Countering Anti-Islam Conference of Pam Geller, the David Duke of Islamophobia

The Arab American Institute (AAI) yesterday hosted a Rejecting Islamophobia Town Hall (SEE VIDEO) in Dearborn to provide a counter-narrative to an anti-Islam conference also held yesterday by birther Pam Geller and Robert Spencer, who was the demonic inspiration of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.

Geller’s rhetoric and skewing of facts regarding Muslims is no different David Duke’s rhetoric regarding Blacks. 

See MSNBC story below:

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/29/11461385-dueling-in-dearborn-over-murder-of-a-20-year-old-woman

Dueling in Dearborn over murder of a 20-year-old woman

By Kari Huus, msnbc.com

In Dearborn Mich., a Detroit suburb known for its concentration of Muslim Americans, anti-Islam leaders from around the country are gathering to discuss how to rescue women from that faith. The “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings” on Sunday is named for a local Muslim woman murdered one year ago.

But Muslims, civil rights groups and other religious leaders say the conference is merely another event put on by well-known bigots to attack the minority religion. Their response was to schedule a town hall meeting just a few miles away on Sunday called “Rejecting Islamophobia: A Community Stand Against Hate.”

The honor killing conference, organized by Pamela Geller, who became nationally famous for her vocal opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque, aka Park 51 in Manhattan, is based on the premise that Mokdad, 20 years old when she died in April 2011, was the victim of an honor killing justified by Islam.

Mokdad’s family maintains that the killing was a tragedy that has nothing to do with their Islamic beliefs, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

“It’s not a case based on honor,” Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo, chief of homicide, told the Free Press on Friday.

In court, prosecutors have said the motive for Mokdad’s killing was that her stepfather, Rahim Alfetlawi had “been sexually abusing her,” Cataldo said, according to the report. They argue that when she threatened to go public about the abuse he killed her.

Cataldo said the family strongly objects to the conference using Mokdad’s killing, which they say was a tragedy that had nothing to do with their faith.

Geller insists this was an honor killing carried out by a devout Muslim because his stepdaughter was not following Islam, and that the family is covering it up. She alleges that law enforcers systematically cover up honor killings here and elsewhere under “stealth enforcement” of Islamic shariah law.

On her web site, Geller says: “Despite pressure from the media and members of Jessica’s family who want to cover up the honor killing aspect of her murder, we are not going to change the name of the conference. Unlike those closest to her, we are going to honor Jessica’s memory and stand up against the brutal practice that took her life.”

The Dearborn conference will feature speeches by Geller and Robert Spencer — author of the blog “Jihad Watch” — as well as several like-minded legal and religious figures. They have also invited a young man who says he was Mokdad’s friend to offer “firsthand testimony” that she was a victim of honor killing.

Stop the Islamization of America, which Geller and Spencer founded, has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights watchdog.

“Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead,” according to a profile published by SPLC on its web site. “She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims.”

The Arab American Institute, a decades-old community organization in the Detroit area, discouraged Muslims and their supporters from protesting at the site of Geller’s conference.  But they organized a competing event, said AAI president Jim Zogby, because Geller and Spencer have become too prominent to ignore.

“Geller and Spencer have thousands of followers, and are given airtime to spew their hate on major American news networks, as if they are respected analysts with just another viewpoint,” Zogby said on the AAI announcement for the “Rejecting Islamophobia” town hall in Detroit.

Although many Americans have never encountered a Muslim in person, about 43 percent questioned in a recent Gallup Poll said they felt at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims.

“This group, we cannot ignore. This is the time for our community to take a stand, along with all those who value America’s commitment to diversity and freedom of religion, against the politics of division and bigotry promoted by the Islamophobes.”

A variety of community, interfaith and religious leaders and Michigan public on their agenda, for a “community conversation about how to respond to these continued attacks,” said Zogby.

One participant who was just on his way to the town hall was Dawud Walid, who heads the Michigan office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, a civil rights advocacy group for Muslims.

“I think firstly we have to better expose who these anti-Muslim bigots are as well as their funders,” said Walid. “We believe that the Islamophobia that permeates our country is being pushed by a well-organized, highly-funded network.”

He says that while Dearborn and Detroit have become a focus for the activities of Geller and others of like mind, the problem is bigger.

“Islamophobia is a national illness,” he said.

Anti-Islam ad belongs on buses, court is told

http://www.freep.com/article/20100622/NEWS05/6220357/1320/Anti-Islam-ad-belongs-on-buses-court-is-told

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

An Ann Arbor group announced Monday it has filed a request with a federal court seeking to require a metro Detroit bus agency to run ads aimed at Muslims who want to leave Islam.

The Thomas More Law Center, a conservative legal group, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order on Thursday that asks a federal judge to side with a New Hampshire-based group that often criticizes Islam. The Thomas More center had filed a lawsuit against SMART last month on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller of New York and Robert Spencer of New Hampshire. The plaintiffs are critics of Islamic extremism.

A SMART spokeswoman did not give any explanation as to why the bus agency refused to run the ad.

Robert Muise, an attorney with the Thomas More center, said the bus agency is a government entity and so it violated the First Amendment by not allowing the ad to run. He said that similar ads have run on buses in Florida and New York. The ads read: “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got Questions? Get Answers!”

Muise noted that SMART had run an ad earlier this year by an atheist group that read: “Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.” Muise said that decision shows there is a double standard in SMART’s policies. He said that SMART’s own policy says it may “not censor free speech” and is “required to provide equal access to advertising.”

Local Muslim leaders support SMART’s decision.

