When the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles canceled Pamela Geller’s scheduled talk on Islamic Jew-hatred on June 24, it handed a major victory to the virulently anti-Semitic Islamic supremacist foes of Israel. Even worse, the mainstream media, as always taking its talking points from those same Islamic supremacist groups, aided and abetted their campaign to rule honest discussion about Islamic jihad, Islamic supremacism, and Islamic anti-Semitism beyond the bounds of acceptable public discourse.
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) crowed in a press release: “A Southern California interfaith coalition today commended the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for having the courage to stand up to bigotry by canceling an event featuring the leader of a notorious anti-Muslim hate group.” The Islamic supremacist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a deceptive group that counsels Muslims on how to avoid cooperating with law enforcement, tweeted: “MPAC Applauds Jewish Federation For Putting Kibosh on Extremist #PamelaGeller.”
The mainstream media happily played along. The Los Angeles Times approvingly quoted Hussam Ayloush of Hamas-linked CAIR smearing Geller, without bothering to notify its readers of CAIR’s ties to Hamas, unindicted co-conspirator status in a terror funding case, and jihad terror convictions of several of its officials. Haaretz ran a front-page piece entitled “No hatred is pro-Jewish. No bigotry is pro-Israel. Case in point: Pamela Geller.”
Pamela Geller’s pro-Israel, pro-freedom message is only “bigotry” or “extremist” to those who wish to enable the victory of Islamic supremacists in the United States, but aside from these smears, the central claim of the Islamic supremacist groups and their media lackeys isn’t even true: the Federation didn’t cancel Geller’s speech because of its content, but because of fears of violent Muslim protests. Algemeiner reported: “Citing security concerns that the building might be stormed by Muslim activists, the Federation informed the Zionist Organization of America – which was hosting the event – that the speech would be called off.”
The Federation demonstrated cowardice in not standing up to violent intimidation, and although it did not initially repudiate Geller’s message, it later announced that in light of this incident it would frame guidelines as to what events would be "appropriate" to host on its premises. Los Angeles Jewish Federation Board Chairman Richard Sandler said: "You learn from every situation, and because this happened, it is good that we will be able to put processes in place to make sure it does not happen again." Hamas-linked CAIR and the media ran with this, portraying the cancellation as a rejection of Geller's message. They are happy to use the Federation for its own purposes, crowing that even a mainstream Jewish organization like the Federation is unwilling to discuss Islamic anti-Semitism and jihad – which Geller correctly identifies as the root cause of the Israel/“Palestinian” conflict. CAIR is thrilled about this: the more ignorant and complacent Americans are about the Jew-hatred that is deeply rooted within Islam, and the Islamic texts and teachings that exhort Muslims to wage war against and subjugate Jews and other non-Muslims, the happier Hamas-linked CAIR and its cohorts are.
And indeed, the reality is quite ugly. The Qur'an says that the Jews are "the most hostile of men to the believers" (5:82), and are under the curse of Allah (2:89; 9:30). "O believers,” the Qur’an says to Muslims, “take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. God guides not the people of the evildoers" (5:51).
In a hadith, Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, says that "the last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him" (Sahih Muslim 6985). Islamic doctrine holds that all land that has once belonged to the House of Islam belongs by right to the Muslims forever, and that no non-Muslim state has any legitimacy upon such land; consequently, the idea of a Jewish State in the Middle East is absolutely unacceptable to Muslims on theological grounds. No negotiated agreement or concessions from Israel will mitigate these doctrines, which amount to an imperative to destroy Israel entirely.
This was the substance of Pamela Geller's message on June 24, and it is also the message of freedom fighters and defenders of Israel across the world. To declare this message to constitute “bigotry” and as such to be outside the realm of acceptable public speech is unconscionable and, ultimately, suicidal for free societies. This is no time for acts of cowardice, and events are moving far too quickly to excuse complacency, ignorance, and trimming in the service of narrow self-interest. All defenders of freedom must stand up and criticize Islamic anti-Semitism strongly and without apology, as Pamela Geller has done, and stand with her to call upon Muslim groups to renounce and repudiate these noxious and belligerent doctrines that foreclose any possibility of peace in the Middle East and in the world at large.
It is, of course, virtually inconceivable that mainstream Muslim groups will renounce, reject or reform Qur’anic anti-Semitism, and so for non-Muslims today, it is crucial to be forewarned, informed, and resolute in defense of freedom. In other words, it is crucial for all free people to reject the cowardice and dishonesty that has characterized the actions of so many during this episode. The stakes are simply too high for anything less than that.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.