Thursday, May 7, 2015

Is Pam Geller wrong or right?

Activist Pamela Geller organized a free-speech conference in Garland Texas (to follow a conference hosted by Muslims a few months previous) and sponsored a contest for cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.
Of course, a couple of radical Islamists showed up, armed with assault rifles, and thankfully were taken out by an off-duty policeman working as security for the conference. He was only armed with a revolver, but he was a good marksman. Only one person was hurt, another security person was shot in the foot.
Now the backlash has begun. Rather than focus on the violence of Muslim extremists, everyone is blaming Geller for provoking the incident.
Having listened to the reasonable Laura Ingraham who argued that such an action doesn't produce any good will between people and that the cartoon contest has probably put more distance between moderate Muslims and the rest of us, I was inclined to think that she is right. In a better world, she is.
However, there are now death threats on Pam Geller, just as there are death threats on Geert Wilders who spoke up in the Netherlands against Muslim extremism. Wilders was a speaker at the conference. And Ayaan Hirsi Ali also lives with constant security because she has denounced the violence of Islam.
What we must remember is that Pam Geller never did anything violent to anyone. Yes, she provoked the attack because she believes that free speech must be protected and you can only do that by exposing the threats to free speech.
While I myself would not imitate her actions, she is absolutely right in bringing on these consequences. Perhaps because of what she did, we now know about more possible threats to our society from extremists who have spoken up after the event. And that may prevent further violence; we won't know that, but it is certainly good that these fellows have been uncovered by her actions.
Don't shoot the messenger. Pam Geller's message is not something we like to hear about, but she is certainly correct in showing that Islam denies free speech and will not stop at anything if it is offended. And that is why she is right. That belief is simply not compatible with western democracy and, in particular, with the right to free speech.
It is Pam Geller who should be protected now, not Muslim sensitivities. The policy of appeasement never works with evil. Evil simply grows and overwhelms the appeasers.
The hatred that exists in Muslim extremism is the evil here, not Pam Geller's Islamophobia. If we only understood the extent of Islamic violence, we would be as Islamophobic as Ms Geller.

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