Florida Senator Marco Rubio Will Share Stage with Pamela Geller at Tea Party Convention

The Looniest Blogger Ever will be at a Tea Party Convention in Florida next week. It might not be possible to persuade the Tea Party to refuse a bigot such as Geller the spotlight, considering they don’t want Muslims anywhere near them, but senators and other officials shouldn’t come close to her even if it were with a ten foot pole.

Florida Tea Party Convention agenda adds Rubio, Pamela Geller, Agenda 21 talk

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Next week’s Florida Tea Party convention is slated to feature some big names in Florida politics, as well as the opportunity for state tea party members to discuss some of their favorite topics — including Agenda 21 and Islam.

According to the current convention agenda, speakers will include Gov. Rick Scott, former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, anti-Islam blogger Pam Geller and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Attorney General Pat Bondi was mulling over an appearance, but her name does not appear on the updated convention agenda. In September, Scott’s office told the Independent his appearance had not been confirmed.

The convention will also feature G. Edward Griffin, an anti-Federal Reserve, anti-United Nations and anti-communist conspiracy theorist who describes himself as a “life member” of the John Birch Society — a historically infamous anti-communist group.

Anti-Islam blogger Pam Geller is also on the agenda for next week. Geller is best known for her blog Atlas Shrugs, described by The New York Times as a “site that attacks Islam with a rhetoric venomous enough that PayPal at one point branded it a hate site.” According to the Times, Geller “has called for the removal of the Dome of the Rock from atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; posted doctored pictures of Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court justice, in a Nazi helmet; suggested the State Department was run by ‘Islamic supremacists’; and referred to health care reform as an act of national rape.”

Geller is well known in certain Florida political circles, because she — along with a small group of advocates in Florida, including a U.S. Senate candidate — fought to keep Rifqa Bary in Florida during the very public legal dispute involving her parents.

(via. The Florida Independent)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and Gov. Rick Scott should take a similar stand to that of their fellow Republican, Chris Christie who said, “I am tired of the crazies.”

At the very least loonwatchers in Florida and everywhere should contact Rubio and Scott’s office and ask them to take a stand against Geller.

Here is a short sampling of the batsh** loony things Geller has either said or promoted. It should be more than enough to convince any rational individual, especially a public official to denounce her:

Geller is not only a birther but has posted a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming Malcolm X is Barack Obama’s father.

Geller has called for the destruction of the Golden Dome in Jerusalem and the creation of a Jewish Temple over it.

Geller is a Holocaust revisionist who believes Hitler and the Nazis “adopted” Jihad.

Geller believes Obama is a Jihadist.

Geller has called for the nuking of Mecca, Medina, and Tehran.

Geller sympathized with South African white supremacists while condemning Nelson Mandela.

Geller co-founded SIOA along with John Jay and Robert Spencer. SIOA is considered a hate group by the SPLC.

Horowitz and Spencer’s Islamophobia

David Horowitz

Horowitz and Spencer’s Islamophobia

by Matt Duss

In a recent article for National Review Online, David Horowitz and Robert Spencer criticized the Center for American Progress’s report “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.” Following a familiar formula, the authors play the victim, accusing CAP of peddling “conspiracy theories” about anti-Muslim activists like themselves.

Even a cursory glance at our report, however, shows we have done no such thing. Quite the contrary, the dissemination of hateful anti-Muslim ideas by Horowitz, Spencer, and others is done right out in the open. CAP’s contribution was to document these efforts, to draw together the various strands in order to properly view them as part of a coherent whole — an organized campaign to spread misinformation about the religious faith of millions of Americans.

The authors first take issue with our use of the term “Islamophobia,” claiming “the purpose of the suffix — phobia — is to identify any concern about troubling Islamic institutions and actions as irrational, or worse as a dangerous bigotry that should itself be feared.” This is false. As my co-authors and I note in our report, we don’t use the term “Islamophobia” lightly. We define it as an exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from America’s social, political, and civic life.

We think that any fair-minded reader of Horowitz and Spencer’s work, which our report extensively documents, would conclude that it qualifies.

