Here again all the media smear words: "anti-Islamic" -- they cannot bring themselves to say anti-jihad. And they propagate lies and innuendo. They suggest that my work might incite violence "such as her recent suggestion that the wildfires currently ravaging Arizona might be the work of a Palestinian jihadist" -- I didn't say that; a jihadist group took credit for it. My headline was: "Jihadist group claims credit for Arizona wildfire." I merely reported that.
Please contribute to our legal fund to fight the ban here.
"Anti-Islam campaigner Pamela Geller to fight exclusion from Britain" Alexandra Frean, The Times, July 5, 2013
Pamela Geller, the controversial US anti-Islamic writer and activist, is not a woman easily deterred. So when she says that she is mounting a legal battle against a ban on her entry to Britain, it is as well to take her seriously.
“My banning was an instance of the UK acting to criminalise criticism of Islam,” Ms Geller said.
She and a fellow activist, Robert Spence [sic], had been due to speak at an English Defence League (EDL) rally in Woolwich last month and to lay flowers at the spot where Drummer Lee Rigby was killed. But the anti-fascism group Hope not Hate successfully lobbied to exclude the pair, arguing that they would stir up trouble because of their extreme anti-Muslim views. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, agreed that their presence was “not conducive to the public good”.
Ms Geller bridles at the suggestion that she is anti-Muslim. “I work with Muslim girls who are threatened at home because they want to lead a more Western life. You never hear about that aspect of our work,” she says.
Asked about Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer during Ramadan, she said: “I think they should also broadcast a Catholic Mass and a minyan davening every morning as well as regular Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian services.”
Ms Geller rose to prominence in 2009 when she and Mr Spencer, founders of the group Stop Islamization of America, led protests against plans to build an Islamic community centre in Manhattan, close to the site of the 9/11 attacks. They dubbed it the “Ground Zero mosque”.
Ms Geller is variously described as “epically insane” or “an American and Jewish national treasure”. Although she does not advocate violence, critics believe that her writings — such as her recent suggestion that the wildfires currently ravaging Arizona might be the work of a Palestinian jihadist, and her accusation that the American President is consistently “on the side of Jihadic Islamic supremacist regimes” — are inflammatory.
She spoke recently at New York University and at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. But she also associates with less mainstream organisations, such as the EDL.
Life wasn’t always like this for Ms Geller, 55, a divorced mother of four. “I was the quintessential New York City career girl. I was associate publisher of the New York Observer,” she says. “I loved my fashion, I loved my music, I loved my art, I loved my life. Of course, everything changed on 9/11. I felt guilty that I didn’t know who had attacked my country. I began to study.”
Her blog, named Atlas Shrugged [sic] after the novel by the libertarian author Ayn Rand, now gets 50,000 unique hits a day, she says in a lengthy e-mail exchange. But she regularly receives death threats and always has armed guards present whenever she speaks. Although she has never been banned from speaking in the US, “Islamic supremacists and Leftists” occasionally intimidate hosts into cancelling her appearances.
She is gratified by the support she has received in the UK and US for her battle against the Home Secretary. A petition supporting her entry to the UK has received 8,545 signatures and a legal fund has raised $8,631. She is, though, disappointed by Mrs May’s “pathetic and self-defeating” attitud . “It demonstrates to me that our cause is more critically needed now than ever.”