Spencer & Geller’s AFDI/JDL Canadian Event: To Be Or Not To Be?
Posted Aug 31, 2013

Spencer & Geller’s AFDI/JDL Canadian Event: To Be Or Not To Be?

by Sheila Musaji

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are supposed to speak at more than one venue in Canada in mid September, the primary one in Toronto.  They are posting lots of reminders about this event on their blogs.  A local Canadian Muslim organization requested that the hotel where the Toronto event is being held reconsider, but the hotel has decided to allow the event to continue.  Geller and Spencer are calling this a “defeat for the fascists” and objections to their talk are characterized as “free speech jihad”. 

They are being hosted by the Jewish Defense League (JDL) Event flier.  See ADL backgrounder on the JDL.  SPLC lists the JDL as a hate group.  See SPLC backgrounder on JDL.  The SPLC notes: “The JDL today has chapters in Eastern Europe, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Russia, and the United Kingdom, in addition to those in the U.S. The FBI deemed the league a right-wing terrorist group in their report “Terrorism 2000/2001.” The JDL continues to wield steady membership through its website and blog, which distort news stories in order to vilify politicians, academics, and community leaders as “anti-Semitic.”  The ADL lists the JDL as an extremist group.  The ADL notes this hateful statement on the JDL website: “We feel that [Baruch] Goldstein took a preventative measure against yet another Arab attack on Jews. We understand his motivation, his grief and his actions. And we are not ashamed to say that Goldstein was a charter member of the Jewish Defense League.”

The national director of the Canadian JDL is Meir Weinstein (aka Meir Halevi).  Weinstein is reported to have said about Baruch Goldstein and the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre ”[o]ur organization does not condemn the attack. It condemns the Israeli government for not providing adequate protection for settlers.”  He calls himself “a loyal disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane”.  Like Geller & Spencer, Weinstein is on record as supporting the EDL. ***, and in 2012 he and the JDL invited Paul Weston of the extremist BFP to speak in Toronto.

“JDL-Canada has tried to distance itself from the Jewish Defence League elsewhere, but it’s a branch-plant operation. The JDL has been deemed a terrorist organization by the FBI. Its founder, Rabbi Meir Kahane, was the leader of the Kach party in Israel: the latter, along with its successor Kahane Chai (Kahane Lives), are considered “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” by the US, and appear on Canada’s list of banned terrorist organizations as well. They’re banned in Israel, too, following Kachist Baruch Goldstein’s mass-murder of 29 Palestinians at prayer.” **

In May, when Pamela Geller spoke previously in Toronto, the synagogue where her speech was originally scheduled canceled, and the event was held instead at the Toronto Zionist Center.  The May event was also put together by Meir Weinstein and the JDL.  Here is a flier from another previous event at the Toronto Zionist Center also sponsored by the JDL

These are the individuals and events that these Islamophobes promote.  A lot of very unsavory characters. 

I have a feeling that whether or not they have a venue to speak, this speech may not happen in the end.  That is because, Canada has banned a number of individuals from entering the country based on previous inflammatory statements and activities.  For example: — In 2009, George Galloway was banned from entering Canada. — In 2010, Zakir Naik was banned from entering Canada after having banned from the UK. — In 2011, Russell Brand was banned from entering Canada because of a series of drug charges in UK. — And, In 2012 Terry Jones was banned from entering Canada.  It was reported that: Since Jones was forbidden to enter the UK in 2011, the Canadian parliament lacks power to change the bill passed by the UK.  According to the newspaper report, a bill currently before the parliament would change that, giving the immigration minister the authority to keep out foreign visitors on the grounds of “public policy considerations.”  But opposition parties have come out against it.”

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were both banned from entering the UK since their last visit to Canada. 

And, since, in the cases of both Zakir Naik, and Terry Jones, a previous ban from entering the UK was used as a precedent for banning entry to Canada, it is very likely they will be refused entry into Canada.

If this happens, they will certainly follow their predictable pattern and claim that Canadian “dhimmi’s” are “enforcing the Sharia” and repressing their freedom of speech, “kowtowing to Islamic supremacists”, “quislings”, acting like “Nazi’s and brownshirts”, all the charges against them are “smears” with no basis in fact,  blah, blah, blah.  They will claim that this is “the end of freedom in Canada”, and begin another fund raising campaign to fight against the “injustice” done to them. 