Engaging in exactly the sort of careless slander that our report examines, the authors then deride similar reports from what they refer to as “[Muslim] Brotherhood fronts like CAIR [the Council on American-Islamic Relations], and jihadist apologists like the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Interestingly, they spare the Anti-Defamation League, which released a backgrounder earlier this year declaring that Spencer’s group, Stop Islamization of America, “promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam.”

Spencer’s group, the Anti-Defamation League wrote, “seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy ‘American’ values.” Should the Anti-Defamation League also be lumped with the “jihadist apologists”?

Rather than addressing such charges, however, the authors spend the majority of their response listing reasons why Islamic extremist terrorism represents a genuine threat to American security. But they are rebutting an argument we have not made. As evidenced by the considerable amount of workCAP has produced on the subject, we take the issue of national security extremely seriously — far more seriously than Horowitz and Spencer’s selective, inflammatory, and unscholarly rendering of the Islamic peril suggests that they themselves do.

It is enormously revealing that Horowitz and Spencer do not address the actual argument made in “Fear, Inc.,” which is that they, along with a small cadre of self-appointed experts and activists, promote the idea that religiously inspired terrorism represents true Islam. (“Traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful,” wrote Spencer in 2006. “It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.”) They also promote the idea that Sharia law is incompatible with a modern society (“There is no form of Sharia that does not contain . . . [the] death penalty for apostasy,” wrote Spencer, obviously ignorant of the manner in which Islam is practiced by millions of Sharia-adherent Muslims in the United States).

The unmistakable implication of these claims is that all observant Muslims should be viewed with suspicion simply by virtue of being observant Muslims. That’s obviously Islamophobic. (It also flies in the face of the evidence. Earlier this year, the largest study of Muslim Americans ever done, the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey, found that “involvement with the mosque, and increased religiosity increases civic engagement and support for American democratic values.”)

It is worth noting here the irony of Horowitz and Spencer’s accusing CAP of promulgating a conspiracy theory, because, as the Anti-Defamation League’s backgrounder also notes, a conspiracy is precisely what those authors themselves allege in regard to American Muslims’ supposed efforts to infiltrate the American legal system with Islamic Sharia law. (For an examination and rebuttal of those claims, see CAP’s previous issue brief, “Understanding Sharia Law.”)

And finally, a word about the venue in which Horowitz and Spencer’s piece was published, National Review. While we don’t share many of this magazine’s positions, we recognize it as an institution of American conservatism and a key player in the American political debate. Its imprimatur matters, which is why we’re concerned that that imprimatur should be granted to characters like Horowitz and Spencer.

Back in the 1950’s, the stridently anti-Communist John Birch Society made very similar claims about the threat of Communism that Islamophobes now make about the threat of Islam. At one point, Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, wrote that Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower was “a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.”

National Review’s founder and editor, William F. Buckley Jr., responded to Welch’s allegation with condemnation. “How can the John Birch Society be an effective political instrument while it is led by a man whose views on current affairs are, at so many critical points . . . so far removed from common sense?” Buckley asked. “That dilemma weighs on conservatives across America.” Buckley’s condemnation helped marginalize the John Birch Society from the mainstream conservative movement for decades.

In Horowitz’s FrontPage magazine on Feb. 3, 2011, Spencer wrote, “[Muslim] Brotherhood operatives are in the American government and working closely with it, thanks to Barack Obama.” On Sept. 12, 2011, Spencer criticized President Obama’s choice of a Bibleverse read at the 9/11 commemorations as evidence of the president’s “remarkable, unqualified and obvious affinity for Islam.” The list of similar allegations from Spencer is not short.

This new dilemma should weigh on conservatives across America. David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, and the rest of the Islamophobes we name in our report are the modern version of the John Birch Society. Judging Robert Welch’s allegations of President Eisenhower’s supposed Communist sympathies to be beyond the pale, William F. Buckley denounced them in the pages of National Review. It’s unfortunate that, rather than do the same in response to Welch’s heirs, today’s National Review gives them a platform.

— Matt Duss is a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress and the director of the Center’s Middle East Progress project. He is a co-author of “Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”