On Jan. 17, a group of community members from Dallas and the surrounding areas came together under the banner of “One Love” to challenge the anti-Muslim fearmongering and bigotry in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Their message was simple: “There’s room enough for everyone.”
They gathered outside of a conference titled “Stand with the Prophet,” an event organized by and for Muslims who were both “frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet” and “fuming over extremists like ISIS who give a bad name to Islam.”
As promised, Pamela Geller and several followers showed up, calling the event “Avenge the Prophet” to falsely claim that Muslims in Texas (and across the world) stood with the Charlie Hebdo murderers, even as participants inside emphatically condemned the attacks.
Dallas-area resident Huma Yasin attended the One Love event and described the scene in a recent post on Medium. She also explains how Geller, Fox News and others have tried to systematically bully Muslims in Texas.
Yasin writes, “I have never experienced that level of hate in such close proximity, real, palpable hatred.”
She captured some of that intense scene, up close on video and posted it on YouTube:
“Organized under the pretense of supporting free speech, Pamela Geller and her sheep traveled from across the country to descend upon a Dallas suburb, where a Muslim American media group had organized an event called: “Stand with the Prophet Against Terror and Hate.” Geller, unilaterally re-termed the event “Avenge the Prophet” to falsely associate these (and all) Muslims with the Charlie Hebdo murderers, when in fact the event was specifically aimed at driving home the point that these and other terrorist acts were to be condemned.
“When Geller promulgates a baseless lie, she is transparent. Taking center stage at her hate rally, she preached: ‘When you come to these rallies, you have to know something. You have to know that you’re walking onto a stage, you have to know that this is a theater and the media is the director.’
“Fictional theater for Ms. Geller has tangible and devastating consequences for Muslims in America. I have never experienced that level of hate in such close proximity, real, palpable hatred. Protesters waved signs like: “Bible & Gun,” “Go Home & Take Obama With You,” and “Islam Breeds Hate.” Bikers circled Muslims praying, revving their engines to drown out the prayer, and shouting epithets through megaphones while Muslims prostrated. Protesters pushed and screamed, attempting to provoke violence, but One Love Rally members refused to engage, linked arms, and protected one another. In life, things are rarely 100% pure, but if there was ever a pure contrast, Saturday was the moment — one side exemplified bitter hatred and the other love and compassion.”