They certainly lay bare all her hate and fear mongering. While I knew of her hatred for Islam and Muslims, I had no idea she loathed President Obama. Although it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that she considers him both a Muslim and anti-semetic.
Conservative blogger and activist Pamela Geller organized the Muhammad Art Exhibit And Cartoon Contest In Texas, which was attacked by two gunmen on Sunday.Geller’s organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), held the contest in the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland where a conference denouncing Islamophobia had previously been held.
According to Geller, the contest and exhibit were in defense of free speech after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Some critics of the event called it an attack on muslims, and many have criticized Geller and her organization overall as being anti-Islamic.
I realize that freedom of speech is a revered right, and I’m certainly not pro censorship. After all, I’m a writer. But I’m getting awfully tired of people using it to cloak their sheer viciousness. Muslims are already a minority under threat. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Geller is coming perilously close to incitement of violence against them. After all, if their existence is the threat to the US and the West that she paints them as, attacking them amounts to a patriotic act. There’s a reason the AFDI has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Importing Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilder to give the keynote speech certainly makes it clear why.
A trio of notorious anti-Muslim extremists were behind the provocative “Muhammad art exhibit and cartoon contest” where two gunmen opened fire Sunday in Garland, Texas.
The event, which featured Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders as its keynote speaker, was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an organization with the stated objective of combating “capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism” amid all levels of government and the mainstream media. The AFDI is led by president Pamela Geller and vice president Robert Spencer, who’ve been at the forefront of the anti-Islamic fringe for years, and the group has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Anti-Defamation League also noted that Geller and Spencer’s secondary anti-Islam group, Stop Islamization of America, seeks to “rouse public fears about a vast Islamic conspiracy to destroy American values.”
Meanwhile Josh Marshall makes the case that getting shot at doesn’t make you a hero.
When George Lincoln Rockwell, the American Nazi Party leader, was shot and killed in 1967 it was wrong. Same with George Wallace (who was gravely wounded and paralyzed, not killed) in 1972 or with Meir Kahane in 1990 - precisely because as a society we value free speech and we also don’t allow civilians to kill people they don’t like. But just as with these other worthies, we should prosecute the offenders (perhaps difficult in this case since at least the two on the scene are dead) without valorizing people who run hate groups. It’s really that simple. There is zero contradiction between the two judgments. Pam Geller is a cancerous presence in the US political conversation; same with her pal Geert Wilders, the flamboyant and parodic far-right, racist Dutch parliamentarian she brought for her Muhammed cartoon event down in Texas. Political violence is the greatest corrosive of free and ordered societies. But a hate group is a hate group the day after someone takes a shot at them just like it was the day before.