The new book by America’s most prominent anti-Muslim agitator hasn’t even been released yet, but the distorted worldview it undoubtedly represents is already apparent.
From its very first sentence, the press release for Pamela Geller’s book, Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance, smacks of the hyperbole and shrillness for which Geller is renowned as she valiantly repels a dastardly Muslim conspiracy to take over America — a plot that doesn’t exist and wouldn’t work if it did. “Every day in America, Islamic supremacists are growing more aggressive, demanding ever more accommodation of Islamic principles and practices that contradict American freedoms,” the release, carried on PRNewswire, begins.
Are “Islamic supremacists” really growing more aggressive? That depends on who falls under that term, and that’s never clear with Geller, who firmly believes that any devout, practicing Muslim is, by definition, radical. It’s true that Muslim extremists who sympathize with Al Qaeda-like ideology (the upcoming issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report will profile 10 of them) are ramping up their efforts to radicalize Muslims in the United States and recruit them to join jihad. But there is scant evidence the American Muslim community as a whole is becoming “more aggressive.”
The second half of that opening sentence provides a clue to Geller’s mode of analysis. She and other anti-Muslim alarmists typically regard any social gesture towards Muslims – such as providing airport footbaths for Muslim taxi drivers preparing for midday prayers – as part of the ominous forward “creep” of Islamic Shariah law that will eventually topple the Constitution and subjugate all non-Muslims.
Next comes the inevitable comparison of Islam to Nazism: “Just as Patton needed a strategy to defeat Hitler, so now free citizens need a strategy to defend the rights and freedoms guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution but denied by Islamic law.” Of course, nowhere in America is Islamic law contravening or even nudging the Constitution. American legal tradition allows U.S. courts to consider foreign, international or religious law to resolve certain disputes over contracts arranged outside U.S. legal jurisdiction – but basically, unless you signed a business deal in Riyadh or got married in Tehran, it’s highly unlikely you’d ever even hear the word Shariah in a U.S. courtroom.
The press release describes Geller as the “national leader of the fight against the Ground Zero-mega mosque and of numerous other initiatives to defend freedom against the encroachment of Islamic law.”
The Park51 project in Manhattan, of course, is a perfectly legal effort to build a community center and house of worship. How can exercising one’s freedom be considered a threat to freedom? This depiction of Geller’s role in the controversy, incidentally, represents a subtle revision of history. She originally opposed the project as insensitive to the memory of 9/11 because of its proximity to the World Trade Center site, not because it represented some sort of encroachment on liberty. (Geller also adamantly denied being a “leader” of the Park51 opposition in an October 2010 New York Times interview. Now, evidently, it’s part of her résumé.)
The release declares that “the mainstream media propaganda machine stigmatizes all resistance to Islamization as leading to violence.” Could this be a reference to Anders Breivik, whose murderous attack in Norway on July 22 was driven by anti-Muslim paranoia fed by the writings of Geller and SIOA partner Robert Spencer? Geller thus dons the victim’s cloak: She and her allies aren’t demonizing Islam; they are heroic “counter-jihadists” protecting the fair West from the dark, invading Muslim hordes.
The press release by Geller’s organization, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), says Geller’s book will show how “the Justice Department is fighting for Shariah in the U.S.” (Why would it do that?); how “public officials … are kowtowing to Islamic supremacists' demands to curtail free speech about Islam” (Why would officials allow that?); and how the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated” institutions like the Department of Justice, an operation apparently only Geller and her tight band of zealots know about.
The book is scheduled for release September 6. Can’t wait, can you?