Hate Blogger Pamela Geller Last Person on Earth to Ask Muslims to “Respect Sensitivities”
By Danios with contribution from Rosseau
John Roberts recently filled in for Anderson Cooper, and correctly pinned the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy to hate blogger Pamela Geller, a radical right-wing anti-Muslim bigot. Geller is the one who first blogged about the issue, trumping it up using the fantastic language that she is so well-known for. Roberts made a point during his interview with Geller that I thought he could have developed a bit more. He pointed out that Pamela Geller was outraged when her hateful anti-Muslim bus ads were opposed. The New York Daily News characterized her bus ads as “messages of hate masquerading as messages of help.” Those bus ads carried a link to an anti-Muslim website, one which decried “the falsity of Islam.”
The Miami-Dade transit authority had declared that they were going to remove those ads due to the fact that the ads were deemed offensive to Muslims. (Ya think?) Pamela Geller lost her mind, called it a violation of her First Amendment rights, and sued the transit authority. The Miami-Dade transit authority backed down, and the hateful ads are still found on buses today. John Roberts pointed out that Geller had cried “First Amendment!” then, but suddenly she can’t see that the Muslim-Americans who own the property two blocks from Ground Zero have their First Amendment right to build a “mega mosque” there. (It’s actually an Islamic cultural center, not a “mega mosque.”) When challenged on this point, Geller argued back that it wasn’t about First Amendment rights, but about “being sensitive.” Said Geller on CNN:
It is a human compassion issue. It is common decency. That this is so painful to so many 9/11 families.
Wow, that’s rich. Where was your “human compassion”, Ms. Geller, when you put those hateful ads up on buses? Are Muslims not humans? If they are, are they not worthy of your “human compassion”? Is it from “common decency” to post hateful ads up on buses, ones which hurt and disparage Muslims? If someone had put the exact same ad up against Catholics, disingenuously asking “victims of Catholic priest pedophilia” to follow a hyperlink to an anti-Catholic website, would you say this is from “common decency?” Let us suppose that the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” put up a huge sign in front of their mosque, calling Judaism a “false religion”–just as your ad linked to a website that said the same of Islam–who do you suppose would be at the forefront of the campaign to oppose the mosque?
Is it not interesting, and a sign of our times, that hateful anti-Muslim ads do not garner any national attention, but an Islamic cultural center–dedicated to pluralism and tolerance–is so opposed? Hateful, bigoted, and intolerant ads are OK, but a cultural center dedicated to peace, love, and interfaith cooperation is offensive to the “sensitivities” of “Judeo-Christian” Americans? If hate blogger Pamela Geller did not respect the sensitivities of Muslim-Americans when she ran (and continues to run) those hateful anti-Muslim ads, then why should Muslim-Americans care about her sensitivities?
Geller’s hypocrisy on the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” is clear once we close our eyes and think back to not too long ago when Geller and her sidekick, Robert Spencer (of the “Obama-is-a-Moozlem” variety), promoted the drawing of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. On display were some of the most disgusting and vile portrayals of a religious figure that even shocked some of those who had initially backed the idea. In that instance it was completely fine for Geller, Spencer and the rest of the anti-Muslim blogosphere to trample on the sensitivities of Muslims all over the world in the name of freedom of speech. However, when Muslim-American New Yorkers decided to create a community center (that happens to include a prayer area) near that which Geller and Spencer consider sacred, then all hell breaks loose. Muslims must then fall prostrate to what Geller considers sacred and holy.
Pamela Geller argues that the decent thing for Manhattan Muslims to do is move the center farther away from Ground Zero, even though they have a constitutional right to create the center. Yet, Geller remains oblivious to the hypocrisy she is engaging in here. Sure Pam, you have the right to mock and desecrate the name of a man that over one billion humans consider sacred, but is it the right thing to do? The sensitivities of “Judeo-Christian” Americans are to be honored, based on the fact that it is “hallowed ground”, but the sensitivities of Muslims towards one they consider “hallowed” (the Prophet Muhammad) cannot?
