I’ve resisted the temptation to jump in on this story, but it has reached the point where it must be told. I’ll post BOTH sides and let you decide what, if any, feelings you might have regarding what I call “Neutering The US Constitution”.
For several years we’ve heard the warnings concerning “radical Islamist extremists” attempting to convert all non-believers (Infidels) to Islam or risk death. One of the most outspoken among us has been Pamela Geller, author of an online blog entitled Atlas Shrugs.
Outspoken Blogger & Author Pamela Geller
Geller minces no words in describing what she feels is an invasion of Islamic extremists, bent on converting the peoples of the world to their religion and imposing their law (Sharia) everywhere.
According to Wikipedia: “The name of Geller’s website and blog Atlas Shrugs is a reference to novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. Geller calls Rand “the greatest philosopher in human history”. She says her blog and its purpose are “clearly defined by Rand’s philosophy”. The blog concentrates on what Geller perceives to be a violent threat to the United States by Islamist extremists and liberal politicians.”
Geller says that claims of religious bigotry against here are unfounded because she’s not opposed to the religion of Islam – only vehemently opposed to political Islam and the move to use politics as a means to advance the religion itself.
In short, Pamela Geller has been called just about every name imaginable, but she soldiers on to speak out against Islamic jihad, particularly as it applies to her Jewish faith and American principles. She is seen and heard quite frequently on mainstream media outlets.
Geller’s most recent dustup took place just a few days ago when she purchased advertising space from the New York Transportation Authority with ads that appeared in the city’s subway system.
Here’s what that ad looks like, courtesy of American Freedom Defense Initiative/ABC News:
Subsequent to the placement of this ad, a woman named Mona Eltahawy – said to be a journalist – was videotaped spray painting it. She claimed she was exercising her Right to Free Speech by engaging in a non-violent protest. Her effort to paint the ad was defended by Pamela Hall, who also recorded the video.
Here’s a portion of what the People’s Cube web site had to say about that:
The People’s Cube
To restate the news story in one paragraph: the Egyptian-American pundit Mona Eltahawy, who likes to pose as a “liberal Muslim” on CNN and MSNBC’s weekend morning shows, has revealed herself as a savage anti-Semite and an Islamic supremacist, trying to vandalize pro-Israel ads in a New York subway station with pink spray paint (her color-coding, no doubt, inspired by the notorious Code Pink). A pro-Israel activist Pamela Hall, who has been chronicling these “controversial” ads on her blog, happened to be there and tried to protect the ad with her body, for which she was violently attacked on camera by the raging “liberal Muslim.”
As the police promptly arrested the Muslim lunatic, she screamed about her right to freedom of speech and expression, claiming a “non-violent” protest. Pamela Hall, the real defender of freedom of speech in this story, who got pink paint all over her face, clothes, and video camera, is pressing charges.”
An image with no photo credit that appears to be Pamela Hall attempting to shield the Geller ad from being spray painted by Mona Eltahawy.
Here’s the way this story was addressed by Billy Hallowell, writing at The Blaze:
“Conservative’s Anti-Jihad Subway Ad Leads to New Policies: NYC Authority Can Now Ban Ads That Could ‘Incite or Provoke Violence’ Billy Hallowell, The Blaze
The epic battle between American Freedom Defense Initiative executive director and blogger Pamela Geller and The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) culminated with a court decision that forced the transit authority to permit the display of controversial ads about radical Islam. But the story didn’t end there. As TheBlaze reported this morning, Geller’s case caused the MTA to rethink the manner in which it handles First Amendment issues, leading to the adoption of some potentially-controversial measures.”
Those immediate rules changes by the MTA included a provision which would allow them to refuse advertising that, in their opinion, might “provoke or incite violence”. If her ads are rejected based on that provision you can be certain that Geller will immediately return to federal court to have the rule struck down as a violation of her First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech. And, based on this analysis, she would have a very strong case:
“Since 1838, there have been only a handful of blasphemy prosecutions in the United States, and a broad consensus has emerged that Jefferson and Adams had it right. In 1952, the Supreme Court of the United States finally put the matter to rest in Burstyn v. Wilson, holding in a unanimous decision that “it is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine” or to protect “any or all religions from views which are distasteful to them.” The First Amendment, the Court declared, renders any such government action unconstitutional. Religions and religious figures, like political parties, politicians, businessmen, and other members of society are fair game for criticism, condemnation and even mockery.” [...]
“Apply this to the current situation, and the implications are obvious. If we punish American citizens for engaging in otherwise constitutionally protected speech in order to prevent foreign terrorists from engaging in violent acts, then we cede to those very terrorists the meaning of the First Amendment. That doesn’t sound very promising, does it?”
Pamela Geller is a very approachable celebrity. She’ll engage in discussion and, yes even serious debate, with just about anyone, anytime, anywhere and, if pushed, she’ll push back twice as hard. She is to this issue what Andrew Breitbart was to corrupt politicians and the Occupy Wall Street movement all rolled into one.
I attempted to engage Ms. Eltahawy via Twitter to get her side of this issue for this report. After my initial contact, my Twitter account was mysteriously suspended and it doesn’t appear it will be reinstated anytime soon, if at all. Why? I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know Eltahawy, have never spoken to her and have never seen anything that she, as a journalist, has ever written or said. Perhaps she read my Twitter profile and instantly decided I wasn’t worthy of a Twitter account.
It has been a year or two since I’ve spoken with Pamela Geller, but I feel quite confident that she would find the time to respond to an Email or phone call.
I would like nothing better than to present both sides of a particular issue before making ANY personal observations because “that’s how I roll”, however that seems to be out of the question at this moment in time.
From what I can see at the moment, we have one party attempting to use an American Constitutional Right to deny another party of that very same Constitutional Right.
I’ll let you decide which is which.
The author USED to be contacted on Twitter @GoldenEagle