Pamela Geller’s 90-minute film, Can’t We Talk About This, written by Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, enlists an all-star lineup of Islamophobes to hype the alarm over the threat of Islam to the West.
Interviews in front of green screens are spliced and often overlaid with images of Muslims, terrorists, and anti-Muslim newspaper headlines to create the storyline. Despite having to crowd fund the production and advertisements for the film, the movie has a high production value.
In the documentary, notorious Islam bashers including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Geert Wilders, Lars Vilks, Bosch Fawstin, Milo Yiannopolous, Spencer and Geller come together to attack Islam and the so-called compliance of Western politicians and law enforcement, claiming both that Islam both threatens free speech and that Muslims are the victims of liberals who are trying to protect them.
Spencer, a prolific anti-Muslim propagandist, director of Jihad Watch, and co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, says at the beginning of the film “stay quiet and you’ll be okay is what the Islamic world is saying to the US … if we stay quiet they will think it’s okay until we are completely subjugated under Islamic law.”
The film moves country-to-country, examining incidents involving Muslims around the world. While discussing the Netherlands, Bat Ye’Or — whose real name is Gisele Littman, a violently anti-Muslim person who has written several books about the harsh oppression of non-Muslims by Muslims — raises the issue of immigration, explaining “this is why they immigrate, because immigration is extremely important for conversion. It is written in the Quran that Islamic Law must dominate the whole world.” This argument is regularly exploited by members of the anti-Muslim movement to advocate for immigration restriction but is completely unfounded.
Geert Wilders, another infamous leader in the anti-Muslim movement who has repeatedly compared the Quran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf adds, “the common denominator of violence is Islam.” Wilders was previously banned from Britain out of concern his anti-Islamic views would trigger violence.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an anti-Muslim extremist who has said Islam is at war with America, tells the camera that Muslims are actually being disrespected by liberals. “When people say drawing cartoons of Mohammed is disrespectful to Mohammed I say no you are being disrespectful to Muslims because if you agree that drawing cartoons of Jesus or Moses is sacred to other people, those non-Muslims have the maturity and the sanity not to respond with violence.” Ali explains. It is, in fact, considered blasphemous in Islam to have images of God.
Raheem Kassam, editor-in chief of Breitbart London adds, “what is this actual racism or actual bigotry that the left hurls at Muslims to say you can’t handle criticism so we’re going to wrap you up in bubble wrap and defend you for you.”
Breitbart London has a long history of writing stories insinuating immigrants bring diseases and crimes. These arguments are unfounded and often cite other Breitbart articles and various anti-Muslim organizations such as Judicial Watch and Gatestone Institute.
The film then shifts to Texas. Following the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, American Muslim leaders held a conference in Garland, Texas, “Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate” in January 2015. Geller, outraged, planned her event in response, the “First Annual Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest,” aimed at antagonizing the Muslim community. After two men attacked officers at the entrance of the event, the incident came to be known as the Curtin Culwell Center attack. This resulted in Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham and other conservatives to denounce Pamela Geller’s attempt to incite the Muslim community.
As the film continues, Geller says law enforcement and politicians are afraid to act out of fear of being called islamophobic. She claims that “the people in San Bernardino saw all kinds of strange activity in the middle of the night, all this contraband to make bombs but didn’t want to say anything because they didn’t want to sound islamophobic.” Adding, “even if they said something I don’t think anything would’ve been done, law enforcement would have said oh that’s islamophobic.”
Similarly, wild claims are made by Milo Yiannopolous, who insists UK authorities turned “a blind eye to Pakistani rape gangs for 10 years” because of the “religious implications.” Yiannopolous, in addition to being an infamous member of the alt-right, is also known for his frequent dishonesty. Most recently, he lied about his home being destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
“Your freedom is under siege, it’s under war and part of the war is keeping you disarmed,” Pamela Geller warns viewers. Yet, her own film highlights the ways in which American Freedom Defense Initiative has antagonized Muslims and attacked Islam in the name of free speech.