Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Protect Pamela Geller: With ISIS marking a New York firebrand for death, officials must ensure her right to speak freely is not abridged"-NY Daily News Editorial

5/6/15, "Protect Pamela Geller: With ISIS marking a New York firebrand for death, officials must ensure her right to speak freely is not abridged," NY Daily News Editorial

"New York and America must uphold the national commitment to free expression by protecting the safety of Pamela Geller in the face of a death threat by ISIS.

Whether you view Geller as a courageous truth-teller or as a rashly provocative anti-Islamist, what she says and why she says it make no difference when ISIS declares that “we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.

There is no doubt that ISIS has the power to inspire followers to targeted violence. On Sunday night, two armed adherents opened fire outside a Geller-sponsored event in Texas and were killed by a local police.

Geller’s program there included a widely publicized contest centered on cartoons drawn of the Prophet Muhammad. As it approached, one of the gunmen, an Islamist convert with a history of radicalism, exchanged calls for violence with ISIS fighters.

Afterwards, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. On Tuesday, the group posted an online message, singling out Geller and announcing, “Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets.”

The message also spoke of having “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire,” a boast not to be dismissed at a time when the FBI is conducting anti-terror investigations in all 50 states and agents confront the demands of monitoring hundreds of potential ISIS sympathizers.

Geller is a New Yorker. Until now, she was perhaps best known for sponsoring subway advertising with slogans like, “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority last month banned all political and religious ads from the transit system after a federal judge ruled that a Geller poster quoting a Hamas terrorist saying “Killing Jews is Worship that Draws us close to Allah” was not incendiary enough to likely spark violence.

The Daily News Editorial Board criticized the move because it meant the MTA was also banishing important speech — such as election campaign messages and invitations to join mass demonstrations — from the city’s great public meetinghouse.

While affirming Geller’s right to run a draw Muhammad contest, we called her irresponsible for staging the show simply to prove that radical Islamists will use violence to squelch expression — a fact of life and death that has been known for far too long.

In 2005, a Danish cartoonist published images of Muhammad that sparked violence in the Middle East and the attempted assassination of the cartoonist. In January of this year, gunmen in Paris massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine whose frequent skewering of religions included depictions of Muhammad.

Geller’s cartoon contest differed from their presentations in that her only message was that evil and demented Islamists violently attack speech deemed offensive— and ISIS responded true to form. As Geller said, “This threat illustrates the savagery and barbarism of the Islamic State.”

She went to war with words and pictures, they’ve gone to war with knives and bullets, and the NYPD is dutifully launching a security assessment. It must, because free expression must prevail." via

5/6/15, "NYPD assessing ISIS threat to controversial blogger Pamela Geller," NY Daily News, by , , ,

"ISIS wants to lop the head off a Muslim-hating Upper East Side blogger—and the NYPD is taking the terror threat seriously.

We have been in touch with Pamela Geller,” police spokesman Stephen Davis told The Daily News. 

People known to be associated with ISIS have posted a direct threat to her. To whatever extent she will be in New York City, we will do a comprehensive threat assessment to determine what, if any measures, to take.”

“We have to treat it like it’s a direct threat because they named her—and we informed her,” Davis added.

Geller, a right-wing blogger who has been fanning flames since at least 2010, when she financed ads attacking a planned Islamic Community Center near the fallen World Trade Center Towers, has been the target of threats before.

Back on June 9, 2008, she filed an aggravated harassment complaint with the NYPD against a man who she claimed posted menacing videos on her website and who she believed was a threat.

A woman who appeared to be Geller was seen on Wednesday wearing heels, black stretch leggings and large sunglasses as she entered her Upper East Side apartment building. She declined to discuss how she is protecting herself, but sources said she has hired a private security team.

This threat illustrates the savagery and barbarism of the Islamic State,Geller said in an email to The News. “They want me dead for violating Sharia blasphemy laws.”

Geller, 55, is in the crosshairs of ISIS for sponsoring the Prophet Muhammad cartoon drawing contest in Texas, where two Islam fanatics were killed over the weekend in a shootout with a cop. In a posting on the message board JustPasteIt, ISIS said it was sending “all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.

“Our aim was the khanzeer (swine) Pamela Geller and to show her that we don't care what land she hides in or what sky shields her,” it said.

The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy,” the message continued, apparently misspelling the Arabic word “wilayah,” which means authority or governance.

This was the first time ISIS claimed credit for a terror attack on U.S. soil. Lawmakers, however, suspect the slain gunmen were inspired by ISIS, not taking orders from them.

Charles Johnson, who inadvertently gave Geller a megaphone in 2005 by allowing her to spew venom on his Little Green Footballs political blog, said “it’s pretty obvious she had been trying to incite this kind of violence.”

She finally has gotten what she wanted, Johnson said, when asked if Geller relished being an ISIS target. “She is going to be milking this for all it’s worth.”

Johnson said he doesn’t understand Geller’s “anti-Muslim animus.” He said the one time he met her in person it was the only subject she would talk about.

“I really couldn’t wait to get away from her,” he said. “So obsessive and weird about it. It was hard to talk to her. She must have had something happen to her in the past.”

Muslims were not on Geller’s radar growing up with her sisters in the Five Towns. Her father, who she idolized, was a Democrat. So was her mom.

“He liked me best,” she wrote of her dad on her blog, Atlas Shrugs.

While Geller went to Hebrew school, her parents attended services on the holidays, and the subject of Israel (she is a strong defender) rarely came up at the family dinner table, according to various accounts of her early days.

Geller made her first big splash in the right-wing blogosphere in 2006 by videotaping a denunciation of Palestinian terrorists — while dressed in a bathing suit and frolicking in the surf.

But it was Geller’s strident opposition to the so-called Ground Zero mosque and her incessant — and unfounded — claims about President Obama that made her the darling of the anti-Muslim crowd.

Geller’s bid to post ads that read “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah” on city buses and trains prompted the MTA last month to ban all political advertising."

Image above from NY Daily News. Click to enlarge.


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