Pamela Geller’s Texas stunt

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"No Mosque" symbol of hostility to Islam in America

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"No Mosque" symbol of hostility to Islam in America

"No Mosque" symbol of hostility to Islam in America

“No Mosque” symbol of hostility to Islam in America

So what have we learned from the shootings in Texas? According to Pamela Geller, agente provocateuse of the Anti-Muslim International, it’s that “this is a war.”

She wishes. What we’ve learned is that if you go to the Dallas metroplex and announce you are holding a “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest,” a couple of jihadi wannabes will arrive and try to shoot up the place. How many of you find this surprising?

The would-be assassins are themselves dead, and deserve no sympathy. They took the bait, and for their pains became the latest casualties of their own benighted values.

But no one should mistake Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative for Charlie Hebdo. The staff members who were murdered in January were satirists of all pieties, all establishments. If they behaved with bad taste, they stood for something worth standing for: free expression, without fear or favor. Geller & Co. are about something not worth standing for: hostility to a great religious tradition.

No doubt, they are now congratulating themselves on a job well done: two dead Muslims and massive publicity for their cause. They are happy to take advantage of the guarantees of the First Amendment, to advertise their hate-filled messages on buses and subways, to do their best to promote open hostility to Islam.

From time to time Americans have yielded to such fear-mongering — of Catholics in the 19th century, Germans during World War I, Japanese during World War II, Communists after both world wars — and lived to regret it. Since the attack of 9/11, we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping our balance regarding Muslims. Geller’s antics are a useful reminder of what it’s like to do otherwise.

  • Tim

    Leaving aside any discussion around PG. Can someone please explain why an ideology that was spread by the sword since the 7th century, that which continues to this day should not be questioned and challenged?

  • Larry

    People have the same right to question and challenge Islam as they do any religion. Including that one which was spread by the sword from the 2nd Century to the mid 20th century.

    Its a pity too many people are under the boneheaded assumption that one can oppose extremism with more extremism.

    Pamela Gellar is a great tool for Islamic fundamentalists. By framing things as opposition to Islam as a whole, rather than the extremists, she confirms the Islamicist propaganda. ISIS should be sending her checks for all the support she is giving them.

  • Jack

    Pam Geller is not one of my favorite people. For one thing, she has managed to pick fights with genuine Muslim reformers, including those who have bravely risked their lives every day to stand not only for reform within Islam but in favor of the United States and the free world.

    Nonetheless, I don’t see what we gain by keeping the focus on her rather than the radical Islamist enemy of both human life and human freedom.

    The bottom line is that we don’t want to give any appearance to anyone that when it comes to radical Islamism, we are in the appeasement business.

    For that reason, while Pam Geller should be ignored, she shouldn’t be thrown to the wolves. We should throw nobody to the wolves. Instead, we should defeat them. They are the ultimate enemy….Geller is but a distraction.

  • The purpose of protecting freedom of speech isn’t to protect the speech that we agree with but rather that which is unpopular. Perhaps what can be gleaned from the gunmen’s actions are that some will agree to limiting free speech because of the actions of would be terrorists. I don’t agree with Ms. Geller nor did I support the Je Suis Charlie campaign. However I certainly agree with their right to free expression regardless do their motivation.

  • Geller showed that we are at risk for street scale acts of terror, and made a sound exercise of First Amendment freedoms. Your attempt to beatify the satirists at Hebdo while pillorying Geller fails.