Pamela Geller’s 9/11 gathering features speaker calling for Islam to be ‘wiped out’

US Politics
on 27 Comments
Geller at 9/11 Conference Pamela Geller speaks at a September 11, 2012 conference (AP Photo/David Karp)

On September 11, most Americans carried on with their day, perhaps pausing for a moment to reflect on the terrorist attacks in 2001. But not the crew of Islamophobes who have exploited the attacks as an opportunity to foment hatred of Muslims and profit off that hatred.

Leading anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer held a September 11 gathering in New York City titled “D-Day in the Information Battle Space.” An initiative of what they call the International Freedom Defense Congress, the conference focused on “Islamic supremacist attempts to restrict the freedom of speech in the free world, and the smear campaigns against freedom fighters in newspapers and media institutions in the West,” in the words of Geller.

The gathering brought together speakers from anti-Muslim movements around the globe, including Tommy Robinson of the English Defense League, a violent far-right group. David Yerushalmi, the racist Orthodox Jewish lawyer who has lived in an illegal Israeli settlement, was a speaker as well. And David Storobin, the Brooklyn state senator who created some buzz after being photographed in an Israeli army uniform, spoke to Geller’s conference too.

It was the latest attempt by Geller and her cohort to forge cross-continental links to other anti-Muslim activists. The precursor to this event was a gathering in Stockholm, Sweden that likewise brought together a host of anti-Muslim activists from around the world. Before that, there was the founding of the Stop Islamization of Nations group, “designed to promote an umbrella network of counter-jihad groups across Europe and the US,” as The Guardian reported.

Brooklyn-based writer Aaron Labaree attended the New York September 11 gathering for Guernica Magazine. Labaree reports that Geller opened up the conference with a speech to attendees that called on “every single one” of them to “be a soldier” in the battle to “save the republic.”

By far the most disturbing aspect of Labaree’s report is this snippet:

A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan, a Hindu activist in Pennsylvania, provided one of these occasions.

“If we do not kill the bacteria,” the jowly Suseelan scolded the audience, “the bacteria will kill us.” Otherwise, he warned, “Muslims will breed like rats and they will be a majority.” Still, he concluded hopefully, “Islam can be stopped! And it can be wiped out.”

Spencer laughed, but Geller covered her face, as if witnessing the antics of a naughty child.

Geller may have covered her face, perhaps in slight embarrassment that the activists she cavorts around with have no problem calling for the “wipe out” of an entire religion. But these are her allies.

But the fact that this rhetoric was inevitable may have caused the most high-profile speaker scheduled, John Bolton, to decide it was against his better interest to attend the conference. Bolton is a top neoconservative and a former official in the Bush administration, and is now advising Mitt Romney.

Bolton is an ally of Geller, as The Nation’s Wayne Barrett noted. “Bolton, who has campaigned repeatedly with Romney, is so close to Geller and Spencer that he wrote the foreword to their 2010 book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, and has done several interviews with Geller, cozily discussing Middle East policy in couch videos,” reports Barrett. In the midst of a campaign season, though, Bolton appearing at a conference like this was bound to attract attention that the Romney campaign could do without. So even though Bolton was advertised as being a speaker at the conference, he never planned on showing.

I emailed an assistant to Bolton, Christine Samuelian of the American Enterprise Institute, before the gathering took place. Samuelian told me that the event was “not on his calendar…He has done it in the past and they may have assumed he was going to do it again this year but he did not commit to anything.”

But think again if you take this as a sign that the GOP is trying to ditch its anti-Muslim wing. The optics of a Romney adviser meeting with people who call for Islam to be “wiped out” would not be good, but the larger alliance is still there. As Labaree explains:

National politicians generally don’t get photographed with anyone who talks like Geller or Spencer, but they are happy to be associated with them at just one level of remove. Last weekend, the Family Research Council held its annual conference in Washington, D.C. The FRC’s Executive Vice President, retired General Jerry Boykin, has gained notoriety for his paranoid rants against Islam, which he has called “the religion of Satan.” The FRC conference’s featured speaker this year was Paul Ryan. And the Ground Zero Mosque affair of 2010 drew plenty of politicians of national stature, including Newt Gingrich and Rep. Peter King, of New York, who made opposition to the “mosque” his signature issue.