And there is a major difference between the drawing of the cartoons and the Islamic cultural center. The cartoons, and the whole “Draw Muhammad Day” brouhaha, was created for the entire purpose of sticking it to the Muslims, to hurt their feelings. On the other hand, the Islamic cultural center was not created with that intent. The Manhattan Muslims weren’t engaging in a disgusting and childish act like Geller and Spencer were promoting on their hate blogs. The Muslims in this instance were engaging in outreach to build bridges with others, not destroy them like Geller did when she put up the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Yet, despite their noble aim, Geller demands that the Muslims give up their constitutional right to create a religious center. What a world Geller lives in–post disgusting cartoons of a religious figure and then cry about your constitutional rights when anyone opposes your actions. When others exercise their constitutional rights, bark about them trampling upon your delicate sensitivities!
Pamela Geller is one of the worst human beings on earth. If she was not constrained by the laws of this wonderful land we live in, she would be amongst those who would promote ethnic and religious violence. If Geller had been living in India during the Gujarat Riots, she would be at the front lines, calling for the slaughter of Muslims. She’d be wielding a machete, smeared with the blood of her Muslim victims. That’s not too hard to believe when we recall that she promoted on her website a anti-Muslim video, from a genocidal group in India held responsible for the Gujarat riots that led to the murder of 2,500 people, mostly Muslims. She has called for the annihilation of Pakistan, and the nuking of Mecca, Medina, and Tehran. This is all of course her showcasing to us what it means to possess “human compassion” and “common decency.”
Ms. Geller, we do not need you to tell us about “human compassion” and “common decency.” You are the last person on earth to speak of these things, as you are completely devoid of them. You are a despicable hate blogger, and you will be remembered by the eye of history, just fifty or a hundred years from now, as equivalent to those who called for the Japanese to be interned in camps. And people will wonder then, how could those people have been so stupid (and hateful) to think that?
One last slightly (un)related point: I’ve heard many bigots raise the argument that “as soon as there are churches in Saudi Arabia, then we can have a mosque at Ground Zero.” While of course you will never find anyone more in favor of churches in Saudi Arabia than I (are the Saudis so doubtful of the veracity of their religion that they fear the competition?), I cannot tolerate such bigoted tribalism. It typifies the “us vs. them” mentality that is in fact the core of Al-Qaeda theology, and is shared by the crazy right-wing nuts in our country. “The Other”–the Muslims–are The Borg, and they don’t let us build churches there, so we won’t let them build mosques here. All this ignores the fact that the Muslims in Saudi Arabia are not the same as Muslim-Americans, so there is no “them.”
But if these bigots wish to foist this comparison of “us vs. them” upon the situation, then let us reevaluate where we stand. They bombed us once, on 9/11. Do you know how many buildings “we’ve” bombed in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to speak of Pakistan and Yemen? According to Harvard Professor Stephen M. Walt we’ve likely killed “over one million” Muslims, “equivalent to over 100 Muslim fatalities for every American lost.” And this, not by terrorists outside the control of the will of the people and the government but by the sanction of the duly-elected government of the United States of America. As Jason Mustian put it: “In fairness, we’ve been building ‘ground zeros’ near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.” Quite simply, we were fortunate enough to be able to call it 9/11, an infamous day but one day in one year. “They” have so many “9/11′s” that they would have one every day of the year for several years, making it difficult to name them. Certainly “they” could not name them based on date or day, since so many dates and days are ones in which we bomb “them.”
If Americans are so outraged by a small Islamic cultural center being built two blocks away from Ground Zero, then how angry do you think Muslim Iraqis are that we built a gargantuan military base in Iraq–one that is actually the size of a small city? A “mega mosque” arouses our suspicion; what do you think a “mega military base” does to theirs? If the presence of some Muslim-Americans peacefully praying two blocks away from where “Muslims” attacked us bothers us so much, can you imagine how much “they” hate “us” stationing thousands of troops where “we” bombed “them”? The point here is not to justify the “us vs. them” viewpoint espoused by Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists. Rather, it is to convince you–the American reader–that such comparisons do not suit us even from a tactical standpoint. From an ideological and principled standpoint, of course, this “us vs. them” lens is wholly opposed to the American ideal, which is that we are all Americans, regardless of religion. Ours is a pluralistic society, and we should take pride in that. “They” don’t win by placing an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero. We do.