Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller Turn Another Tragedy Into an anti-Muslim Hate Fest

Sheila Musaji

Posted Dec 28, 2011      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller Turn Another Tragedy Into an anti-Muslim Hate Fest

by Sheila Musaji

On Christmas day, in Texas, Aziz Yazdanpanah murdered 6 of his family members and then committed suicide.  He and his wife were going through a divorce and bankruptcy.  He had been unemployed for some time.  The family had just opened their presents by the Christmas tree when he killed them.  The family was Muslim.  **

In October, Sam Friedlander murdered his wife and two children and then committed suicide in New York.  He and his wife were going through a divorce and attempting to sell their home.  The family was Jewish.  **

Last year Neal Jacobsen murdered his wife and two sons in Florida.  The family was going through financial difficulties, and he was suffering from depression.  He was a board member of the local Jewish Community Center ** and **

In Fayetville, N.C., Troy Ryan Bellar murdered his wife and three teen-aged children.  The family was experiencing financial difficulties.  The family attended Snyder Memorial Baptist Church where Bellar was a deacon.  **

What do these four tragic stories have in common?  Stress, financial problems, marital problems, depression, mental instability, social isolation, easy access to guns.  Any combination of these may have contributed to these tragedies.  This sort of tragedy happens all too often, and it is heartbreaking.  The surviving family and friends of the victims suffer greatly, not only from the loss of their loved ones, but also very often from soul-searching about whether or not they had failed to see some sign that the perpetrator might commit such a crime.

What these four tragic stories do not have in common is religion.  Two of the families were Jewish, one Muslim, and one Baptist.  To assume that any such crime comitted by a Muslim automatically makes it an honor killing is outright bigotry.  To assume that any criminal, crazy, or perverted act carried out by an individual who happens to be a Muslim makes that an Islamic crime is outright bigotry.

Immediately after the Yazdanpanah tragedy, Pamela Geller posted an article calling this an “Islamic honor killing”.  She called this a “horror caused by and sanctioned by Islamic beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes.”  And, of course, her partner Robert Spencer also posted his speculations.

What kind of human being can be so cruel as to use such a tragedy to further the cause of demonizing an entire religious minority?  What kind of human being can allow their hatred to add additional pain for the surviving family members and friends?  This goes beyond Islamophobia into the realm of blind hatred towards Muslims.

The comments under Geller and Spencer’s articles show that their faithful readers have absorbed this hateful poison that they are spreading. 

Here are a few comments under Geller’s:  — What a waste of life. Islam = hate and murder. Islam offers NOTHING to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Absolutely nothing. — Darn, I bet it was a Southern Baptist! Kidding, I knew even with the Santa outfit it was a Muslim. No costume can disguise their barbarity. — These people do NOT come here for freedom. They come here to infiltrate and eventually take over. It is the Third Jihad —  The satanic cult of death REQUIRES BLOOD SACRIFICE for any number of offenses: being non-muslim, apostasy, misbehavior, disobedience, insulting the pedophile prophet of death, drawing the pedophile prophet of death, dating, etc.  These are only pious demon worshipers practicing their demonic cult, fully protected, by an army of feds and prosecutors all of whom report to comrade holder, as a *religion*.Takbir! — All muslims are ticking time bombs, you never know what will set them off or when it will happen. — We need to stop Muslims from emigrating to this country. They will never accept out [sic] Christian way of life. They are disruptive and intolerant. We should let people into this country who would appreciate what we have to offer and not bring their baggage with them.

Here are a few comments under Spencer’s article — I blame the lame stream media and our ignorant politicians for America just letting herself be invaded by these SAVAGES. I can’t believe I’m living to see this happen. WHEN WILL WE CLOSE THE BORDERS TO MUSLIM IMMIGRATION??????? — Islam just doesn’t seem to let its adherents behave in a sane, civilized way. Must be an Allahrgy of some kind. —  Yes, I wonder if he attended a “mosque” (terrorist training center), and if so, which one? — We are AT WAR! —  These Muslims cannot be called human beings!! Following that monster Mo/allah, they become a monster like him and they proudly display their allegiance to that monster. There is no other word to describe them, monster comes fairly close - some may call them beasts but I think beasts have better ethics then them. —  We have a long way to go until we educate the public about this disease called ISLAM. — All American Muslim, Christmas edition. So, when’s TLC going to cover THIS, or any regular main stream media? We have to rely on the NEW media for the truth! Islam is cruel and barbaric. It’s not tolerant, and doesn’t seek to coexist.