These politicians take SION’s position because it’s popular. Most Americans don’t get high on outrage the way Geller and Spencer do, but many are receptive to their ideas about Islam. A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found that almost half of Americans surveyed believe the values of Islam are incompatible with American values; the same percentage would be uncomfortable with a mosque being built in their neighborhood. This is theoretical, of course. Most people don’t have a mosque in their neighborhood: as of 2011, Muslims made up less than 1 percent of the U.S. population (Jews account for 1.6 percent, Mormons 1.9 percent, atheists and agnostics 15 percent). So far, the struggle in which SION attendees are supposed to be soldiers is a fantasy. But if Israel and Iran go to war, if there’s a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil—counter-jihadists and their allies will likely see their star rise. Meanwhile, Geller instructed the troops assembled to keep on blogging.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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27 Responses

  1. bobsmith
    October 2, 2012, 2:20 pm

    SION? What an appropriate name.

    • ardeshir
      October 2, 2012, 7:54 pm

      Religion of Satan?

      That would be one that like Satan, himself, cannot bear the utterance of the name of God – and like Satan, claiming it is out of “respect”.

      Invocation of divine presence and attention through the repetition and adoration of the names of God – proscribing this under any pretext is a giveaway. In Islam, there is little adoration of anything BUT the detailed and catalogued “most beautiful names” of God. No wonder Geller and these other little Satans hate with such vehemence.

      Don’t forget – what they are perpetrating is NOT merely the rhetorical. This is the network of globalised hatred which manifested Anders Behring Breivik. He was another “naughty child” for whom Geller must have, momentarily, covered her face.

  2. Woody Tanaka
    October 2, 2012, 2:49 pm

    Well, I guess by the logic of the anti-Iran crowd, the fact that Geller’s group called for Islam to be wiped out means that we can militarily attack them (to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon, of course.)

  3. seafoid
    October 2, 2012, 3:00 pm

    “Calling for Islam to be wiped out”.

    It is a bit late for that, honey. The US can’t even manage Afghanistan, FFS.

  4. Jeff Klein
    October 2, 2012, 3:06 pm

    Catchy name for Geller’s international alliance of nutbag fascist groups:

    Stop Islamization Of Nations — SION

    Has a familiar ring, no?

    But of course this initiative has nothing, nothing to do with Israel. . .

  5. Real Jew
    October 2, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I cant think of a more hateful, fear/war mongering disgusting racist bigot then Geller. I challenge everyone to name someone worse then her

    • doug
      October 2, 2012, 4:26 pm

      Among the living, Breivic.

    • ColinWright
      October 3, 2012, 1:20 am

      Real Jew says: “I cant think of a more hateful, fear/war mongering disgusting racist bigot then Geller. I challenge everyone to name someone worse then her”

      That’s easy. Some of the other people at the conference.

    • seafoid
      October 3, 2012, 3:37 am

      “I challenge everyone to name someone worse then her”

      Eli Yishai

      link to my.firedoglake.com

      Geller isn’t a government minister either

  6. FreddyV
    October 2, 2012, 3:45 pm

    ‘Spencer laughed, but Geller covered her face, as if witnessing the antics of a naughty child.’

    The #1 reason Geller needs to convert to Islam. The Hijab.

    Please, anything to keep that ugly plastic surgery distended visage covered up permanently.

    Plus it’d be a great opportunity to gag her with a sweaty jock strap to stop her spouting her crap and no one would notice.

    Edit: If her plastic surgeon is Jewish, does this comment make me an anti Semite?

  7. seafoid
    October 2, 2012, 4:21 pm

    “A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan, a Hindu activist in Pennsylvania, provided one of these occasions”.

    Hindutva is a dreadful ideology.

  8. braciole
    October 2, 2012, 5:54 pm

    Hasn’t anyone told that stupid woman, Geller, that once the EDL have “dealt” with the Muslims it will return to attacking the Jews. They attack the Muslims only because the hate them more than the Jews.

