By Alex Seitz-Wald on Oct 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm
Responding to ThinkProgress, anti-Muslim activists Robert Spencer and Pam Geller disavowed any connections to John Joseph Jay, who recently wrote a blog post calling for the mass murder of politicians, journalists, and others. Geller and Spencer — leading members of the Islamophobia network — strongly denounced Jay’s calls for violence.
But, Jay’s name and signature appears on the articles of incorporation for American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an umbrella organization for which Geller is the executive director. Geller and Spencer claim Jay was never a board member and is not affiliated in any way. Geller writes that while Jay helped establish the organization, he is not a member of the board:
Last year I was in a rush to get the organization off the ground, and enlisted [Jay’s] help and that of several others. At that time I hadn’t yet chosen the board members or the key players in the organization. Jay helped me out so I could get the incorporation papers filed, but was never a Board member or a part of the organizational structure in any way. He was gone almost as soon as he was there, and is not a member of AFDI.
Spencer emails a similar statement saying, Jay “is not on the Board now, never has been, and is not a member of the organization.”
However, this seems to conflict with a blog post Spencer wrote in August of last year after Jay stirred controversy with a different call to arms. In that post on his Jihad Watch blog, Spencer wrote about the “misrepresentations of some writings by John Jay, a member of the SIOA Board.” SIOA is Stop the Islamization Of America, an organization also headed by Geller and connected to AFDI.
ThinkProgress included this in our original post and asked Spencer to clarify. “He was never a board member. I don’t recall saying he was, but if I did, it was in error.” That was “was a mistake on my part,” Spencer wrote in another email after ThinkProgress provided a link to his post.