Pam Geller (AP/David Karp)

Pam Geller’s next big idea: Exposing innocent Washington DC commuters to risk of attack just to make a point

She and the American Freedom Defense Initiative want to plaster image of Muhammad on DC buses, train stops


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 26, 2015 10:15PM (UTC)

Pamela Geller's latest stunt to draw attention to herself could lead to the deaths of innocent commuters, but she seems entirely unconcerned with that possibility, claiming that "we cannot submit to the assassin's veto," even though it will be bus and train riders in Washington D.C. her stunt endangers.

How so? Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) announced a campaign today to plaster the face of Muhammad on the sides of buses and train stops in the Foggy Bottom, Capitol South, Bethesda, L’Enfant Plaza, and Shady Grove stations.

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In a statement, Geller said that "[b]ecause the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we are running an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas."

After noting that to refuse the ad campaign would be tantamount to enacting Shariah law on American soil, Geller added that "[d]rawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder."

If a jihadist attacks one of these buses or train stops, she insisted it would not be her fault for putting these innocent commuters' lives in danger. "It was the jihadis, not I, who made the cartoons a flash point," she wrote. "If a group will not bear being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed while everyone else lives in fear, while other groups curtail their activities to appease the violent group."

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Moreover, AFDI Vice President Robert Spencer added, this ad campaign can't provoke an attack, because "[t]hey're already provoked. A more useful question now is whether it is really productive and helpful to signal to them that we will acquiesce to their threats of violence and change our behavior accordingly, or whether we will instead signal to them that their violent threats are not going to frighten us into submission."


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

American Freedom Defense Initiative Islam Pam Geller Robert Spencer

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