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Pamela Geller and the Right to Express What We Call Hatred

Some people believe Pamela Geller, the radical right-wing activist, has the constitutional right to pay the MTA to slap images of flaming planes and the Twin Towers on New York City buses.

Some people believe Pamela Geller should stand in front of those buses while they’re moving.

Geller, of course, is executive director of a “human rights organization” called the Freedom Defense Initiative, and another radical-right hate-sect called Stop Islamization of America. Together, in my view, these groups aim to exterminate convert Muslims in the U.S. to Christianity. Or at least make life for them so unpalatable and potentially violent that they’ll leave the nation. I also believe Geller is a one-woman Kristallnacht just waiting to happen. It’s also my view that the religious hatred she symbolizes, the intolerance she fetishizes, does not mean Geller hasn’t the right, under the U.S. constitution, to express such points of view. She may represent, in my opinion, everything that’s wrong and twisted in America, everything that’s antithetical to America. But Geller also symbolizes why we must fight to preserve the right to communicate such views.

This is the reason why last week’s lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transit Authority was extremely important. Geller, on behalf of her organizations, sued the MTA, claiming that her First Amendment rights were being willfully infringed upon. And she was right: they were. Indeed, if First Amendment rights do not apply to people like Geller, they apply to no one. Trying to silence Geller’s bile merely empowers it. Allowing her venom to hit the air demystifies it.

To be sure, the press release announcing the suit was very telling. The dateline of Aug. 6 read “SIOA, FDI Sue New York City for Refusal to Run Ground Zero Bus Ads.” The opening graph stated that the suit was tied to the organizations’ “Preservation of Ground Zero” campaign, which obviously perpetuates the lie that a mosque will rise at Ground Zero. So let’s pause here once again and talk about what constitutes “at.”

The structure — a community center with umpteen features that will be open to people of all faiths — will rise 250 yards from the furthest perimeter of Ground Zero. That’s 750 feet, or two to three blocks (depending how you measure).

Even though we’ve addressed this issue here already on the CFR, let’s try a different approach. Geller believes that the structure, to be called Park51, will rise “at” Ground Zero. So she believes, in other words, that 250 yards, which is 750 feet or 14.2% of a mile, means you’re “at” Ground Zereo. According to Priceline.com, the Washington Monument is .25 miles — that is, 25% of a mile — from the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. Does Geller believe that the Willard Hotel is “at” the Washington Monument? If not, where is the tipping point? Is it 15% of a mile? Is it 18% of a mile? Is it 20% of a mile? And who decided that Geller gets to decide?

The New York Observer ran a piece on Geller this week, and it contained this nugget:

When asked how far she thought the mosque should be from Ground Zero, she said, simply, “Not there.”

Then where? Where would be acceptable to this woman?

Meanwhile, what else is there in Geller’s propaganda press release?

CBS Outdoor’s representative also told Geller that the MTA didn’t want to “associate the new building” – that is, the Islamic supremacist Ground Zero mega-mosque – “with Ground Zero.” He told Geller: “The people behind the new building” – again, the Ground Zero mega-mosque – “say it has nothing to do with Ground Zero.”

However, Daisy Khan, wife of the Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has said: “I think the building came to us, which goes to show that there is a symbolism there, and that there’s a divine hand in it. That it’s so close to the tragedy, that its close proximity is very symbolic for the fact that we really want to reverse what happened on 9/11.”

Thus mosque organizers themselves have linked the building to 9/11, yet the MTA forbade FDI to make the same link.

Geller comments: “Who cares what they say? What do they (the Ground Zero mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan) have to do with running my ad? They dictate what can and cannot run?”

She added: “I object to this censorship, which is effectively editing the viewpoint I am attempting to express in my message.”

Clearly, unquestionably, the MTA should never have put Geller into a position of moral strength in the first place. Far better, it seems to me, to let her and her kind air out their feculent racist stench and let the people decide what’s right. For without such an airing, we are treated to comments like these, toward the bottom of the press release, from Geller’s attorney:

“What makes this jihad against free speech so egregious is that the MTA has run any number of controversial religious and political ads without batting an eyelid. But as soon as the Shariah-faithful cowed Mayor Bloomberg and the MTA into dhimmi-like submission, the First Amendment to the Constitution gave way to Shariah’s blasphemy laws. How long before the Mayor’s office begins issuing fatwas against those who dare counter the ‘noble and peaceful outreach’ narrative?”

This is 2+2 = 5 territory and not worth the paper it isn’t printed on.

Oh, one last thing. This is how FDI and SIOA are defined:

FDI/SIOA is one of America’s foremost organizations defending human rights, religious liberty, and the freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to bring elements of Sharia to the United States.

As an American Jew, I am ashamed of these people. But more than anything else, including what I may think of them, they have a right to express their views. The U.S. Constitution is stronger than these people can ever be.


