Our VoiceIslamophobia

Pamela Geller takes outreach efforts to Hispanic church

Imagine 2050 Staff • Apr 08, 2014

The anti-Muslim agitator said she is “very concerned about the Hispanic community”

Last week, Pamela Geller appeared in California where she attempted to recruit the Latino community to join her anti-Muslim cause.

Geller, one of the leading figureheads in the organized anti-Muslim movement, was invited to address a mostly Hispanic congregation at a San Diego-based church. She was provided a translator and used her allotted time trying to recruit those in the congregation to back her anti-Muslim platform. Many of her remarks were received with applause.

“We need to get the Hispanic community involved in this fight,” she told the crowd. “We as a people; The Christians, the Jews, the Hindus, the victims must unite and fight.”

In order to win them over, Geller tailored her speech to focus specifically on the persecution of Christians and other religions in Muslim countries.

“What we are witnessing across the world,” she stated, “is the systematic ethnic cleansing of Christians and non-Muslims.”

Bringing up the persecution of Christians is a common tactic used among those in the Islamophobia movement to foment anti-Muslim sentiments and divide communities of faith. It’s clear Geller had the same goal in mind.

She also mentioned that many new converts to Islam in the United States are Latino.

“I am very concerned about the Hispanic community,” she said alongside the translator. “There is a lot of conversion to Islam in the Hispanic community.”

She added, “We need education efforts and outreach to the Hispanic community.”

Later in the speech, Geller stirred up fear that Latinos would soon be forced to work longer hours on account of Muslim employees seeking accommodation for prayer time during work hours. She touched on examples of Muslim refugees working in meatpacking plants who sued to have prayer time included during the day, citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As a result, employers have tried to extend the work day, but those plans are often abandoned. However, Geller insinuated that Hispanic workers at these plants now had to suffer as a result.

“The other workers now had to work a longer day,” she said. “And they were mostly Hispanic workers.”

Trying to pit minority communities and people of color against one another remains an ongoing tactic of the organized nativist movement. Stark parallels can be drawn between efforts within the John Tanton anti-immigrant network and Geller’s efforts to turn Hispanics against Muslims.

Geller’s Latino outreach is even more baffling considering the company she keeps. She regularly associates with Tom Trento, president and founder of the United West. Trento has gone on record making derogatory remarks about Hispanics and undocumented citizens. During a segment on his radio/TV show last year, Trento stated: “All of sudden, wetbacks, you know, illegals come over. Violating every federal law there is, violating the decency of human nature.”

Geller’s blatant attempts to turn the United States’ Latino community against the Muslim community speak to the lengths she is willing to go to further her intolerant agenda.

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