Monday, May 4, 2015

Pam Geller: Moslems defend her right to be anti-Moslem

CNN       Garland shooting: What is the American Freedom Defense Initiative?

 ts name paints an image of a group dedicated to protecting American ideals. But critics call it the opposite -- an intolerant hate group opposed to freedom of religion.

Now, with two gunmen killed outside one of its events, the American Freedom Defense Initiative is back in the spotlight -- once again, surrounded by debate. 

Here's what to know about the controversial group:

The AFDI says it has several tenets, including:
-- Freedom of speech, "as opposed to Islamic prohibitions of 'blasphemy' and 'slander,' " which quashes open dialogue of jihad and Islamic supremacism, the group says
-- "The freedom of conscience -- as opposed to the Islamic death penalty for apostasy"
-- Equal rights of all people, "as opposed to ... institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims" in Sharia law, or strict Islamic law.

... but it's also listed as an extremist group

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the American Freedom Defense Initiative as an active anti-Muslim group in its "Extremist Files" database.[...]

"Who designated the SPLC as a legitimate authority? They are a radical leftist group who targets patriots, vets and even GOP presidential candidates," she told CNN. "They have never named a jihadi group as a hate group."  
Daily Beast Muslims Defend Pam Geller’s Right To Hate

Both before Pam Geller’s ‘Draw Mohammed’ event and after the attack Sunday night, Muslim American leaders vigorously defended her right to draw whatever she wants.
Anti-Muslim advocate Pam Geller has the absolute right to draw any cartoon she wants of the Prophet Mohammed. That was not just the response from Muslim American leaders I spoke to after news broke Sunday night of a shooting outside a Garland, Texas event that Geller had organized —offering $10,000 for people to draw images of Mohammed—but before that event as well.

As of the writing of this article, we know that after the conclusion of Geller’s event, two gunmen drove into the parking lot of the venue and fired shots that wounded one security officer. The two suspects were then reportedly killed by the police officers outside the venue. The identity and motivation of the gunmen is still not known as of press time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that some Muslims aren’t offended by the idea of Geller offering $10,000 for people to draw despicable cartoons of Mohammed.  But the reality is American Muslims deeply value freedom of expression.

Plus, to be blunt, we are used to Geller, a person who has been denounced by both the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center for her anti-Muslim hate. She has been demonizing us Muslims for years. Geller is so over-the-top in her rabid hatred of Muslims that she has become a punchline in our community. [...]


  1. The_Original_Bored_LawyerMay 4, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that some Muslims aren’t offended by
    the idea of Geller offering $10,000 for people to draw despicable
    cartoons of Mohammed."

    That too is part of freedom of expression.

    Freedom of expression means you are free to say what you wish, without fear of either govt. reprisal or violence.

    It does not mean you are guaranteed an audience. Nor does it mean that you will be well thought of by others. You are free to spout stupid, offensive drivel, and others are free to think or say you are a stupid jerk.

  2. Geller wiped the floor with the newscaster. She was sitting there like a goilem. Very amusing.

  3. Geller is a certified nutcase. There is no reason to poke anyone, even crazies, in the eye. Even if it is legal and "free speech". One day she will be a victim of one of these crazies. Like the kind that tried to get her last night. And the kind that got Kahane.

  4. I don't know if she's a nutcase, but she sure is gutsy.
    And I'm glad she's standing up for free speech, and making some much-needed points on national television.

  5. It's also free speech to stand up on a soapbox in Times Square and yell blacks are inferior people and Congress should take away their vote. That doesn't mean it is sane. Nor does it mean people should crow how gutsy he is to say that in public. We could do without many forms of free speech. Judaism isn't a free speech religion.

  6. "It's also free speech to stand up on a soapbox in Times Square and yell
    blacks are inferior people and Congress should take away their vote."

    Couldn't an irresponsible statement like that incite violence (especially against the one doing the yelling)? Wouldn't that be akin to shouting, "Fire" in a crowded theater?

    Or, is 'Daas Torah' your soapbox on which to stand and make such statements?

  7. "Couldn't an irresponsible statement like that incite violence"

    Geller is doing no less.

  8. Your argument is that Muslims are so violent and so incapable of acting as civilized human beings that Geller is at fault for their responses by insulting them. It's an argument that's made often to excuse savage behavior -- the left has been making precisely that argument to blame Israel for Palestinian terrorism for years. Geller rejects it, and she's right. Sure, what she does is dangerous. I myself would not have the courage to do it. But I would never disparage her for it. She chooses to place herself in danger in service of a larger ideal. An ideal that is central to our freedom. That's highly commendable. It does not make her into "a nutcase."

  9. It is completely anathema to Jewish values to antagonize non-Jews. Even under the color of secular law. Not everything secular law allows should Jews do. Would you agree that a Jew shouldn't setup an "art exhibition" dedicated to showing Jesus engaged in homosexual sex as well as exhibits portraying Mary engaged in an extramarital affair? But it's free speech! You should be standing up and commending the organizer of this Jesus art exhibit. You should be arguing these kinds of exhibits of Jesus and Mohammad are "central to our freedom", as you put it. What could be more central to our freedom than publicly mocking what other religions' hold revered?

  10. You're changing your argument. The problem now is apparently not that she's a nutcase; as you stated earlier--it is that she is violating halachah. Well, (a) I don't think she is observant; (b) I'm not convinced that they can get any more antagonized than they already are; (c) I'm not convinced this is a violation of halachah; (d) I don't agree with your assessement of the situation. There is strategic value in goading the extremists to show their violent hand. The benefit of swaying public opinion could very well outweigh the danger. It's not black and white by any means.

    There's no need to commend the creator of Piss Christ b/c he is not in danger. Everyone accepted his right to do it, even if they disagreed with the sentiment. It's only Geller who needs support, since she is being attacked by people like you, who call her a nutcase for standing up for the very freedoms you enjoy.

  11. I did not say it is a violation of halacha. There are many things which aren't a technical violation of halacha that Jews should not be engaging in. And even if she's irreligious, the reason why doing this is anathema to Jewish values and dumb (thus making one a nutcase for engaging in it), is also reason why any sane person should refrain from engaging in it.

  12. Doing something dumb doesn't make someone a nutcase. I don't know which "Jewish values" you're talking about. Different Jews have different values.

    It's not at all clear that this is a wrong approach. I can see both sides, but there's a good argument to be made that if we roll over for Muslim violence, it will only escalate. The idea that otherwise they will be quiet and leave us be is not convincing. The Twin Towers went down without anyone "antagonizing" the Muslims. Or to say it differently, lots and lots of things antagonize them, the vast majority of which have nothing to do with Pamela Geller. One of the reasons Jews have been so successful and comfortable here in the US is the freedoms enjoyed by all. It behooves us at the very least not to mock and disparage the brave individuals who are ready to defend those freedoms even at great personal cost.


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