“They surely have the prerogative to deny carrying anti-Muslim ads in a locality which has one of the largest Muslim populations in North America,” said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Mercy to adversaries

Today’s khutbah (sermon) given at the Islamic Organization of North America in Warren, MI discussed the following:

1)      Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) was sent to be a mercy to all people.

2)      He (SAAS) was merciful with adversaries and Muslims within the boundaries that he (SAAS) was given by The Creator.

3)      He (SAAS) gave clear stances against torture and cursing people.

4)      He (SAAS) taught not to use the same tactics as those who harm and marginalize people.

5)      Discussion on the “Leaving Islam” ad campaign being advocated for by anti-Muslim bigots.

Click here to listen.

The truth behind the ‘Leaving Islam’ campaign in Detroit

Partners in anti-Muslim hate: Pam Geller and Robert Spencer

Islamophobe Pamela Geller and her minions state that they are suing SMART Bus company in Michigan because SMART refuses to allow the “Leaving Islam’ anti-Muslim ads on their buses.

Geller is attempting to veil her hatred of Islam and Muslims by stating that she is simply trying to assist American Muslims, who wish to leave Islam that are too scared to due to threat of potential physical harm.  Geller further states that the buses should allow this campaign under the guise of the 1st Amendment, Freedom of Speech.

First, we need to examine the motives of Geller and her crew.

Geller is a flaming anti-Muslim bigot, which is not an exaggeration by any means.

Loonwatch yesterday posed some rhetorical questions about Geller to highlight this point:

Should a woman who believes and regularly states that Obama is an anti-Semitic, Jihadist Mohammadan who is aiding the Iranian regime get a pass? Does someone who calls for the Golden Dome Mosque (Masjid as-Sakhra) to be destroyed and replaced by a Jewish temple get a pass? Should a historical revisionist who says Hitler adopted Jihad and was inspired by Islam to commit the Holocaust get a pass? Should someone who states that Israel should nuke Mecca and Medina be given a pass?

Geller has called Islam a “religion of barbarism,” and has insulted mainstream Muslims by saying Muhammad “Piss Be Upon Him” instead of the customary “Peace Be Upon Him.” Geller has also advanced the extreme right wing Obama is an undercover Muslim conspiracy theory and has referred to him as a “Muhammadan.”  She even invoked vulgar slurs against our president calling him a “ball sucker” (ball meaning testicle).

David Yerushalmi, Geller’s comrade in hate, who is an attorney related to the lawsuit against SMART is perhaps more vocal in his anti-Muslim bigotry.

Yerushalmi, who has been described by Jewish American Richard Silverstein as a “devout Jewish fascist” has advocated in the past that “adherence to Islam” in America be punishable by sentencing of 20 years in prison!

Yerushalmi has also stated that Black people are predisposed to violence, a position also taken by the Klu Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation.

The Thomas More Law Center, which is also assisting Geller in her lawsuit are known to be extremists as well.  Within the past year, they filed a lawsuit against AIG for using tax dollars to promote Islamic law, which helps fund terrorist organizations because AIG offers a financial package to Muslims that is free from investing in corporations that make profits from alcohol, gambling and pornography.

With this in mind, Geller and her ilk are not benevolent Americans, who are concerned about Muslims having the freedom to convert to another religion.  They are for the elimination of Muslims practicing Islam in America in general.

Although people who change religions may be alienated by some of their family members and friends (as happens in many cases when people revert to Islam from other faiths in America), there is no empirical data that supports people who leave Islam in America do so at the threat of suffering bodily injury or lose of life.

In summation, Geller, Yerushalmi and Thomas More Law Center’s strategy is based on anti-Muslim bigotry, not in defending the 1st Amendment, which includes freedom to practice Islam in America.  Let’s not fool ourselves.

http://www.detnews.com/article/20100528/METRO01/5280364/1409/metro/-Anti-Muslim–ad-sparks-suit

‘Anti-Muslim’ ad sparks suit

Bus system refused to show ad aimed at those leaving Islam

Mark Hicks / The Detroit News

Detroit — An ad aimed at Muslims who want to leave Islam that was rejected for display by a regional bus system has prompted a lawsuit alleging violation of constitutional rights.

“Americans have a right to know the truth — Islam is a religion of intolerance and violence,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, the Ann Arbor public interest law firm that filed the lawsuit with the Law Offices of David Yerushalmi P.C. Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

“Christians, Jews and other non-Muslim minorities are persecuted in every country where Islam dominates,” Thompson said in a news release.

The suit was filed on behalf of the Freedom Defense Initiative, which sponsored the ad and had sought to display it on Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation buses.

The Freedom Defense Initiative’s website says its objective is “to go on the offensive when legal, academic, legislative, cultural, sociological and political actions are taken to dismantle our basic freedoms and values.”

According to the lawsuit, SMART this week refused to display the group’s bus ad, which read: “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get Answers!”

The lawsuit alleges the transportation authority violated First and 14th Amendment rights dealing with free speech and equal protection.

Attorneys also said SMART previously displayed an ad from the Detroit Area Coalition of Reason, an atheist group, which read: “Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.”

“In Detroit, government officials grant atheists the right to express a view that God does not exist, not worrying about offending Christians,” said Robert Muise, senior trial counsel with the Thomas More Law Center. “Yet, these same politically correct officials censor speech that might offend Muslims. Such blatant discrimination is offensive, and it violates our Constitution.”

Elizabeth Dryden, a SMART spokeswoman, said it would be “inappropriate to comment” on the case until company officials speak with the bus agency’s attorney.

Some local supporters of Islam say they support the group’s right to free speech, but believe the ad could be seem as spreading intolerance.

“It’s a purely anti-Muslim hate issue,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter. “The SMART bus company, or any bus company, should not be used to marginalize a minority group.”