Heidi Beirich, leader of of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project said that “people need to confront” Pamela Geller’s views, but denounced the violence against her as “horrific and unacceptable” on Monday’s “Legal View” on CNN.
“This is going to draw attention to Pamela Geller and her extremist views, but the fact of the matter is that people need to confront them. I mean, there’s two things going on here. She deserves to be designated as the member of a hate group, and at the same time this violence is horrific and unacceptable. But people need to understand that Pamela Geller is not some innocuous person. The things that she is saying about Muslims are cruel and unfair and it’s just really ugly propaganda” she stated.
Earlier, Beirich said “Pamela Geller is one of the most egregious Muslim-bashers in the United States. She’s been doing this stuff for years. We’ve had her on our list since at least 2010. She basically has nothing good to say about Muslims and accuses them of being terrorists, of killing Jews and she doesn’t make distinctions, right? She doesn’t make distinctions between radical factions and all Muslims, and that’s why she’s on our list.”
Beirich concluded, “it can be hate speech and be perfectly legal under the first amendment. I believe absolutely that she had every right to have these cartoons drawn, publicize the event. That’s the american way. We believe in free speech, there’s no question. But there’s the also the right of others like myself and the Southern Poverty Law Center to use our free speech rights to depict what she’s doing as…anti-Muslim and Muslim-bashing in general.”
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