'Hate campaigning': Meet the woman behind the Texas sacreligious caricature contest

Published: May 4, 2015
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'This is a war,' Geller wrote on her blog after the shooting. 'This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?' PHOTO REUTERS

'This is a war,' Geller wrote on her blog after the shooting. 'This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?' PHOTO REUTERS

The organiser of the Texas cartoon contest, where two suspected assailants were gunned down on Sunday, has had had a long history of propagating provocative propaganda against Islam, so much so that the the group had been labelled as a ‘hate group.’

Prior to the Garland event, Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has run campaigns opposing the the construction of an Islamic center and for acquiring advertising space across the country to orchestrate a drive against Islam.

For Sunday’s event, Geller had promised a $10,000 award to the person who came up with the best sacrilegious cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The AFDI is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Read: Two dead, one wounded at Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) cartoon contest in US

The 56-year-old blogger is already a controversial figure and was quick to term the shooting as a ‘war on free speech’.

“This is a war,’ Geller wrote on her blog, Atlas Shrugs. “This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?”

Geller has spearheaded campaigns to post controversial ads in the New York City transit system since 2010. PHOTO AFP

Sacrilegious drawings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are seen as an insult by many followers of Islam, and most recently was cited as the reason for the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo which left 12 people dead.

Read: #JeSuisMuslim: Cartoons honouring Chapel Hill victims emerge on social media

According to the views of the mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous.

A watchdog explains Geller’s work as “prone to publicising preposterous claims, such as President Obama being the ‘love child’ of Malcolm X, and once suggested that recent US Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagen, who is Jewish, supports Nazi ideology.”

Read: At least 12 killed in Paris massacre

Gellar had a built a media career from the New York Daily Times and New York Observer and lived as a well-off housewife and mother on Long Island.

The controversial campaigner had spearheaded a campaign to restrain construction of the so-called ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ from commencing in Manhattan and it rapidly became popular among the anti-Islam circles.

Moreover, in recent times, Geller and her associates had sued New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority after the administration did not agree to post on its buses and subways one of four ads taken up by the organisation in 2014 which could incite violence.

According to Judge John Koeltl, while giving a verdict in April, the incendiary ad was actually speech protected under the law.

The article originally appeared on Mail Online

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Hmm
    May 5, 2015 - 12:15AM

    Bring this competition online, we can also participate, whole world can participate, including the educated muslims .Recommend

  • Meshuga
    May 5, 2015 - 12:54AM

    What is sacrilegious in one religion is not in another. Ms. Gellar is a Jew and Robert Spencer, her “co-conspirator” is a Christian. Texas is deep in the heart of Bible Belt and a deeply “patriotic state” (even though its previous governor tried to secede from the Union when Obama first became President). Indeed, the meaning of sacred varies from faith to faith.Recommend

  • Raja Porus
    May 5, 2015 - 1:07AM

    This woman is the daughter of IbleesRecommend

  • lancerboy
    May 5, 2015 - 6:37AM

    No comments from pseudo liberals?None of their concerns.I strongly condemn hate speech against icons of any religion. Have Muslims,ever, made a deliberate attemot to target the persona of Jesus or Moses? Because both are revered as Prophets of Islam.And what do these hate mongers achieve in the name of so called free speech,more hatred and division between different faiths.Recommend

  • Aamir-Toronto
    May 5, 2015 - 7:07AM

    She is not a promoter of so called “free speech” in fact she is an avid hate monger !!!! Recommend

  • meshuga
    May 5, 2015 - 10:32AM

    @Aamir-Toronto: Can you really be objective about this person or subject?Recommend

  • Lord of the Ring
    May 5, 2015 - 10:59AM

    “Enlightened liberals” have the same modus operandi in the West and East (Pakistan).

    In the West they’d target Muslims but will never dare do anything similar

    against Jews.

    In the East they’d target Pakistan and its defence forces but will never

    dare do anything similar against India and its sponsored terrorism

    in Pakistan.

    Both are solid sordid petty hypocrites.Recommend

  • ajeet
    May 5, 2015 - 11:55AM

    One woman is enough to shake up a particular group.Recommend

  • Stranger
    May 5, 2015 - 12:24PM

    Where was the need to start such a competition in the first place . when they dont want a face for thier gods then we must respect their wishes . They dont believe in idol worship. how can any one correctly imagine their god. Whatever happens to me happens only bec of me . This time Uncle Sam is totally resp for whats happening . They could have had a muslim dress design competition .Recommend

  • Whiskey Khan
    May 5, 2015 - 3:26PM

    Much as I am against Hate and insult against any religion and believes I would not justify killing just to stop them. Such action brings aggressive attention and distrust on all Muslims believers living in foreign land. Recommend

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