Pamela Geller, the founder of the website Atlas Shrugs as well as the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has recently been making the rounds on American mainstream media as a defender of the American Constitution, civil rights, and a humanitarian. However, when researching Geller’s past and ties to hate groups, nothing could be further from the truth.
When Geller first burst onto the scene in 2004 with her controversial blog Atlas Shrugs. Geller wanted to be known as the bikini blogger due to her propensity for putting pictures of herself in bikinis on the beach. She would also show pictures of herself in provocative clothing in order to attract peoples’ attention. Social Scientists view this behavior as someone who is trying to sexualize themselves and to get compliments in order to make themselves feel better. It is the sign of someone with deep insecurity issues.
Geller has stated that Atlas Shrugs started as a result of her patriotism after the 9/11 attacks. Her blog really shot to fame after she republished controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that were first published in Jyllands-Posten. Jyllands-Posten is the Danish newspaper that published drawings of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. By republishing this drawing, Geller intentionally set out to attack an entire religious group. As a result of this and other hateful rhetoric aimed towards Muslims and Islam. Paypal has deemed Atlas Shrugs a hate site and no longer allows it services to be used.
The next target of Geller’s vitriol was the proposed Islamic Community Center in NYC. The proposed site was located to blocks away from 9/11’s ground zero. Despite there already being Islamic mosques closer to the vicinity of ground zero, Geller claimed that this location was meant as a sign of victory for Islam because Muslims always put a mosque in the center of places that they conquered. Never mind that the oldest Christian churches in the world have been in Muslim lands for 1,400 years without being converted to mosques.
As a matter of fact when Umar was given permission to pray in an ancient church in Jerusalem since there was no mosque there at that time, he refused and prayed outdoors. His reasoning was that if he was seen praying in the mosque then future generations of Muslims might see this as a sign to take Christians houses of worship from the Christians and convert them to mosque. He meant to avoid this happening.
Ever since Geller has undergone scrutiny from American media as being a hate-monger, she has been trying to clean up her image by making claims that she is a humanitarian and not a hate-monger or an Islamophobe, She has stated in interviews that she has never referred to Muslims as savages in light of the fact that her group, the AFDI, has posted images in bus stops saying, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad”.
Geller has also stated that the world is at war with Islam. She believes that the only moderate Muslim is a secular Muslim, meaning one that does not pray or follow the religion. This is based on the saying of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogen when he said, “There is no moderate Islam, there is no extremist Islam, Islam is Islam”.
Due to Geller’s connection with hate groups, the UK will not allow Geller to enter the UK. Part of this is speculation that she is in contact with the EDL and influences them. However, upon further research her ties goes deeper than just with hate groups but to domestic terrorists themselves.
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian national, set off a van bomb in the midst of government buildings in Oslo. He then went to a Worker’s Youth League camp and killed 69 participants. Brievik had made a manifesto against the Norwegian government for allowing immigration destroying the Norwegian way of life. In the manifesto Breivik cited Geller 12 times. In response she said that, “Any assertion that she or other anti-jihad writers bore any responsibility for Mr. Breivik’s actions was ‘ridiculous’ and that If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists”.
Even though Geller states that she did not influence Breivik, Geller defended Breivik’s actions by stating, “The camp is part of an anti-Israel “indoctrination training center.” She says the victims would have grown up to become “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole.”
Geller then posted a picture of the camp that Breivik attacked and stated, “Note the faces which are more Middle-Eastern or mixed, then pure-Norwegian”. This shows her bigotry towards people of other ethnicities.
Upon further investigation it is discovered that Geller was actually in contact with Breivik who posted anonymously on her site Atlas Shrugs, saying that he was tired of Muslim immigration to Norway and that “We are stockpiling and caching weapons, ammunition and equipment. This is going to happen fast”. In the comment section, Geller claims that she provided anonymity to the reader to protect him from being prosecuted. Although Geller recently deleted the ammunition line from her post, a cached version is still available online. This makes her an unindicted co-conspirator in the Norwegian massacre.
Most of Geller’s followers come from the extreme right wing tea party group. During a speech to the Tennessee Tea Party in Gatlinburg, Geller ’s full fear-mongering and lies goes on full display. During this hour long hate-fueled speech, Geller made claims that, “There is an academic Jihad in where they are rewriting history. Anyone with children in grade school go look at the book, go look at the book and see the three chapters on Islam. One is on the prophet Mohammad.” An audience member asked her where this book at, in which she replies, “They won’t let the books come home. You have to get them out.” Geller also said that, “President Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and has more Arab blood than Black blood.”
Geller is not a champion of human rights, civil rights, or any rights. Geller is a person intent on fear-mongering while making a substantial living in doing so. She gets paid $200,000 a year in order to spread her message of hate. When she says that she never referred to all Muslims as savages, do not believe her because in the past she has said so and even posted billboards and NYC and San Francisco referring to Palestinian Muslims as savages.
So how do we deal with Pamela Geller as a Muslim? First of all we should counter what she says with arguments disproving her lies as she has been shown to spread lies time-after-time. Whenever she makes a claim we should blog against her refuting her claim. I also believe that we as Muslims should invite her to an open faith event in order to discuss our differences and our similarities. If she refuses to meet with leaders of the faith to discuss our differences then this exposes her even more for the agenda that she is pushing.
Islam does not condone violence. If any Muslim threatens violence against her, this is against Islam and not the way of our Prophet. We need to remember that at the time of the Prophet there was a Jewish man who used to always dump garbage and human waste in front of the Prophet’s house. One day this man did not do this so the Prophet asked about him. He learned that he was sick so he visited him and gave him herbs to help restore his health. Upon seeing the good nature of our Prophet, this man became a Muslim.