People often ask me why Leftists are so eager to collaborate with Islamic supremacists, as they find it curious that they would enable those who would destroy them for their moral transgressions under Sharia. There are many answers, including a shared taste for authoritarianism, and that may be what is in play here, since Chris Stedman openly avows that he is trying to silence us, trying to intimidate the fundraising site Indiegogo into shutting down our fundraiser. Certainly both Leftists and Islamic supremacists are enemies of the freedom of speech.
"Stop trying to split gays and Muslims," by Chris Stedman in Salon, April 2:
I have an earnest and sincere question for the LGBT community: Do you support Pamela Geller?
The link Stedman puts on Pamela Geller's name goes to the Southern Poverty Law Center's defamatory profile of Geller. The SPLC, while it may have once done good work against racism, has now degenerated into a well-heeled propaganda machine that smears conservatives for cash and is an integral part of the ongoing Leftist effort to demonize and destroy those who oppose them by labeling them "hate groups." The SPLC richly deserves its place on AFDI's Threats to Freedom Index.
Anyway, does Pamela Geller have support in the gay community? She answers this question in her American Thinker article today:
And he claims I have no support among gays. Let him talk to Michael Lucas, the famous gay adult entertainment magnate. "I just returned from Tunisia (and I travelled half the Muslim world)," Michael wrote me today, "and I think gay Muslims, or I should rather say gay Arabs, would agree with your ads because they know first hand the persecution they undergo on a daily basis, It is a shame that, instead of fighting for the rights of LGBT people in Muslim countries, 'political gays' are fighting against you. You are doing a fantastic job uniting people against evil and waking Americans up. Gays should join your movement."...
Pat York of my organization Stop Islamization of America (SIOA)'s LGBT division says: "The American LGBT community is just as woefully uninformed about the harsh, deadly, current realities of Islam as anyone else. It is for this reason that an LGBT division of SIOA was recently created. The American LGBT community is allowing itself to be deceived and used for political reasons. As a community we do not need the stigma of being allied with a group that is dedicated to 'destroying western civilization from within'" - as the Muslim Brotherhood has stated in a captured internal document.
Cynthia Yockey, who blogs as "Conservative Lesbian," wrote: "Pamela Geller is a true friend of the LGBT community. She has the courage to tell the truth about the menace of Islam. I admire her and respect her work."
And gay activist Mark Koenig wrote: "I am a gay man living in Atlanta, GA, and I have an honest and sincere answer for Mr. Stedman: Not only do I categorically support Ms. Geller, I consider her to be a freedom-fighter of the highest order. She has endured years of slander and even death threats from supporters of the evil ideology that is Islam, simply for telling the truth about it. Mr. Stedman is evidently ignorant of the unconditional condemnation and death-sentence prescribed for homosexuals in the Islamic holy texts. This is more than just an aberrant interpretation or a small group of 'extremists' who take these writings literally and act upon them. Homosexuals are routinely executed in Islamic countries simply for BEING homosexual. In fact, Israel is the ONLY nation in the Middle East where gay people can be open about their sexuality without fearing for their lives."
In response to this, Stedman has already tried to smear Lucas as a bigot; he has completely ignored the others. And read on to see just how honest Chris Stedman, the Assistant Humanist Chaplain and the Values in Action Coordinator for the Humanist Community at Harvard, really is.
Geller, who is one of the most active proponents of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States, rose to notoriety as one of the key instigators of the Park51 backlash, misrepresenting a proposed Islamic Community Center (think a YMCA or Jewish Community Center) by calling it the “Ground Zero mosque” and engaging in dishonest rhetoric and blatant fear-mongering. Her organization, Stop the Islamization of America, was identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, alongside extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis. And it’s earned that label — Geller and her allies have dedicated countless hours and millions upon millions of dollars to drum up hatred, fear and xenophobia toward Muslims.
"Anti-Muslim": Leftists and Islamic supremacists favor this label because it implies that those who are fighting to defend the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience and equality of rights for all are actually against a particular group, and want to deny them rights rather than protect the rights of all. It is a particularly repugnant canard not only because it suggests that defending freedom and human rights constitutes bigotry, but because it paints a huge target on the backs of those to whom the label is applied -- a target that those who style themselves the defenders of Islam are all too eager to take a shot at.
"...misrepresenting a proposed Islamic Community Center (think a YMCA or Jewish Community Center) by calling it the 'Ground Zero mosque...'" A YMCA or a Jewish Community Center? Which of those house a church or a synagogue? In fact, it has recently been revealed that this "Islamic Community Center" is simply a mosque and nothing else, and it is at Ground Zero.
Re the SPLC: see above. While Leftists constantly invoke its "hate group" designation as if it actually means something, they never explain (and never could explain) why the SPLC actually has any credibility in designating "hate groups" in the first place.
Re "millions upon millions of dollars": This is based on a Center for American Progress report. The Center for American Progress is an extraordinarily well-funded and anti-Semitic hard-Left organization that conflates money received by "Islamophobic" organizations over a period of ten years to give the impression of a huge sum funding some coordinated machine -- when in fact the aggregate amount was less than the budget of the Center for American Progress for one single year, and was spread among seven quite disparate organizations. In reality, those resisting jihad and Islamic supremacism are few and ill-funded, facing a giant, fabulously wealthy media and propaganda machine of which Stedman is an exponent. AFDI has never had millions and millions of dollars, or even a single million.
