On April 2, Salon magazine carried a column by Chris Stedman accusing Pamela Geller of trying to drive a wedge between gays and Muslims. To do this, Stedman depicts Geller as a desperate, anti-Muslim zealot who is loathed by the gay community.
The problem: Geller is neither anti-Muslim nor without her supporters in the gay community. But these are facts that appear to have eluded Stedman.
Geller appears to have caught Stedman’s attention via advertisements she’ll soon be running in San Francisco, alerting gays to the opposition they face from Islamists. At no time in his column does Stedman differentiate between Muslims and Islamists–therefore, he intimates Geller is warning about Muslims in general, when she’s actually warning about Islamists in particular.
The advertisements that raised Stedman’s ire contained quotes against gays from terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi, both of which represent Islamism rather than the views of those who are commonly described as moderate Muslims.
For example, al-Qaradawi said: “The punishment of homosexuality is the death penalty.” After learning that, Geller thought the gay community should be alerted.
After lumping Muslims and Islamists together so as to indict Geller as anti-Muslim, Stedman then claims Geller is lumping different groups together via so-called “generalizing statements about entire groups of people.”
Cue Rod Serling.
Stedman then says Geller has no support in the gay community.
How does he know this? He knows it because he asked various individuals within the LGBT community and they said so.
Problem–Stedman didn’t ask Michael Lucas, SIOA LGBT leader Patti York, or Atlanta gay activist Mark Koenig, all whom have voiced strong support for Geller.
Lucas, a columnist for The Advocate and a film director, among other things, made a statement in support of Geller which begins:
“Gay people usually have common sense and know that Islam is a very big danger. On the other hand, we have LGBT political organizations which are obsessed with political correctness against all the facts on the ground. …I just returned from Tunisia (and I traveled half the Muslim world) and I think gay Muslims, or I should rather say gay Arabs, would agree with your ads because they know first hand the persecution they undergo on a daily basis.”