Last week, anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller called on her supporters to contact their state representatives and oppose a bill condemning the violence being waged in Burma against the Rohingya minority.Geller is mobilizing against House Resolution 418, a bill that calls on the government of Burma to end the persecution of the Rohingya people and to respect the human rights of Burma’s religious and ethnic minorities.
The Rohingya people, who practice Islam, are currently facing what some humanrights groups have called ethnic cleansing by Burma’s Buddhist majority population and the Burmese military. Unfortunately, Geller, who co-runs the organization American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), is doing everything in her power to advocate against any U.S. intervention because according to her, the Rohingya are “waging jihad in Burma.” Geller absurdly identifies AFDI as a “human rights” organization, however, time and again she has shown when Muslims are being persecuted, she callously takes the side of the oppressors. The situation in Burma is no different.
This is not the first time Geller has opposed aiding Muslims facing hardship and turmoil. She is one of the most prominent and vocal opponents against the United Nations-led refugee resettlement program where Muslims fleeing war-torn countries are provided refuge in countries such as the United States. Recently, the United States has taken in Syrian and Somalian refugees fleeing the brutal fighting occurring in their native countries. Geller interprets this humanitarian act as “importing jihad” and claims Muslim refugees are a threat to national security who aim to impose “Islamic supremacism” on the towns they are relocated to. In wake of the recent tragic events at the Westgate mall in Kenya, Geller and others in the Islamophobia movement used the tragedy to verbally berate and marginalize the Somali refugees currently residing in states such as Minnesota.
In her call to action against H. Res. 418, Geller also took the opportunity to once again advocate against Muslim immigration into any country. “Anywhere Muslims immigrate, conflict follows,” she wrote, trying to justify the violence and persecution currently facing the Rohingya people. However, her comments only reaffirm and reflect her disdain for Muslim immigrants and her organization’s bigoted policies toward them. Earlier this year, AFDI released an 18-point platform that outlined ways anti-Muslim activists and politicians should address the alleged threat Muslims pose to America. In it, the group called for “an immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population.” They claimed this was in the interest of national security, but in actuality it only mirrored their anti-Muslim attitudes and nativist agenda.
Geller’s call to oppose H. Res. 418 is not only immoral, but it also reveals her true character of hate and intolerance. If she and AFDI wish to be the “human rights” advocates they claim to be, then they must realize they do not get to pick and choose rights for some and not for others, and that everyone’s rights – regardless of religion or ethnicity, must be recognized and protected.