  9. Denis
    October 2, 2012, 7:24 pm

    We may laugh now, but if Romney gets elected, one of the things you’ll get is this flaming neocon John Bolton, and it won’t be as Ambassador to the UN. It will be as AG, Sec’y of State, or — most likely — USSCt justice.

    The downstream consequences of who gets elected to the WH is more about the USSCt than anything else. Republican-nominated conservatives have run the Court for 20 years, which explains a lot of the mess the US is in. If Romney is elected, that control will extend for another 20 years.

    Which brings us to Ginsburg. Lifetime judicial appointments is one of those (many) Constitutional innovations or oversights that makes one think the Fondling Fathers weren’t so smart after all. The problem is that the federal judges and justices get too senile to realize they should retire. Where else in all of government is the employee the only person who can make the decision about when to quit? Even academic tenure has an enforceable “use-by” date.

    If Ginsburg had an ounce of brains left, she would have resigned in time for Obama to replace her with a liberal just in case he didn’t win reelection. But nooooooooooooo. Her excuse for hanging on is that her idol was uber-Zionist Louis Brandeis and she wants to serve as long as he did — 23 years. Maybe it’s a Jewish thing. Unfortunately, she is not, and never has been, 1/10th as brilliant as Brandeis.

    She is 79 and has 4 more years to go to reach her goal, which means (barring death or incapacitation) Obama won’t have a chance to replace her even if he does get reelected. Hopefully, by that time either Roberts will have completed his Earl Warren metamorphosis to the left or Obama will have made at least two more appointments and it won’t matter (as much).

    If your reason for staying entrenched on the highest court in the land is to put in more years than your idol, then you are, by definition, intellectually incapable of doing the job. The good news is that Douglas wasn’t her hero — he went almost 37 years and was the best living reason for a Constitutional amendment to have ever walked the face of the earth.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    October 2, 2012, 9:20 pm

    RE: “The gathering [held by Geller and Spencer] brought together speakers from anti-Muslim movements around the globe, including Tommy Robinson of the English Defense League, a violent far-right group. David Yerushalmi, the racist Orthodox Jewish lawyer who has lived in an illegal Israeli settlement, was a speaker as well.” ~ Alex Kane

    MY COMMENT: How incestuous (speaking figuratively)! Yerushalmi is also Geller’s personal attorney.
    Who’s Behind the Anti-Islam Ads on MTA and Muni?link to motherjones.com
    David Yerushalmi and (in)SANElink to theamericanmuslim.org

    • ALSO SEE: “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11

    [EXCERPTS] You’ve gotta hand it to David Yerushalmi. Until now, I can’t recall a Jew who’s ever been called a white supremacist before (actually now that I think of it, I called him a Jewish white supremacist way back in 2007). Thanks to him, we now can. . .
    . . . I’m referring to an eye-opening expose in Mother Jones about the inspiration the Jewish extremist is offering for the anti-Muslim legal initiatives that are sweeping the south after the victory of one such campaign in Oklahoma a few months ago. . .
    . . . One of the most delicious phrases used to describe the Jewish anti-jihadi is “white supremacist,” to which I say: if the shoe fits . . . I’ve also called him a Jewish fascist. But white supremacist will do just as well.
    As Murphy notes, this is a guy who endorses the principle that “Caucasians” are superior to blacks and that Jewish liberals are a cancer in the U.S. body politic. The nearest Jewish “intellectual” antecedent I can determine would be Meir Kahane. But Yerushalmi’s views are far more radical than Kahane’s. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to richardsilverstein.com

  11. jimmy
    October 2, 2012, 9:24 pm

    her twin sister in the twin cities area (michelle bachman) has an ad attacking her rival for saying she was out of touch on the muslim issue…

    she came back and said something to the piont that muslims were bad cause what happened to the US amb in libya…

    they were meant for each other

  12. Blake
    October 2, 2012, 10:44 pm

    Kook

  13. bilal a
    October 2, 2012, 11:39 pm

    MW got it wrong , it wasnt a call for the wiping out of a religion, but for the wiping out of those people who follow that religion,ie.

