Geller & Spencer’s reprehensible attack on Imam Qazwini

Geller & Spencer’s reprehensible attack on Imam Qazwini

by Sheila Musaji

Imam Hasan Qazwini, a Shia scholar and Imam of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn gave a khutba (sermon) on Friday in which he spoke about Islamophobia and bigotry and an event coming up next Sunday.  The event is the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference sponsored by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and their hate group the AFDI/SIOA.

Pamela Geller posted Islamic Center of America, Dearborn: Pro-Honor Killing Imam Incites Against Pamela Geller at Friday Prayer in which she said

Here is a leading Muslim imam denouncing me, libeling me, defaming me because I am fighting for the human rights of Muslim girls. We are turning people away from the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference and requests are still coming in fast and furious.

Here’s a video of the imam of the Islamic Center of America, Dearborn, in his Friday English sermon, in which he warns his congregants of my impending visit. Here’s the thing: no rabbi would ever get up in front of a congregation and badmouth someone like this. Ever. It’s just completely, wholly different.

At minute 28:23, this “religious figure” wails that a bigot is coming to Dearborn on Sunday. “Bigot” “basher” who claims that I am doing this money (as if there is a living in this ......) The imam warns of a “big conspiracy” against Muslims.

He goes on to lie about honor killing.

Geller’s partner Robert Spencer posted his own article parroting most of Geller’s nonsense and adding his own unwarranted insults.  He says that Imam Qazwini was “railing against Pamela Geller” and that the “imam’s words are unconscionable and clearly constitute incitement”.  He also says “If the mainstream media narrative about Islam were true, this imam and others would be standing with us against Islamic honor killing.”

They both include the video of Imam Qazwini’s sermon.  It is the only thing in their articles worth checking out.  It is a very nice sermon,  There is no “incitement”, Geller isn’t “libeled” or “defamed”.  The worst she is called is a “bigot” and an “Islam basher”.  The Imam never “rails”, but speaks in a gentle voice, simply discussing the facts.  The Imam discusses the existence of a number of worrisome anti-Muslim incidents including biased military and police training, and says that among some Islamophobes there appears to be a conspiracy against Muslims which goes beyond any question of differences over ideology.  He mentions the event coming up next Sunday (Geller & Spencer’s Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference) and says that the title is problematic as all the facts are not yet known.  He says that these Islamophobes are trying to marginalize us and that we need to object and to speak up because we are Americans just like everyone else and have the same rights as all other Americans.  Asking people to be aware and to speak out against bigotry is not incitement by any definition.  Criticism of bigotry is not incitement by any definition.

I can’t believe that any reasonable person could watch this video and come to the same ridiculous conclusions as Spencer and Geller.  The only rational explanation for this fraudulent story is to raise the fear level in their readers who will then be more generous with their donations, and that seems especially likely since only an hour after posting these vicious articles, they posted another asking for donations to cover the extra expenses for their security at their event in Dearborn this Sunday.  This would not be the first time they used this despicable tactic.

Imam Qazwini is a well-respected Shia scholar, and is also on the Fiqh Council of North America, and when in the course of his sermon he says that Islam does not allow honor killing, that is a statement of his scholarly opinion and teaching on this subject.  He is telling all of the Muslims that are listening to his sermon that it is his educated opinion that ISLAM DOES NOT ALLOW HONOR KILLING.  He is standing against it.  This is not a lie.  It is what the man teaches.  To call a Muslim scholar who teaches people that Islam forbids honor killing a “pro honor-killing Imam” is nothing but bigotry, hatred, and Islamophobia.  Such turning of the truth on it’s head is the normal pattern for Spencer and Geller.

As to Geller’s claim about the moral superiority of Jewish rabbis, she is simply lying when she says “no rabbi would ever get up in front of a congregation and badmouth someone like this. Ever.  Actually, Rabbi’s have actually gone well beyond calling someone a bigot, an Islam basher, and a self-promoter (which is the worst that Imam Qazwini said about Geller).  A few examples of such reprehensible statements by rabbis can be found in our TAM article Jewish “Ahavah shel achvah” Brotherly Love is Difficult for Some to Attain

I think that even Pamela Geller would recognize many of those statements as actual examples of incitement.  The lunatic fringe exists in all religions, and examples of actual incitement by crazy mullahs, rabbis, priests, and ministers are not difficult to find, and need to be opposed by all decent people.  Using the term “incitement” as if “criticism” and “incitement” are interchangeable as Geller and Spencer have done here not only bigoted, but counter-productive to any effort to speak out against real incitement.  Pointing this out is only necessary when someone like Pamela Geller (who is Jewish) attempts to use religion as a weapon to create an “us” vs “them” mentality which does no one any good. 

Here are just a few quotes from Geller and Spencer that I believe are also excellent examples of what actually constitutes incitement:

— “I would like to feel all warm and fuzzy and embrace the moderate Muslim/ meme but they show no evidence of their existence - not in any real number anyway. The only voices of reason in the Muslim world are lapsed Muslims or apostates.
— ”Devout Muslims should be prohibited from military service. Would Patton have recruited Nazis into his army?”
— “Al-Qaeda is a manifestation of devout Islam ... It is Islam.
— ”Muslims have no right to invoke Moses and Abraham. This is a delegitimization of Judaism. It is offensive and vile. And while Jesus is not my guy, the same thing goes for him. It is a delegitimization of Christianity. These are not Muslim prophets.”
— “Hitler WAS inspired by Islam”
— “Islam is a mental illness”.
— “How dare they use the word “extremists”? That is islamophobic! These are devout Muslims. There are no moderates. There are no extremists. Only Muslims.”
— ”Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth.” Geller said “I do believe that if you’re a follower of traditional Islam, of pure Islam, then you support jihad.

— “Islam itself is an incomplete, misleading, and often downright false revelation which, in many ways, directly contradicts what God has revealed through the prophets of the Old Testament and through his Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh… For several reasons… Islam constitutes a threat to the world at large.”
— “I have maintained from the beginning of this site and before that that there is no reliable way to distinguish a “moderate” Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a “radical” Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn’t acting upon them at the moment.
— “The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.”
— “I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists

Geller and Spencer are serial liars.  These people consistently promote what I call the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims.  They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.   There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that they are featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that they are featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that they are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 



A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry

Geller & Spencer’s Human Rights Conference Another Anti-Muslim Hate Fest, Sheila Musaji

Spencer and Geller’s “Defense”: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing, Sheila Musaji