[Marxism] How a Lunatic, Racist Blogger Is Fanning Hate Against Muslims

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Aug 23 08:12:43 MDT 2010


How a Lunatic, Racist Blogger Is Fanning Hate Against Muslims -- 
With the Help of Our Dumb Media
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on August 22, 2010, Printed on August 23, 2010
http://www.alternet.org/story/147927/

Pamela Geller, the once-obscure right-wing blogger known for 
peddling hateful, wildly over-the-top rhetoric (she once claimed 
that Barack Obama was the bastard stepchild of Malcom X) and for 
pulling stunts like taping a harangue against Muslims while clad 
in a bikini, has parlayed the anti-mosque hysteria sweeping across 
America into mainstream media attention just in time to promote 
her new book, The Post-American Presidency.

Geller and co-author Robert Spencer have been relentlessly 
promoting the “nontroversy” over the Park 51 project. According to 
a profile in the Guardian, the pair have “been at the forefront of 
drumming up opposition to the center, two blocks from Ground Zero, 
through an array” of organizations like the American Freedom 
Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA). 
The groups “have become increasingly influential as conservative 
politicians exploit anti-Muslim sentiment before November's 
congressional and state elections.”

The groups’ ideology is reminiscent of the reckless demagoguery of 
Joe McCarthy. According to the Guardian, AFDI “says it is fighting 
‘specific Islamic supremacist initiatives in American cities’ and 
hunting down ‘infiltrators of our federal agencies'." SIOA, which 
bills itself as a human rights organization "is tied to a similar 
group, Stop Islamisation of Europe, which goes by the motto: 
‘Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is 
the height of common sense.’"

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg calls Geller a “lunatic racist,” 
and laments the “very depressing” fact that despite being “a 
marginal nutbag… it seems as if she's setting the national agenda 
now on matters related to Islam and religious freedom.” Spencer 
previously penned several books advancing dark conspiracy theories 
about Islam, including Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is 
Subverting America without Guns or Bombs. He’s also the proprietor 
of Jihad Watch, a wingnut Web site that helped raise thousands of 
dollars to pay for a controversial ad campaign smearing the Park 
51 project on New York City buses.

According to the Guardian, Geller’s blog, Atlas Shrugs, “lays bare 
her sympathies with extremist groups across the globe.” Geller 
“vigorously defended Slobodan Milosevic” when he was convicted of 
war crimes at the Hague, denying that the Serbs committed 
atrocities during the 1990s. She has “allied herself with racist 
extremists in South Africa in promoting a claim that the black 
population is carrying out a ‘genocide’ of whites,” and says that 
she “shares the goals” of the far-right English Defense League 
(EDL). "We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups [like the 
EDL] that oppose the Islamisation of the West,” she wrote. Geller 
has also embraced Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician 
who advocates banning the Qu'ran.

While Geller and Spencer have been basking in the glare of 
mainstream coverage, some of her fellow agitators have taken a 
lower profile, and for good reason. Their past writings reveal a 
history of extremism and bigotry that should lay to rest any 
notion that the organized opposition to the Islamic community 
center being built near the site of the former World Trade Center 
is based on “sensitivity” to the 9/11 victims.

According to Charles Johnson, a right-wing blogger who had a noisy 
falling out with Geller when the latter appeared at a conference 
organized by European fascists (apparently that was a bridge too 
far even for Johnson, who was described by Gawker as a “hysterical 
right-wing Muslim-hating blogger”), Geller founded AFDI with 
attorney David Yerushalmi, who, according to journalist Bruce 
Wilson, advocated “legislation that would effectively outlaw Islam 
in the United States by imposing 20 year jail sentences on 
practicing Muslims.”

Yerushalmi's bile isn’t limited to Islam. In an article titled “On 
Race: a Tentative Discussion” (PDF), Yerushalmi begins by calling 
Islam “an evil religion,” and “blacks … the most murderous of 
peoples,” before calling into question whether women and people of 
color should be allowed to vote. “There is a reason the founding 
fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote,” he 
wrote. “You might not agree or like the idea but this country’s 
founders, otherwise held in the highest esteem for their 
understanding of human nature and its affect on political society, 
certainly took it seriously.” According to Johnson, “Yerushalmi 
has deleted as much evidence of the “On Race” article as he could; 
he removed it from the Internet Archive and the Google cache, and 
put his entire Web site behind a registration wall.”

According to Wilson, Yerushalmi, an orthodox Jew, also reviles the 
majority of American Jews who tend to hold more liberal views. 
When Mel Gibson launched an alcohol-fueled rant about the perfidy 
of Jews during a traffic stop in Malibu, Yerushalmi defended him, 
writing:

That Gibson sees Jews in an unfavorable light is only irrational 
if one wishes to make the argument that secular liberal Jews are 
not in fact the leading proponents of all forms of anti-Western, 
anti-American, anti-Christian movements, campaigns, and ideologies.

It’s hard to imagine, but another of Geller’s fellow travelers 
makes Yerushalmi look almost moderate by comparison. John Joseph 
Jay, who sits on the FDI board, has openly called for violence 
against Muslims. "Every person in Islam, from man to woman to 
child may be our executioner,” he wrote. “In short …there are no 
innocents in Islam ... all of Islam is at war with us, and all of 
Islam is/are combatant [sic]." Jay, who, according to the Southern 
Poverty Law Center’s Hate-Watch, boasted that “you will find out 
that I am interested in weapons, that I have some proficiency in 
them,” concluded: “why should muslims get a free pass? if it is 
right for muslims to kill non-believers, then why is it no less 
right for the rest of us to kill muslims? [sic]”

According to Hate-Watch, Jay “expanded on his advocacy of violence 
against Muslims to include people in positions of power.”

He commented on his blog about a magazine article regarding 
America’s “ruling class” as follows: “friends, if you wish to 
retain and preserve individual virtue, you are going to have to 
kill in order to do so. if we are to excise the ruling class, it 
will be with violence. they used violence to attain their 
privilege, they use it nakedly in the form of the s.i.e.u. [an 
apparent reference to the SEIU, the Service Employees 
International Union] and black panther thugs in elective politics 
to maintain it, they contemplate relocation camps to preserve it. 
… buy guns. buy ammo. be jealous of your liberties. and 
understand, you are going to have to kill folks, your uncles, your 
sons and daughters, to preserve those liberties. (sic)”

These are some of the people the Guardian describes as the 
“leading force in a growing and ever more alarmist campaign 
against the supposed threat of an Islamic takeover at home and 
global jihad abroad.” Their views are as extreme as one might 
imagine, yet they've come to be embraced by politicians like 
former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, and far 
too many angry, fearful Americans.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. Drop 
him an email or Follow him on Twitter.




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