    A call for Killing the bacteria of Muslims that breed like rats. (only people breed and can be ‘killed’ , not religions )

    How did this Jewish-Evangelical American subculture evolve in such a way that it is now funny to call for Genocide ?

    And isnt a call for Genocide illegal, and if not, why ?

  14. radii
    October 2, 2012, 11:43 pm

    ah the internet age … where all is recorded forever … incidents of felony hate speech, one after the other – eventually to make a case for prosecution of her and her cohorts in an appropriate jurisdiction (the U.S., The Hague …)

  15. ColinWright
    October 3, 2012, 12:01 am

    “A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan, a Hindu activist in Pennsylvania, provided one of these occasions.

    “If we do not kill the bacteria,” the jowly Suseelan scolded the audience, “the bacteria will kill us.” Otherwise, he warned, “Muslims will breed like rats and they will be a majority.” Still, he concluded hopefully, “Islam can be stopped! And it can be wiped out.”

    This isn’t the first time I’ve heard exactly this language from Hindu Islamophobes. They’re a real menace.

    I’ll point out that it also isn’t the first time we’ve had a movement that started throwing this kind of language around. This is Naziism. It’s right here.

    …and it is such a grotesque over-reaction. There’s something going on here, and it really did happen before.

  16. American
    October 3, 2012, 12:06 am

    Meant to mention before that the subway ads controversy and the woman who was arrested were on CNN news one morning last week. Geller was talked about as a racist.
    Guess that is a small msm breakthrough.

  17. ColinWright
    October 3, 2012, 12:11 am

    The Hindu nut-job isn’t really the problem. It’s that there are so many people that accord his views some validity. ‘Ja, Ja. Wirklich, Die Juden sind eine Probleme.’

  18. ColinWright
    October 3, 2012, 1:24 am

    Good line from the Wikipedia page on Geller:

    ‘…Geller denies accusations of being anti-Muslim, saying that it is “a slanderous slur and it’s unfair”…’

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 3, 2012, 1:49 pm

      RE: ‘…Geller denies accusations of being anti-Muslim, saying that it is “a slanderous slur and it’s unfair”…’ ~ Geller’s Wikipedia page

      HYPOTHETICAL DISCLAIMER BY J.B. STONER: “. . . Stoner denies accusations of being anti-Semitic, saying that it is ‘a slanderous slur and it’s unfair’ . . . ”

      FROM WIKIPEDIA [J.B. Stoner]:

      (EXCERPTS) Jesse Benjamin “J.B.” Stoner (April 13, 1924 – April 23, 2005) was an American segregationist who was convicted in 1980 of the bombing in 1958 of the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.[1]
      He was a founder and long-time chairman of the National States’ Rights Party and publisher of its newsletter, “The Thunderbolt”. Stoner unsuccessfully attempted to run as a Democrat for several political offices in order to promote his white supremacist agenda. . .
      . . . Stoner earned a law degree, and served as the attorney for James Earl Ray . . .
      . . . Stoner once said that “being a Jew [should] be a crime punishable by death”.[1] He ran the National States’ Rights Party, which attracted such fringe political figures as A. Roswell Thompson, a perennial Democratic candidate for governor of Louisiana and mayor of New Orleans. . .
      . . . Stoner ran for governor of Georgia in 1970. During this campaign, where he called himself the “candidate of love”, he described Hitler as “too moderate,” black people as an extension of the ape family, and Jews as “vipers of hell.”[1] The primary was won by civil rights supporter and future President Jimmy Carter. Stoner then ran for the United States Senate in 1972, finishing fifth in the Democratic Party primary with just over 40,000 votes. The nomination and election went to Sam Nunn.
      During his Senate campaign, the FCC ruled that television stations had to play his ads due to the fairness doctrine.
      His ads included the word “ni**er.”
      . . .
      Stoner also ran for lieutenant governor in 1974 . . .
      . . . In his 1974 lieutenant governor campaign, Stoner placed signs on the Macon Transit Company buses, which Mayor Thompson ordered removed. Stoner promptly went to federal court to secure the return of his paid signs under his First Amendment protection. . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 3, 2012, 1:59 pm

        P.S. It is quite possible that J.B. Stoner would today be a fawning admirer of Israel, much like his ideological compatriots in the EDL.