Geller and Spencer have shown time and time again that they have a tenuous grasp of the concept of “truth telling”.  They have attempted to conceal evidence when they have been caught in lies and distortions.  They have also shown time and time again that they have no qualms about exploiting a tragedy to further their own agenda.  The Belgian shooting tragedy, and the Hollywood shooting tragedy are just two of the most recent examples.

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 Geller is 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 Geller is 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 Geller is featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

As I said in a previous article

Pamela Geller’s Islamophobia is clouding her judgement about how closely anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and all other forms of bigotry are linked.  Encouraging and condoning bigotry towards any minority ultimately can come to hurt all minorities.  Her ravings against Islam and Muslims are appealing to a certain segment of the population who need to have someone to blame and to look down on.  It is if she is taking a stick and sticking it into a hive of hornets and shaking it around and hoping she can control who those hornets sting. 

When she opposes halal slaughter of animals and calls it “cruel”, it isn’t going to be long before her audience notices kosher slaughter.  When she opposes not only particular interpretations of some specific aspects of Sharia, but all of Sharia, it isn’t going to be long before her audience sees the similarities between Halakha and Sharia.  If it’s alright to take away Constitutional protections from Muslims, or any other particular minority, then it isn’t going to be long before her audience realizes they can take them away from others who they were never that fond of in the first place.

...  If you take a stick and stir up a hornets nest, you can be pretty certain of the results, and there will be no way to control who gets stung.  Bigotry is bigotry, and it doesn’t matter who the target is.

UPDATE 12/29/2011

I’m not the only one who noticed this despicable and cruel behavior on the part of Geller and Spencer.  Charles Johnson called this “trying to take advantage of a terrible crime to advance their un-American agenda.  ...  To recap: Yazdanpanah killed his family members while they were all celebrating Christmas and then committed suicide. He was wearing a Santa suit. His life was falling apart in just about every possible way.  But to these vile bigots, it had to be an “honor killing” — for no other reason than the man’s nominal Muslim faith. It’s almost unbelievably disgusting.”

After Johnson wrote this article, Spencer and Geller engaged with him in a back and forth twitter exchange.  Johnson published the full exchange here

Richard Bartholomew published an article in which he commented about this twitter exchange Johnson pointed out problems with the honour killing motive in Texas – according to Spencer, this means that Johnson supports the killer’s “ideology” , that he is “making excuses” for the killer, and that he must be doing so for money. Further comment on that is superfluous.  Of course, the above doesn’t tell us anything new about Spencer and how he operates, although it is a particularly egregious example of why this man should not be taken seriously by anyone who is concerned about honour killings or any other matter of public concern. It’s remarkable that a public figure like John Bolton would debase himself by endorsing Spencer’s work.”

Bartholomew then notes that Spencer and Geller’s hate group AFDI/SIOA will be holding a conference “to exposing the plight of women under Islamic law” in Dearborn, Michigan in May.  He notes In other words, a conference on “ the plight of women under Islamic law in Dearborn” will include only one speaker local to the area, and he’s a evangelist who is focused on the need for Muslims to convert to Christianity. Familiar anti-Islam polemicists will be there, but no-one who has any professional expertise or personal experience of honour killings in the USA. Spencer’s exchange with Johnson shows us what level of discussion to expect.  Last year, Geller and Spencer trumpeted their commitment to providing “safe houses” for those at risk from honour killings – a fairly useless website was created, but there’s no evidence that anyone has since benefited from any practical assistance.”

I would have to add that it seems that this most recent exploitation of a tragedy ahead of such a conference makes sense (in a very sick way) as a way to promote the conference and sell more tickets.