Robert Spencer: Theresa May Owes Pamela Geller and Me $250,000 Each
The Times of London had the startling revelation on Friday: “Britain has spent almost £200,000 protecting the welfare of the hate preacher Abu Qatada since he was deported to Jordan in 2013.” That’s over $250,000.
“Under terms agreed by Theresa May when she was home secretary,” The Times continued, “the government has paid for the cleric to have appointments with human rights workers and doctors for three years.” Got to keep jihad terrorists healthy, you see. “The payments were agreed despite Mrs May telling parliament in 2013 that ‘significant costs’ to the taxpayer relating to the Abu Qatada case were ‘not acceptable to the public and not acceptable to me.’”
Theresa May’s objections were clearly just empty verbiage, as the payments went ahead. As the UK’s Home Secretary and then Prime Minister, she could have stopped them. She did not.
“The ‘welfare visits,’” said The Times, “were to ensure that he was not tortured after he was removed from Britain for being a threat to national security, details released under freedom of information laws show.”
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has likened Pamela Geller and me to Abu Qatada, a leading member of al-Qaeda who was once considered “Osama bin Laden’s top man in Britain,” as The Times called him in a photo caption accompanying Friday’s article. May has boasted, in an address to a Jewish group in Britain: “I kicked out Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. I stopped Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Pastor Terry Jones – because Islamophobia comes from the same wellspring of hatred” – that is, the same wellspring as anti-Semitism.
This was a revolting comparison, as neither Pamela Geller nor I are or and have ever been members of a terrorist group. We have never been the assistant to or representative of a mass murderer, and have never called for, condoned, or approved of any violence. But May was busy propagating the fiction that there is a “far-right” threat equivalent to the jihad threat, and she opted to defame Pamela Geller and me as if we were the other side of the coin of jihad plotters Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. Abu Qatada was convicted of plotting the jihad massacre of Americans and Israelis in Jordan.
“Islamophobia,” she says, of which we are guilty and thus barred from the U.K., “comes from the same wellspring of hatred” as anti-Semitism. And so she was boasting to a Jewish group about banning me, a wholehearted supporter of Israel, and Pamela Geller, a Jewish woman, from Britain, and then claiming that she was against anti-Semitism. Pull my other leg.
May’s implication was that “anti-Muslim rhetoric” — that is, public discussion of the jihad threat and what can be done about it — leads inexorably to the demonization of Muslims and ultimately to genocide. This is ridiculous, overheated rhetoric that only hinders the prospects of any genuine discussion of the salient issues, and that is probably the goal all along. The purpose of May’s equivalence of “Islamophobia” with anti-Semitism is designed to intimidate people into thinking that criticism of Islamic jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others leads to the concentration camps, and thus there must be no criticism of these things. The unstated assumption is that if one group was unjustly accused of plotting subversion and violence, and was viciously persecuted and massacred on the basis of those false accusations, then any group accused of plotting subversion and violence must be innocent, and any such accusation must be in service of preparing for their subversion and massacre.
Could Theresa May herself really believe the nonsense that she spouts? Does she really believe that standing against jihad terror is essentially equivalent to plotting jihad mass murder?
And now it comes out that the British government has spent $250,000 “for the cleric to have appointments with human rights workers and doctors for three years.”
Yet despite likening us to Abu Qatada, May has not directed her government to pay me or Ms. Geller a red cent. In light of May’s equating me with this jihadi, I am going to present the British government with a bill for $250,000 for my medical care and other expenses, and given that May has smeared me as a terrorist, it would only be in her interests to pay up, right? To refuse to do so would be to retreat from her comparison, and she isn’t about to do that.
After all, May clearly thinks of me, or wants others to think of me, as an “extremist.” And she has demonstrated a clear readiness to make sure that “extremists” are in good health and able to continue operations. Ms. May, I’ll take a check.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.