Pamela Geller May Regret Stirring Up a Hornet’s Nest of Bigotry
by Sheila Musaji
Pamela Geller just published another commentary on the “All-American Muslim” controversy. In this she says If TLC does not renew the show, All-American Muslim, can we expect outrage, protests and cries of “islamophobia” fron [sic] these same Islamic supremacists and their slavish loudmouthed puppets?
Actually, the program itself was never the issue. If viewers are not interested in the story line, or if it was too slow paced, or whatever, then they don’t watch. This show like all others, stands or falls on viewer interest. No one has any problem with that.
The ratings are low and the program probably won’t be renewed. Fair enough.
The issue was also not with advertisers withdrawing, it was with the reasons for their withdrawal, and specifically with Lowe’s who said it withdrew due to pressure. This is perhaps the first time that a major corporation has publicly admitted to discriminating against a minority community due to pressure from bigots.
Suggesting that any representation of Muslims should include negative stereotypes, or that there is no such thing as Islamophobia, or that standing up to bigotry makes one an “Islamic supremacist” or a “slavish loudmouthed puppet” is the response of a true dyed-in-the-wool bigot. Islamophobia is real, as is anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, and many other forms of bigotry.
I wish Geller would attempt to look at this objectively by replacing bigoted Jewish stereotypes with bigoted Muslim stereotypes in the FFA’s objections to the program:
Would it be bigotry if some group objected to a program because it only featured “ordinary appearing” Jews and did not include “legitimate concerns” about Jews who are controlling the media and the financial system and was therefore “inaccurately portraying Jews in America”?
Would it be bigotry if they were also “troubled by” one of the Jewish characters on the program having the nerve to say “I am an American” (the inference being that they aren’t “real” Americans).
Would it be bigotry if they were also objecting to a “Jewish tolerant” perspective (which can only infer that a Jewish intolerant perspective is what is required)?
Yes, it would be bigotry.
Pamela Geller’s Islamophobia is clouding her judgement about how closely anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and all other forms of bigotry are linked. Encouraging and condoning bigotry towards any minority ultimately can come to hurt all minorities. Her ravings against Islam and Muslims are appealing to a certain segment of the population who need to have someone to blame and to look down on. It is if she is taking a stick and sticking it into a hive of hornets and shaking it around and hoping she can control who those hornets sting.
When she opposes halal slaughter of animals and calls it “cruel”, it isn’t going to be long before her audience notices kosher slaughter. When she opposes not only particular interpretations of some specific aspects of Sharia, but all of Sharia, it isn’t going to be long before her audience sees the similarities between Halakha and Sharia. If it’s alright to take away Constitutional protections from Muslims, or any other particular minority, then it isn’t going to be long before her audience realizes they can take them away from others who they were never that fond of in the first place.
There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”. There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they published Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle by Robert Steinback in their Summer 2011 Intelligence Report. There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America. There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism. There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU reportReligious Freedom Under Attack: The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State. There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security. There is a reason that Geller is featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.
And, the reason is not that all of these organizations are “slavish loudmouthed puppets” of the “Islamic supremacists”.
If you take a stick and stir up a hornets nest, you can be pretty certain of the results, and there will be no way to control who gets stung..
Bigotry is bigotry, and it doesn’t matter who the target is.