        SEE: “British Anti-Muslim Nativists Riot, Muslim Immigrant Murdered”, By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 09/10/09

        [EXCERPT] In the Be Careful What You Wish For department, John Dickerson forwarded a Daily Mail story about a race riot in Birmingham featuring rioting drunken anti-Muslim nativists who have appropriated the title of Meir Kahane’s Jewish Defense League in their own group’s name, English Defense League. The coverage features a picture of the lily-white demonstrators [EDL skinheads] proudly waving an Israeli flag. With ‘friends’ like this does Israel need enemies?

        Let me be clear about what I’m saying and not
        saying. Very few advocates of Israel, no matter their ideology, would embrace such support. I’m not saying any of Israel’s defenders have made common cause with scum like this. Nevertheless, it is important to understand how the racist nativists throughout Europe and the west see Israel. They see it as their bulwark against the hated dark Muslim hordes. Certainly, part of the reason is the anti-Muslim ideology espoused by members of the Israeli government and political right. . .

        SOURCE (WITH PHOTO) – link to richardsilverstein.com

        English Defence League – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 3, 2012, 2:07 pm

        P.P.S. MEET THE ‘ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE’ (EDL):
        This Is England, 2006, NR, 100 minutes
        Set in 1983, this semiautobiographical drama from writer-director Shane Meadows follows a lonely 11-year-old boy named Shaun as he grieves over the recent death of his father, who was killed fighting in the Falklands War. When he falls in with a gang of young skinheads, Shaun’s pain and anger make him susceptible to carrying out the group’s hateful agenda, exposing a dark side of modern Britain not often seen in the movies.
        Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Andrew Shim, Stephen Graham, Kieran Hardcastle, Frank Harper, Jo Hartley, George Newton, Jack O’Connell
        Netflix Availability: Streaming and DVD
        Netflix listing – link to movies.netflix.com
        This Is England Trailer HQ (VIDEO, 02:28) – link to youtube.com

        P.P.S. MORE OF THAT IRREPRESSIBLE URCHIN, THOMAS TURGOOSE – link to movies.netflix.com
        Somers Town, Movie Trailer (VIDEO, 02:04) – link to youtube.com

  19. DICKERSON3870
    October 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

    RE: “A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found that almost half of Americans surveyed believe the values of Islam are incompatible with American values; the same percentage would be uncomfortable with a mosque being built in their neighborhood.” ~ Alex Kane

    FROM THE 1992 FILM CHAPLIN:

    [This scene takes place just above and behind the HOLLYWOODLAND sign, to where they had ridden their bicycles. (Is that “gay”, or what?)]
    • Douglas Fairbanks: “Charles, you’re a foreigner; you’re still an outsider. You’ve never understood this country.”
    • Charlie Chaplin: “It’s a good country underneath, Doug.”
    • Douglas Fairbanks: “No, it’s a good country on *top*. Underneath, that’s what starts showing when we’re scared.”

    NOTE: The use of “*top*” means that top was said with emphasis.

    SOURCE -http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103939/quotes

    P.S. ALSO RELEVANT: “How the Power of Myth Keeps Us Mired in War”, by Ira Chernus, TomDispatch.com, 01/20/11

    [EXCERPT] “. . . White Americans, going back to early colonial times, generally assigned the role of ‘bad guys’ to ‘savages’ lurking in the wilderness beyond the borders of our civilized land. Whether they were redskins, commies, terrorists, or the Taliban, the plot has always remained the same.
    Call it the myth of national security — or, more accurately, national insecurity, since it always tells us who and what to fear.
    It’s been a mighty (and mighty effective) myth. . .”

    SOURCE – link to commondreams.org

  20. Accentitude
    October 9, 2012, 4:45 am

    Considering that most of the Arab World are descendants of the original semitic tribes, I’d consider with seriousness the irony that Pamela Gellar is in fact an anti-semite.

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