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  1. towelheadtowelhead08-13-2010

    Muslims killed about 300 million innocent kafirs (non-Muslims) and almost all caliphs (their supreme leaders). Genocide is their way of life because they follow Sunna (the example of an illiterate warlord called Muhammad). Muhammad is called uswa hasana (the model of conduct) and al-insan al-kamil (the perfect man). All outrageous Muslim customs (e.g., terror, lying, beheading, rape, pedophilia, misogyny and illiteracy) originate in the Sunna. Arabs are the most illiterate people in the world because they are the most pure Muslims. There is only one non-violent Islamic sect: Universal Sufism. Ahmadiyyas and Ismailiyahs are somewhat non-violent. Saudi government bars their entrance to Mecca because, in the opinion of Saudi government, they are not violent enough to be true Muslims. The rest (about 98% of all Muslims) are hateful and violent. I believe that Islam will destroy our civilization unless a broad alliance of all kafirs (including agnostics, atheists, and gays) eradicates Islam.

    The essence of science and Western civilization is having doubts and original ideas. Muslims have neither doubts nor original ideas. They are zombies. When their population is small, they are Meccan Muslims, so they are friendly and they have extremely large families. When their population is close to 50 percent they become Medina Muslims, so they are obsessed with killing their kafir (non-Muslim) neighbors. Having killed all the kafirs, they kill Muslims who are not perfect zombies.

  2. Kim W.Kim W.08-13-2010

    I believe she definitely has the right to pay for these ads.

    However, I also believe I have the right to buy up a whole bunch of “Coexist” bumper stickers and carry them around with me, so I can slap one over each and every one of those ads that I see. (And I’d like to strongly suggest others do the same.)

  3. Will DitterlineWill Ditterline08-13-2010

    Kim W.

    I understand your point, but slapping bumperstickers over those ads would be an act of vandalism. You have the right, but the police have the right to arrest you for being a vandal.

    If you paid for an ad that looked like her ad with bumper stickers on it, that would be legal.

    Will

  4. AlAl08-14-2010

    Go ahead and keep you head in the sand and start bowing to Mecca

    • LeonardLeonard08-14-2010

      Thank you for your hatred.

  5. Ian ThalIan Thal08-14-2010

    Though dhimma is an outrageous institution that is alive and well in much of the Muslim world and violates that basic human right to practice one’s own faith free molestation or tyranny, it is ridiculous to claim that dhimma would any institutional support in America. We have protections in our Constitution and Bill of Rights as well as over two centuries of legal precedent that would prevent such a thing from becoming law.

    If anything, the greater risk to religious freedoms comes from the majority– and last I checked, most Americans are Christians of one denomination or another and I don’t foresee that changing in the near future.

    As far as the “historical arguments” in the comment thread: Germany and it’s allies committed genocide in the the 20th century– yet German-Americans haven’t organized to do the same. Communists did terrible things as well in the Soviet Union, People’s Republic and their former allies, yet the Communist parties in America are insignificant and thus pose no such threat here. Nor have Japanese-Americans attempted to replicate the Rape of Nanking on American soil.

    We prevent these terrible things from happening by being vigilant enemies of intolerance, not by becoming the intolerant ourselves.

  6. Nancy GoblischNancy Goblisch08-16-2010

    We all know that American is the most tolerant nation in the world.
    You have rights here that people have no where else in the world.
    Sure we have work to do. No nation is perfect…..
    But rights don’t make it right.

  7. Kim W.Kim W.08-16-2010

    “I understand your point, but slapping bumperstickers over those ads would be an act of vandalism. You have the right, but the police have the right to arrest you for being a vandal.”

    While you are technically true, the practical reality is that they probably won’t. I mean, they haven’t done anything about the lone nut in my local subway station who defaces each and every subway poster with “typical cracker bitch” or “another story about the myth of white love”. But that kind of graffiti pales in comparison to all the kids who draw boobs and schlongs all over everything.

    I haven’t seen any arrests for all the other subway ad vandalism out there. You are techincally correct, but I’d wager that the odds are vanishingly small I’d do more than get a fine. IF that.

  8. Kim W.Kim W.08-16-2010

    “Go ahead and keep you head in the sand and start bowing to Mecca”

    Yeah, you keep thumpin’ that Bible and wavin’ that flag, boy. (Although, i wonder if maybe you’re trying so hard to wave that flag because you’re compensating for something else you’d like to wave?)

  9. mudslingermudslinger08-18-2010

    Dear Kim w. , you drew one “hellava lotta” conclusions from poor Al’s one liner. Lesse here ,you’re quite sure he’s a Christian(not to mention ,a flag waving one at that). You seem to know he has issues with his male anatomy…I guess. Not sure what you’re alluding to with the “boy” reference. Careful there, it sounds very ,very “RACIST”(for future reference,use the word “dude”; better to be mistaken for a surfer chick than a white supremacist).

    Now …my turn to draw a conclusion about YOU. You are truly DISTURBED in a FANTASTIC way. Seriously, I’m talking “phuckin” Charles Manson /Son of Sam CRAZY. SEEK HELP NOW, before it’s too damn late. Nuff said.