They might remember that when George Galloway (a sitting British MP) was banned from Canada it was after requests from the JDL of Canada.  Andy Lehrer reported: “Meir Weinstein, leader of the extremist Jewish Defence League of Canada, has gloated that he is responsible for the government’s decision to bar the British MP. On March 16, the JDL sent a letter to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney as well as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas) Peter Kent.”

We will have to wait until we see whether or not Canada will allow Spencer and Geller into the country.  But, even if they don’t, they might repeat something like the way their SION board member Tommy Robinson snuck into the U.S. illegally on a false passport to attend and speak at one of Geller and Spencer’s conferences. When Robinson was subsequently arrested when he returned to Britain, Geller called Robinson’s arrest “darkness descending in England” and “sharia inspired victimization!” and described Robinson as “part of our international team, members of SION’s President’s council, key players in the worldwide struggle for freedom.”  As Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch asked at that time:  “Is Geller asking us to believe she didn’t realize that her star guest, who as the Sky and BBC reports note had previously been barred from entering the US, could only have secured entry to the country by illegal means? Hopefully the US authorities will be investigating Geller’s role in this.”  And, as I added at that time, Spencer and Geller should both be investigated as they are co-leaders of the organization that hosted Tommy Robinson.



The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or that nothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence,  are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.).  Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

Here are just a few ridiculous claims about nonsensical Muslim plots:

An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”.   A children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid was described as a toxic propaganda plot.  Joel Hinrichs (a Christian) had a beard and had walked through the parking lot of a campus mosque thus proving that his crime was an example of sudden jihad syndrome.  Leon Alphans Traille, Jr., the Arlington, Virginia Mall Bomber was accused of possible “sudden jihad syndrome” just because he had a beard, obviously, a case of beard jihad.     Tyler Brehm who carried out the Hollywood shooting jihad was accused of “sudden jihad syndrome” because he shouted something that one witness from the Philippines said he might have shouted “Allahu Akbar”.  This report was not backed up by any other witnesses.  The awful April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech by a Korean student was also called Islamic jihad because Cho’s father had once worked in Saudi Arabia (before he was married and before Cho was born).    A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”.   A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became a stealth-jihad plot to impose Sharia on America.  Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad.  Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”.  A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”.  The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad. Muslims hoped to open a Muslim hospital in the U.S. and that was called hospital jihad.

The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking” Muslim jihad plots.  They have uncovered:

bumper sticker jihadThanksgiving turkey jihadpaisley scarf jihadmarriage to important men jihadspit jihad —  fashion jihadspelling bee jihadrape jihaddefacing dollar bills jihadpopulation jihadcreeping Sharia jihad —  mosque building jihadterror baby jihad“creeping Sharia” jihadpedophilia jihadbus driver prayer jihadforehead bruise jihadpostage stamp jihadsoup jihad —  banning alcohol jihadfake hate crimes jihadpiggy bank jihadtv reality series jihadhandshake jihadprom jihadinterfaith jihadArabic language jihadpublic school jihadreligious accommodation jihadCrescent moon jihadChristmas tree tax jihadoath of office jihadimmigration jihad community fundraiser jihadpublic school/madrassa jihadpost office jihadfood jihadpyramid jihadcrucifixion jihad in Egyptfireworks jihadcomputer donation jihadcivic participation jihadOlympic “judo” jihadstealth name jihadpre-violent jihadLove jihadfashion jihad 2#MyJihad ad jihadtalk show host jihadart museum jihadHalloween jihadDNC Muslim Prayer Jihadcat crucifixion jihad in GhanaScottish Muslim women’s stealth jihadanti-democracy jihadun-neighborly Musims in Paris jihadjihad on Christopher ColumbusIranian smallpox jihadMuslim Christmas grinch jihad#MyJihad twitter jihadMuslim takeover of National Parks jihad


Nothing is too trivial to escape the eagle eyes of these “defenders of Western civilization” against devious Muslim stealth jihad plots.  Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad. And, if a Muslim somewhere is not doing anything at all suspicious, then they are engaged in pre-violent jihad.

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  - we are in danger from creeping Sharia, - the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  -  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  -  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    - Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence. 

Islamophobes do not understand freedom of speech or that freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech and they are quick to call for censorship and repression of speech they don’t like.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups 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 these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   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 these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )