This is laughable but emblematic of how ugly, desperate, and dishonest the enemedia is to further their vicious anti-freedom agenda.
Here’s what’s most revealing, the writer of this Washington Post smear piece, Abigail Hauslohner, interviewed me at length, she used none of it. Here is the interview in its entirety:
From the Washington Post — interview request
Hauslohner, Abigail, @washpost.com>
Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 12:19 PM
Dear Ms. Geller,
I’m a reporter at the Washington Post and I’m reaching out to you for a story I’m writing about the movement in America to counter Islam. It has seemed to me that messages from you and others who share your views on the threat posed by Muslims have recently become more popular than ever. (Please correct me if you feel like that’s not the case.) I’m interested in hearing from you about whether you feel like your ideas are gaining more traction now, and if so, how and why do you think that’s happening.
For several years, you and a host of other like-minded speakers, bloggers and activists have been warning Americans about the dangers of Islam, the dangers posed by Muslim refugees, and the spread of Sharia law in America, but you’ve had trouble finding an accepting mainstream audience. Can you speak to the trajectory of those messages – how it started, and the reception you felt like you got in the mid-00s, versus how your ideas are being received now, if there has been any change. If there hasn’t been any change, what do you think has posed the biggest obstacles to mainstream acceptance? If you have noticed a change, what is it, when did you notice it, and why do you think it occurred?
To which I replied:
I started after 9/11, after I had informed myself of the ideological roots, nature, and magnitude of the jihad threat. The reception I got from patriots and lovers of freedom in the mid-00s and now is not any different at all. The claim that we “had trouble finding an accepting mainstream audience” is untrue. We had tens of thousands of people at our rallies against the Ground Zero mega-mosque, and polls showed that 70% of Americans were with us. The only acceptance we never received was from the mainstream media that, we now know because of WikiLeaks revelations, is in no sense an objective news source, but merely a Soros-funded propaganda arm for the far-Left and its Islamic supremacist allies. That media, including the Washington Post, is our biggest obstacle to mainstream acceptance. If there has been any change at all, it is that more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that such outlets are completely unreliable as sources for news. The Soros media’s absolutely unhinged, no-holds-barred propaganda barrage against Trump may prove to be its undoing, as it has proven impossible for them both to destroy Trump and to preserve the illusion that they were reliable news providers. The truth is breaking through, and the simple and obvious truth and accuracy of our work has always been the most effective advertisement for it.
Clearly more people are waking up as the body count climbs and the sharia restrictions on free speech become more widespread.
Yours in liberty,
President, American Freedom Defense Initiative
Editor, Publisher, The Geller Report
The Washington Post’s Hauslohner responds with:
Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 2:54 PM
To: Pamela Geller
Thank you, Ms. Geller. This is helpful.
To clarify—you said that the reception you’ve received from Americans (please confirm or correct me re: that’s who you mean when you say “patriots and lovers of freedom”) is the same now as it was in the mid-00s. But you also said “the truth is breaking through” and “more people are waking up,” which would suggest that the reception has actually improved/ that your ideas have found a wider audience. Could you clarify which one is true: are your ideas are just as popular now as they were a decade ago, or are they more popular?
If they are more popular, can you describe some of the evidence you’ve seen for that. Could you also go into a bit more detail on why it has happened. You said it’s because of a climbing body count and sharia restrictions on free speech. Could you elaborate on what specifically you mean by those two things?
Thanks so much,
And I answer:
Pamela Geller Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 4:28 PM
To: “Hauslohner, Abigail” Washington Post
To clarify—you said that the reception you’ve received from Americans (please confirm or correct me re: that’s who you mean when you say “patriots and lovers of freedom”) is the same now as it was in the mid-00s.
Geller:I meant Americans who are patriots and lovers of freedom. Not all are, of course: some work for globalist anti-American entities such as the Washington Post.
But you also said “the truth is breaking through” and “more people are waking up,” which would suggest that the reception has actually improved/ that your ideas have found a wider audience. Could you clarify which one is true: are your ideas are just as popular now as they were a decade ago, or are they more popular?
Geller: The reception among patriots and lovers of freedom is the same. But the stranglehold that the Goebbels-like propaganda media, a la the Washington Post, has had on the flow of information has been drastically weakened. More people who had been under the sway of that propaganda are waking up and going online to sites like mine to get their news.
If they are more popular, can you describe some of the evidence you’ve seen for that.
Geller: The Trump candidacy. The fact that a man who has never held political office and has considerable personal negatives (although the Pravda-like propaganda media, a la the Washington Post, has wildly exaggerated them in its effort to destroy this popular movement) was able to become the Republican nominee shows that people are disgusted with the political and media elites and see through their lies in unprecedented numbers.
Other signs include website readership numbers, FB shares, tweets — organic, grassroots traffic.
Could you also go into a bit more detail on why it has happened. You said it’s because of a climbing body count and sharia restrictions on free speech. Could you elaborate on what specifically you mean by those two things?
Geller: See thereligionofpeace.com for a detailed and documented list of nearly 30,000 jihad attacks worldwide since 9/11, each with the imprimatur of a Muslim cleric. Of course, it’s now impossible for Americans to avert ones eyes from Orlando, San Bernardino, New York, Boston, Chattanooga, Garland, etc. No amount of “Islam is actually a religion of peace” articles in the Washington Post can offset the impact of that onslaught. As for Sharia restrictions on free speech, people are disgusted and appalled at the general propaganda media cowardice in refusing to defend the freedom of speech against jihadi intimidation after the Danish cartoon riots, the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre, and the Garland jihad attack. They see that we are being forced against our will to accept Sharia blasphemy restrictions, and are not willing to stand for this.
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. This results in the violent group being able to tyrannize the others. Americans will never stand for it. If speech that offends a group is outlawed, that group has absolute power, and a free society is destroyed.
More questions from WaPo – why? Tehy ran none of it. Looking for a gotcha quote I suspect:
Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 10:26 AM
To: Pamela Geller
A few more questions –
Do you know who first came up with or publically advocated for the Muslim ban? I know that Trump wasn’t the first, and that a lot of people have mentioned this idea, but I’m trying to figure out who/when/where it started. I have the same question re: the call to ban Sharia law, and the idea of monitoring mosques in America.
Thanks again for your help,
And again, I respond:
Do you know who first came up with or publically [sic] advocated for the Muslim ban? I know that Trump wasn’t the first, and that a lot of people have mentioned this idea, but I’m trying to figure out who/when/where it started.
Geller: I don’t know for sure. My organization has been calling for restrictions on al hijrah for years and formalized our proposals in AFDI’s 18 point platform in defense of freedom here: http://afdi.us/american-freedom-defense-initiative-18-point-platform-for-defending-freedom/
My colleague Robert Spencer proposed it in his book Stealth Jihad back in 2008.
I have the same question re: the call to ban Sharia law, and the idea of monitoring mosques in America.
Geller: I have been advocating for such a ban for many years.The call to ban Sharia has been around for many years, and has taken the form of legislative initiatives since at least 2010, when 70% of Oklahomans voted for the ban, only to see it overturned by a leftist judge. Foes of such bans have continually argued that they violate religious freedom, when actually no one cares if someone reads the Qur’an or prays to Allah. They only want to prevent implementation of a legal system that denies the freedom of speech and equal rights to women and non-Muslims, legitimizes spousal abuse, etc. Religious freedom is not a license to break established American laws.
Calls to monitor mosques are as old as 9/11 or older.
Here’s what the Washington Post ran. :
“How a series of fringe anti-Muslim conspiracy theories went mainstream — via Donald Trump,” By Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, November 5, 2016:
As far as the Rev. Terry Jones knows, they were his ideas first.
“We are asking for the immediate halting of all Muslim immigration and the removal of all illegal aliens from the United States,” the controversial Florida pastor told a Detroit radio station back in 2011. “We are asking for the monitoring of all the mosques in America.”
At the time, Jones’s demands were dismissed as crazy, part of a set of radical beliefs and xenophobia that impelled Jones to publicly burn Qurans and air mocking videos that provoked violent attacks on embassies and consulates in Egypt, Afghanistan and Libya.
Four and a half years later, those policy prescriptives are a core element of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.
The party’s standard-bearer has borrowed heavily both in message and in membership from far-right conservative activists whose pronouncements on Islam have long been denounced as dangerous zealotry by mainstream conservative and liberal policymakers alike.
‘Muslim is the new black.’ Voters reflect on the 2016 campaign
Former president George W. Bush and GOP candidates Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mitt Romney all repudiated anti-Islam rhetoric as un-American.
Trump has become the first and only major-party presidential candidate to adopt these ideas as his own. With his calls for a complete ban on Muslim immigrants or “extreme vetting” on people entering the country, policy prescriptives once relegated to the fringe have become mainstream.
The migration of anti-Islam extremist views to major-party acceptance is, like much in American politics, a fusion of opportunism and ideology. It often has been highly profitable for its practitioners as well.
In 2007, Brigitte Gabriel, a former reporter for Pat Robertson’s evangelical television channel and author of a book on the dangers of Islam, founded Act! for America, an organization that touted as its “first accomplishment” its 2008 campaign to shut down a Minnesota Islamic school.
That same year, former newspaper executive Pamela Geller used her increasingly popular libertarian blog AtlasShrugs.com to spread the falsehood during the 2008 presidential campaign that President Obama was born in Kenya and was a secret Muslim.
So did former Reagan administration aide Frank Gaffney Jr., whose neoconservative think tank argued that the country was at risk of falling victim to “civilization jihad” at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egypt-based Islamist movement, Gaffney alleged, harbored a sinister bid to destroy American society and implement Islamic law.
With the Obama rumors, Gaffney, Geller, Gabriel and others found a more direct way to advance a broader opposition to Islam — and a right-wing audience to embrace it. Along the way, Kellyanne Conway, now Trump’s campaign manager, contributed polling to sharpen the message.
By 2010, anti-Muslim activists had launched a nationwide media campaign against what they dubbed “the Ground Zero mosque,” a proposal to build a mosque and Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan. Act! for America convened its first “National Conference and Legislative Briefing” in Washington, which brought advocates together with lawmakers, including Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) and then-Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
Both went on to hold congressional hearings to examine militants infiltrating the country.
While most mainstream politicians continued to malign the activists — the Conservative Political Action Conference barred Gaffney from speaking in 2010 after he accused two of its members of working with the Muslim Brotherhood — they spread their ideas through a network of small conferences, tea party groups, conservative churches and Jewish groups, and right-wing news outlets such as Breitbart. Former Breitbart chief executive Stephen Bannon is now chief executive of the Trump campaign.
[Trump’s campaign chief faces scrutiny over voter registration, anti-Semitism]
They told their audiences that Islam isn’t a religion but a political ideology that is inherently violent and opposed to Judeo-Christian values. They warned that mosques and Muslims should be watched. And they argued that practicing Islam means belief in the oppression of women and the murder of infidels, and that the religion is therefore unconstitutional.
Most important of all, they said, was to stop the advance of what they labeled “creeping sharia,” an alleged Muslim plot to impose Islamic law across American institutions.
Sharia is not a codified document like the U.S. Constitution, say religious and legal scholars, but rather a broad and variably interpreted set of ideas and principles for how to live life as a Muslim. It offers an array of guidance, including on prayer practices, marriage, diet and finances. It also draws on tens of thousands of texts and scholarly interpretations, meaning that there is no universally approved body of Islamic law, said Intisar A. Rabb, an Islamic legal scholar at Harvard University.
In the summer of 2010, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) offered a darker vision. In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, he said sharia is “a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and the world as we know it.”
It was “the pre-eminent totalitarian threat of our time,” said Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy’s report, “Shariah — The Threat to America.” Among its authors were former CIA director James R. Woolsey and Joseph E. Schmitz, both of whom are now national security advisers for Trump.
