out.” I have another theory. I think the cemetery and arboretum managers typed Geller’s name into Google, backed slowly away from their computers and decided they weren’t touching this thing with a ten-foot pole. A wise choice, I’d say; in my non-professional opinion, she’s at least a few chickpeas short of a falafel.

She seems to believe, just for example, that the presidency of Barack Obama—whom she refers to, variously, as “Obambi,” “B. Hussein” and “the Jihadists’ President”—is the result of a calculated infiltration of the U.S. government by radical Muslims. In December, when Obama advisors indicated he was considering delivering a foreign policy speech in an Islamic capital, she declared “America will be unrecognizable after Hussein’s first and last term (if we live through it).” She does not think highly enough of Muslims to expunge words such as “raghead” from her comment threads. She reacted to a particularly gruesome report of an honour killing last year in Pakistan, in which three teenage girls were apparently buried alive, as follows (her italics): “The bodies of the five women … were desecrated by the wild animals. This is Islam. … I have utter contempt for any human being who will not call this death cult what it really is. Pure evil. The horror.”

But the craziness doesn’t stop there. Geller also claimed that Barack Obama was the love child of Malcolm X. Yep, really. Her loony post made it into the Comedy Central Indecision 2008 blog, but she was not joking.

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