Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pamela Geller Under Attack

Mike L.

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

I was raised to root for the underdog.  I suspect that very many Jewish people of my generation were and this is part of the reason that so many Jews succumb to what I have called the Palestinian Colonization of the Jewish Mind.

Make no mistake, Geller, whose freedom of speech is constantly under assault, is the underdog in these fights.  This woman has more guts - more cajones - than most of American Jewish leadership combined.  What I fail to understand is why more of us do not rally to her cause.  She opposes Sharia law.  That's the main thing, is it not?  Sharia is Islamic religious law and it places Jewish people, Gay people, and women within an unacceptable system of brutality and oppression.  So, why shouldn't she (or any of us) oppose that?  I would think that the whole purpose of the western liberal political philosophy would be to stand up against outright oppression, but now we are told that doing so amounts to racism.
How odd.
From what I can tell the difference between Geller and many of the rest of us - aside from the fact that she is better looking and smarter - is that while we may speak of the dangers of political Islam, Geller makes no distinction between Islam and its political wing.  I generally make it a point to speak about political Islam or what others call "Islamism" or "radical Islam."  My concern is not with Islam as it is practiced and preached by the majority of Muslims and certainly my concern is not with Muslims as a group.  Nonetheless, we must acknowledge that there is a growing Islamic movement throughout the Middle East, around groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Qaeda, and Hamas, that tends towards a form of religious fascism.
We have become so politically correct in the west that we seem incapable of recognizing threats when they arise because we do not want to offend anyone.  Well, I have to say that the mullahs and ayatollahs do not suffer from the same inhibitions.  They tend to be very honest and forthcoming.  Far too many of them despise Gay people, support the oppression of women, and call for the genocide of the Jews.  Now, this assertion is either true or it is not true.  It could be that I am simply mistaken.  Or it could be that political Islam is a rising movement throughout that part of the world that directly threatens women, Gay people, and all non-Muslims.
Ask the Copts in Egypt.  They may have something to say on the matter.
If that is, in fact, the case (and it is) don't you think it might be a wise idea to notice it and say something?  One of the main differences between Geller and myself, from what I can gather, is that she is more concerned than I am about the slow creep of Sharia into western societies, whereas I am more concerned about the fact that the Jews of the Middle East are a people up against the wall.  She therefore focuses more on free speech, which is as it should be, and I am more concerned about Jihadis who chop the heads off of three month old baby girls.  The truth is that her analysis and concerns are more comprehensive and mine are more limited.
I shall have to consider that going forward.
Geller's conception of Islam is closer to that of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who claimed that there is no such thing as "moderate" Islam.  Islam is Islam and that is all.  If he is correct, and he would certainly know better than me, then Geller has a point.  Political Islam, and the violence that it sometimes entails as we recently saw in Boston, is part of Islam.  There is nothing inconsistent between what we call political Islam, or radical Islam, and the nature of Islam as a whole.
From what I can tell it is this notion, which happens to be factually the case, that gets Geller into trouble because it suggests that normative Islam is equivalent to radical Islam and that has a very serious implication about how we view Muslims.  Geller would argue that she is not opposed to Muslims as people, but opposes the system of oppression as it is embedded within Islam as a political system.
These are exceedingly serious issues and they need to be discussed, which is all that Geller wanted to do before they cancelled her talk at the strangely named Chabad Flamingo Synagogue just outside of Toronto.
Here is yet another instance of the Islamic supremacist/leftist war on free speech -- particularly egregious in the wake of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings. The message is all the more crucial now. For years, my colleagues and I labored under the most heinous circumstances. Anyone who opposes the jihad and the Sharia must endure a constant withering attack on one's name, reputation, integrity, and even spirit.
I was scheduled to speak at the Chabad Flamingo Synagogue in Thornhill, right outside of Toronto's city limits, on May 13. But now Islamic supremacist groups in Canada, with willing aid from the Canadian police, have succeeded in getting the event canceled under police pressure, and the organizers are looking for a new location.
Part of the reason that Geller is so controversial can be understood through the simple unraveling of her very first sentence.  She refers to an "Islamic supremacist/leftist war on free speech."  What this means is that from the get-go she is going to send well-meaning western-progressives screaming to the hillsides.
The very notion of Islamic Supremacism is anathema to the Obama administration and to its left-leaning supporters.  This is unfortunate given the fact that Islamic Supremacism is a rising political movement throughout much of the Islamic world.  Prior to Barack Obama the movement for Islamic Supremacism, which is the movement for Sharia and the restoration of the Caliphate, was mainly limited to Iran and a few rogue elements like Qaeda and Hamas.  Since the misnamed "Arab Spring" it is spreading throughout the Muslim Middle East and now controls, or partly controls, countries such as Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood, Tunisia, increasingly Turkey, Libya, potentially Syria, and the Sudan, among other places.
Thus "Islamic Supremacism" in the form of Sharia is a highly significant political movement that is taking over much of the Middle East and Geller is right to point a finger toward it.  She also suggests, in those mere seven words, that this movement has formed alliances with much of the western progressive-left.  I come out of the progressive-left and when I first started hearing people say such things I was rather flabbergasted.  An alliance between Jihadis and progressives?  Really?  I thought that people like David Horowitz of Front Page Magazine were if not merely wrong, perhaps malicious.  As it turns out I was the one that was wrong as I learned from the Mavi Marmara Affair.  This was a case of actual violent racist Jihadis joining with allegedly well-meaning westerners in order to confront Jews on the high seas as a matter of (get this) "social justice."
Now, how is that for a kick in the head?
I was shocked and when I asked my progressive-left friends and colleagues about this they looked at me as if I was speaking to them in Swahili.
There are, of course, many, many other instances of Jihadi-left cooperation, but again Geller is correct to point it out.  Finally, Geller suggests that this Jihadi-left axis is opposed to free speech.  Well, no one would know that better than her.
This is a woman with something to say and there is campaign afoot to suppress her ability to say it.  It doesn't matter to me if I agree with everything that Geller says, but it does matter to me that she be allowed to speak.  This is particularly true because she is standing up for universal human rights, in opposition to oppressive Sharia, which when I was growing up was supposed to be a left-wing value.
Gay people have rights.
Women have rights.
Jewish people and non-Muslims have rights.
And if we honestly believe in universal human rights it means that we should be allowed to live in dignity and freedom even in the Middle East.
I suspect that Geller would agree.

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