The center’s general counsel, David Yerushalmi, drafted a law to ban sharia, and with the help of Act! for America began shopping the draft to lawmakers in Southern states.
Bills to ban sharia now have been introduced in all but 16 states. To date, Tennessee, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana and South Dakota all have passed some form of legislation to ban “foreign law”— wording adopted in most cases to avoid an explicit violation of the Constitution, which prohibits the favoring or targeting of one religion. Alabama’s bill failed, but its voters banned sharia by ratifying a constitutional amendment.
Faiza Patel, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice, said “the idea that sharia law poses a threat to the United States is just laughable.”
But it makes sense that sharia has worked as a focal point for the anti-Muslim movement. For many Americans, the definition offered by the activists was also their first introduction to the concept.
“The theory that ‘the Muslims are coming’ ” has helped anti-Muslim activists to “malign Muslim individuals and groups, and suggest that they have some sort of terrorist ties,” Patel said. “We’ve seen this with [longtime Hillary Clinton aide] Huma Abedin. And we’ve seen a concerted campaign against [Muslim lobbyist group] the Council on American-Islamic Relations for some time.”
The business of speaking out against Muslims also has been lucrative.
Seven charitable groups provided $42.6 million to “Islamophobia think tanks” such as those run by Gaffney and Gabriel between 2001 and 2009, researchers at the Center for American Progress found.
In 2014, Gaffney was paid more than $308,000, and Gabriel earned at least $240,000, according to the IRS Form 990 filed by their organizations.
The 2014 rise of the Islamic State, with its gruesome beheading videos, created new fears and gave the movement new energy.
The Islamic State was practicing Islamic law when it executed journalists and religious minorities, the anti-Islam activists told their audiences, and so were the gunmen who carried out the 2015 and 2016 terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando.
When the 2016 election cycle rolled around, not everyone in the movement rallied immediately around Trump. Some, including Gaffney, initially joined the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and Ben Carson also won support with references to “civilization jihad.”
But Trump ultimately incorporated the message into his presidential platform like no other major-party candidate had before.
In previous presidential campaigns, the Republican candidates “beat back” the movement’s conspiracy theories, said Ken Gude, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, who co-authored an updated report on the movement last year. “Now we have a campaign that not only isn’t pushing back against them, but is also pushing and advocating those kinds of views.”
Walid Phares, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers, was part of a Lebanese Christian militia that took part in massacres during the Lebanese civil war and has previously accused the U.S. government of being beholden to an Islamist agenda. And another top adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, joined the board of Act! for America shortly after joining the Trump campaign. Gingrich and Bachmann are also advisers.
But the “top expert with influence on these issues is Frank Gaffney, who advised Cruz, then provided research to Trump,” Phares wrote in an email. He also named Schmitz, Flynn, Gingrich and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani as key sources on developing policy ideas on Islam.
“A number of these folks are friends of mine,” Gaffney said in an interview about Trump’s inner circle. “I’ve had conversations with them, [and] the opportunity to provide input [to the campaign], at least informally.”
When Trump in December first called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” he cited a widely debunked poll , conducted by Conway for Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, that claims that 25 percent of Muslims surveyed supported violence against Americans and that 51 percent think Muslims should have the choice of being governed by sharia in America.
A large number of Americans have long recognized “the jihad threat,” and Trump is giving voice to those sentiments, Geller said. It’s only the mainstream media, “a Soros-funded propaganda arm for the far-Left and its Islamic supremacist allies,” she said, that has stood in the way of broader acceptance.
On the campaign trail, where Trump warns repeatedly of the dangers posed by Muslims, the candidate is articulating, Gaffney said, “the most serious and thoughtful and necessary policy toward the threat that we face from the global jihad movement of anybody in public life at the moment.”
“Anyone who believes sharia law supplants American law will not be given an immigrant visa,” Trump said at an August campaign rally in North Carolina. The crowd shouted its response: “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
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