    TOWELHEAD, well stated. Many lefties think islam has been “hijacked” by a few radicals, and it’s really a “peaceful religion”. So in thier ignorance to try and prove how “tolerent” they are, they overlook one thing. Islam has not been hijacked at all. These radicals are practicing islam the way it was meant to be practiced; the way muhammed ( it’s founder ,for those of you in the Theater District) instructed it to be practiced. “Moderate muslims” are considered to be apostates and killed .

    I noticed no one addressed any of the historical facts you presented. Whenever lefties are confused with the facts, they have no rebuttal. They can only call you “hateful”, and then recoil back into their insular group-think, lest they be singled out as a bigot by one of their own …Heaven forbid.

    Leonard, I always jump in the fray late and miss all the dang fun. Guess I’m too darn busy. I really gotta smell the damn roses more often…no ?

    Seriously, do you really believe they will welcome people of all faiths ? Do you really believe they will openly welcome a Gay, Jewish man ? When historicly have they EVER done this? What muslim nation is tolerant of Gays and or Jews even today ? Can I smoke what you’re smokin ? They DEMAND tolerance, but are very , very short on it. I know I’m not supposed to notice this. Guess I’m just a hater, huh ?

    Very Truly,

    Mudslinger

    NOTE: I tried super , super hard on punctuation and spelling. Not perfect, but better than average, eh . Remember, I’m busy dammit.

  10. LeyPg2LeyPg208-21-2010

    I just found out that Pamela & Newt Gingrich will be leading the crusade against the Mosque in NY next month.
    We need crusaders like Newt to do the work of Christ and remind everyone that we are a nation of Christians. I think history repeats and from Spanish Inquisition to Richard the lion heart we had great Christian crusades. Newt Gingrich and Rev. Franklin Graham are America’s modern day Crusaders.
    I hope that Newt Gingrich will be our new President in 2012.

    • LeonardLeonard08-21-2010

      Special place in hell for bigots like you.

  11. TanyaTanya09-04-2010

    Educate YOURSELF, rather than relying on self serving politicians, religious leaders who are lining their pockets and the media business who are using you through an ideal scapegoat which is Islam. If you do a little homework you will learn that the word “Islam” means peace. Yes, it is true that some have taken a peaceful way of life and hijacked it into a violent way for personal and political gains – but Islam is just their excuse, not their defender. Most Americans are learning about a faith they probably knew little about before they heard about it through explosive world events. Islam as a faith has been ignorantly and arrogantly judged by the actions of a misguided few and intentionally misrepresented. It really has become a sad commentary on America, watching community leaders climb the ladder of personal gain (it’s not for your benefit) using racism, intolerance, hate, and fear. Sadly, that isn’t the worst of it. Now we watch average people, those who will proudly state they are good Americans who believe in peace, tolerance and equality turning on their neighbors, co-workers and even friends because somehow they feel comfort in being part of the mass hysteria. It’s hate people, plain and simple and no religion on earth (not even Islam) supports it. Wake up and start thinking for yourself.

  12. KathyKathy03-19-2011

    ITA with Towelhead. He stated the facts about the nature of Islam that most people (especially liberals) are completely ignorant of. Only the “Mecca” part of the Koran is peaceful and tolerant of people of other faiths – but the “Medina” part contains all the “kill ‘em all” language, and most people are not aware that the “Medina” verses always supercede the “Mecca” ones! The Muslims living in America are simply waiting in a “sleeper cell” until their numbers are sufficient enough that Sharia law can take over, and these “peaceful neighbors” will rise uo against you. Think about it – when America is 50-60% Muslim, where will your “Constitutional rights” be? Who is going to enforce them? They’ll simply throw that piece of paper away and say, “WE’RE the boss now.”

    @ Tanya – you are wrong – the word “Islam” doesn’t mean “peace”, it means “submission”. Sounds like you need to do your OWN homework.
    @Kim W. – Those bumper stickers are so misguided, because good cannot “coexist” with evil. Only one religion on Earth is correct. The only way that all religions could be treated the same would be if there were no God and each religion was just a “flavor of the day”. But there is TRUTH, and anything that contradicts Truth is, by definition, FALSE. Truth and lies cannot peacefully coexist.

    @Ian – although you make a valid point about other formerly-violent groups, none of those listed are based in religion, which is the most powerful motivator on Earth. We believe that everyone should be able to practice their own religon as they see fit, but the problem with this one religion (no other religion on Earth is like this, even Christianity) is that it is a MILITARY religion with world-domination as its goal. Islam wants to create “Heaven on Earth” by basically killing or putting into submission anyone who isn’t Muslim. Although Christianity doesn’t spread that way. The religion of Paul was humble and self-sacrificing, but not sacrificing of Gentiles. The Crusades were intended to defend Christian Europe from an Islamic onslaught (the Muslims did get as far as Vienna and Spain). Had the Crusades not succeeded in that, you’d probably be speaking Arabic right now. So don’t judge the Crusades. Yes, there have been misguided people throughout history who have killed others in the name of “Christianity”, but they were not following the Bible. When did Jesus ever command his followers to kill in his name? NEVER. Yet Mohammed certainly did! I think this by itself tells you which religion is the correct one.