Last week I learned that Geller and one of her biggest allies, Robert Spencer, are hosting a fundraiser for their anti-Muslim advertisements on the website Indiegogo. This disturbed me for a number of reasons, but particularly because Indiegogo’s terms explicitly prohibit “anything promoting hate.” (Despite reports from me and many others, Indiegogo has so far declined to remove the fundraiser; if so inclined, you can let them know what you think about that here.)
Amazing that a gay activist would smear an initiative calling attention to the Sharia oppression of gays as "promoting hate." Such is the Orwellian world we live in today.
While I was looking into this, I discovered that Geller recently announced plans to run a series of anti-Muslim advertisements in San Francisco quoting Muslim individuals making anti-LGBT statements. Why? Because members of San Francisco’s LGBT community criticized other anti-Muslim ads she has run there.I tweeted my appreciation that the LGBT community in San Francisco is standing up against her efforts to drive a wedge between LGBT folks and Muslims. Soon after, Geller retweeted me, claiming that she in fact has “huge support in Gay community.” Immediately, her supporters began to lob insults and even threats at me; Spencer himself suggested that I should be rewarded for supporting Muslims by someone “saw[ing] off [my] head.” (Meanwhile, though Geller, Spencer and their supporters kept tweeting at me that Muslims “hate gays” and want to kill me, many Muslim friends and strangers alike tweeted love and support for LGBT equality at me.)
As things settled down, I realized that Geller had stopped responding to me when I requested more information to back up her assertion that she has “huge support in Gay community,” after the only evidence she provided was a link to a Facebook group with 72 members. I’ve since asked her repeatedly for more information, but have not gotten a response.
"I couldn’t think of a single LGBT person in my life that would support her work": That reminds me of the lady, a member of the Leftist elite, who was shocked when Ralph Nader wasn't elected President in 2000. "Everyone I know voted for Nader!" Anyway, Stedman then quotes some gay spokesmen who share his suicidal taste for defaming the defenders of gays who suffer under Sharia, and then he goes on to this:
I couldn’t think of a single LGBT person in my life that would support her work, but I didn’t want to go off of my own judgment alone. So I started asking around. It wasn’t hard to find prominent members of the LGBT community who do not share Geller’s views.
As Junaid Jahangir writes in a recent piece at the Huffington Post, “[Geller’s] selective references provide a misguided view of the current Muslim position on queer rights issues.” He rightly notes that her advertisements lift up the views of a controversial Muslim cleric, but ignore the “over 2,500 Muslim intellectuals from 23 countries [that] not only called for an international treaty to counter such clerics, but also called for a tribunal set by the United Nations Security Council to put them on trial for inciting violence.” In his piece, which is a must-read, Jahangir goes on to quote many influential, pro-equality Muslim leaders. Pointing to the activism they are doing to support LGBT rights, he demonstrates that Geller is unfairly — and dangerously — presenting a skewed picture of Muslim views on LGBT people.
So these 2,500 Muslim intellectuals called for an international treaty to counter the Muslim clerics who were calling for the execution of gays. In doing so, did they quote them? Almost certainly. But that is what Stedman and his allies are objecting to. Did Stedman denounce those Muslim intellectuals for quoting Muslim clerics who want to kill gays, and calling for action against those clerics. Of course not. He would say that the difference between us and those intellectuals is that they didn't claim that all Muslims want to kill homosexuals, but neither did we. Our ads never say such a thing. And anyway, the fact that some Muslims don't want to kill gays does not cancel out the fact that some do. To say that one cannot call attention to Sharia oppression of gays because some Muslims oppose that oppression would cut the ground out from under those Muslims who do oppose it -- for if they call attention to Sharia oppression of gays, by Stedman's logic they should be silenced along with Pamela Geller and me, since some Muslims oppose that oppression.
You'll never guess who Stedman drags in next:
“There’s no question that homophobia is rampant among the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims — but that doesn’t negate the fact that there are huge groups of Muslims who have easily reconciled their faith and sexual orientation, like LGBT people in other faith communities,” said Reza Aslan, author of “No God but God” and “Beyond Fundamentalism,” in a recent phone interview. “For a woman who leads an organization that has been labeled a hate group to try to reach out to a community like the LGBT community, by trying to make a connection based on bigotry, is harmful and ridiculous. Bigotry is not a bridge.”
I wonder if Stedman knows that Aslan likes to ridicule those whom he hates by claiming that they're gay -- like a sixth-grader on a playground. In any other context, Stedman would be denouncing Aslan as a homophobe for those emails to me. Aslan has also recently been unmasked as a Board member of a front group for Iran's bloody Islamic regime, which hangs gays from cranes. Stedman quoting Aslan in favor of gay rights is like quoting Josef Goebbels to denounce anti-Semitism.
Stedman's article goes on and on -- but all his subsequent criticisms are predicated on the false claim that our ads say that all Muslims want to kill gays. Even if the ads did say that, it is hard to see why Stedman would think that it is more important to denounce and defame us and shut us down than to devote his energies to opposing the Islamic supremacists who really do want to murder gay people. But that's why they call people like Chris Stedman Useful Idiots.