After two Muslims armed with AK-47s tried to gun down anti-jihad activist Pamela Geller and attendees of her “Draw Muhammad” contest, the media launched its own jihad against her — with talking points from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the same organization cited as the inspiration of another would-be mass shooter.
SPLC characterizes Pamela Geller as “anti-Muslim” in a screechy profile covering her long writing career. Ready to Get Informed?
Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims, such as that President Obama is the “love child” of Malcolm X. She makes no pretense of being learned in Islamic studies, leaving the argumentative heavy lifting to her Stop Islamization of America partner Robert Spencer. Geller has mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps. She has taken a strong pro-Israel stance to the point of being sharply critical of Jewish liberals.
Geller uses her website to publish her most revolting insults of Muslims: She posted (and later removed) a video implying that Muslims practiced bestiality with goats and a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad with a pig’s face (observant Muslims do not eat pork).
Media outlets dutifully took notes and called Geller “anti-Islam” after she and attendees escaped death at the hands of Muslim jihadis. Geller is just as bad as madmen who tried to kill her, you see.
(Reuters) — Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that was organized by a group described as anti-Islamic and billed as a free-speech event.
She calls herself an advocate for those who have been victimized by religious extremists, but critics say that Pamela Geller and her controversial anti-Islamic groups are as hateful and extreme as those she seeks to condemn.
Authorities in Garland, Texas, say two armed men were killed and a security guard injured after the men began shooting outside a “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” held by reactionary anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative.
Two gunmen opened fire outside of a community center where an anti-Islam event was being held in Garland, Texas, at around 7 pm on Sunday. One of the gunmen was Elton Simpson, an Illinois-born American who had been investigated and briefly arrested by the FBI in 2009 and 2010 for allegedly trying to travel to Somalia to join a terrorist group. (Emphasis added.)
Pam Geller, an anti-Islam activist and blogger, defended her free speech rights after two gunmen were killed after opening fire at an art show she organized.
Here are five things you should know about the group.
1. Anti-Islam or pro-free speech? The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, lists the American Freedom Defense Initiative as an “active anti-Muslim group.”
The New-York-based AFDI says its goal is simply to “go on the offensive when legal, academic, legislative, cultural, sociological, and political actions are taken to dismantle our basic freedoms and values.”
2. Pamela Geller is the group’s executive director. Again, the SPLC describes her as “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead.”
Geller, of course, doesn’t think of it that way. In fact, in a speech delivered just before the contest for cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad opened, she defended her group’s actions.
The conference where attendees displayed drawings of the Prophet Mohammed on Sunday night — the same place where two alleged would-be shooters were fatally shot by police after opening fire — was put together by a group that claims to want to shed a spotlight on terrorism, although others consider the organization to be anti-Muslim.
The group has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks and classifies hate groups.
A mass shooting tragedy may have been averted late on Sunday, when two gunmen were killed in Garland, Tex., outside an exhibition for drawings of the prophet Muhammad. The two men apparently had hoped to kill attendees, but after they shot an unarmed security guard, police officers returned fire.
In an e-mail to The Washington Post, Pamela Geller, an anti-Islam activist who organized the event, blamed “Islamic jihadis” who were “determined to suppress our freedom of speech violently.” That sentiment was echoed on Twitter by another high-profile, if seemingly out-of-place, guest: the Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
In other words, Geller and Wilders are hypocrites and hateful people who deserve round condemnation. Note the restrained rhetoric concerning “the gunmen,” compared to the descriptions of Geller.
Remarkably, media have no problem parroting the same organization that inspired would-be murderer Floyd Corkins II, who told the FBI he used the SPLC’s Hate Map to target the Family Research Council, a conservative non-profit listed as an “active hate group.”
“It was, uh — Southern Poverty Law lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online — did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that,” Corkins said. He added that he wanted to “kill as many people as possible.”
The FBI later severed ties with SPLC. Journalists working thanks to the same First Amendment defended by Geller are slow to follow their lead.
Email Katie at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @k_mcq.