Our VoiceIslamophobia

Pamela Geller Calls on “Moderate Muslims” to Prove It & Endorse Islamophobic 18-Point Platform

Imagine 2050 Staff • Oct 29, 2013

In a column last week, anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller focused on how Muslim communities and organizations respond to acts of extremism. Geller, as she so often does, begins her piece depicting extremist acts as being reflective of Islam and its adherents as a whole. “There is a problem in Islam,” the column reads, “[s]o what is the response of the Muslim community?” According to Geller the only appropriate response by Muslims would be to endorse all points found in the extremist platform her organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), drafted earlier this year. Among other points, AFDI’s platform calls for “an immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population.”

“AFDI has issued an 18-point platform for defeating jihad in America. If Muslim groups in the U.S. were genuinely ‘moderate,’ they’d endorse every point,” Geller concludes in her October 23 column. By claiming that Muslims cannot be moderate unless they support the virtual moratorium on Muslim immigration, Geller creates an absurd, wholly unrealistic standard and expectation for what can be and who is “moderate.” Subsequently, she can further demonize any “extremist” that does not meet such a standard – allowing her to further perpetuate bigotry and fear among communities under the guise of opposing extremism.

Attempts by those in the organized Islamophobia movement to depict “moderate Muslims” as a myth or fantasy is nothing new. This spring, when notable anti-Muslim activist Daniel Pipes wrote an op-ed discussing the distinction between Islam (moderate Muslims) and “Islamism” (extremists), he was chastised and depicted as delusional. Geller quickly took to her Atlas Shrugs blog to respond, saying everyone would “like to believe in unicorns and moonbeams but this fantasy is dangerous [sic] and Pipes has wasted too much time and money on a fallacy.” Many of Pipes’ other peers in the world of anti-Muslim activism took similar umbrage with his writing.

Geller also came to the defense of former English Defence League co-leader Kevin “Kev” Carroll earlier this year when he labeled all Muslims as “backward savages, a devil-spawned death-cult worshipping [sic] all that is barbaric and unholy. Pure evil.”

Other anti-Muslim activists such as ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel opt to use deceptive rhetoric to conflate the terms “practicing Muslim” and “radical Muslim” to purportedly mean the same thing.

Such statements and standards for what does and does not constitute a “moderate” additionally ignore the persistent condemnations of extremism that so many Muslim groups and communities express. Rather than uphold and support these actions, Geller and others dismiss them as “denial and obfuscation.” The disingenuous efforts of those involved in the organized Islamophobia movement to obfuscate and downplay the presence of moderate Muslims are done to frame Muslims as a threat and alienate those in our communities they wish weren’t present. The nativist intentions of these efforts are clear-as-day. We as a society must expose this, continue to defend those that are targeted, and refuse to define extremism on extremists’ terms.

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