Robert Spencer: Je Suis Pamela Geller

I was standing next to Pamela Geller just after our American Freedom Defense Initiative/Jihad Watch Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest ended last Sunday in Garland, Texas when one of our security team ran in and told us that there had been a shooting outside. As the audience was led to another area inside the building and the outside was swept for bombs and additional jihadis, Geller and I were hurried to a safe room. It was the last time since then that Pamela Geller has been safe.

The Islamic State quickly issued a communiqué that included this:

The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah [actually wilayah, administrative district] in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer [pig] Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter. 

This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her: this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah.

On top of that, instead of rallying to her defense and to that of the freedom of speech, the mainstream media, both on the Left and on the Right, has spent the week excoriating Pamela Geller for daring to “provoke” the poor jihadis, as if the two Muslim gunmen who showed up at our event would have become fiercely patriotic stockbrokers if only we hadn’t shown those cartoons.

It is therefore clear that if, God forbid, anything does happen to Pamela Geller, the talking heads will look soulfully into the cameras and say, Of course we are shocked…Of course we condemn….but…wellllll…she had it coming…she should have submitted to Sharia blasphemy restrictions like the rest of us…

The reality is that if the gunmen were “provoked” by the Muhammad cartoons, they would have been “provoked” by something else. What had the Jews in the Hyper Cacher supermarket in January done to “provoke” the Muslims? They dared to be Jews. What had the people in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Australia done to “provoke” the Muslims? Dared to be non-Muslims.

People who say our cartoon contest deliberately tried to provoke a violent reaction are under the apparent delusion that if we abide by Muhammad Atta’s advice to the passengers on his doomed plane on September 11, 2001, all will be well. Atta told the passengers, “Stay quiet and you’ll be OK.”

They weren’t.

The jihadis are already “provoked.” As I show in my forthcoming book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS, they were already planning and preparing for massive jihad attacks in the United States long before our cartoon show was ever considered. No amount of submission on our part is going to change that. In fact, the more we submit to violent intimidation, the more violent intimidation we are going to get. Why should the jihadis abandon a winning formula?

The world rallied to proclaim “Je suis Charlie” after the massacre of Muhammad cartoonists in Paris in January. But when those jihadis targeted our Muhammad cartoon event last Sunday, few were saying “Je suis Pamela Geller.” What’s the difference? The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were reliably Leftist, while Geller is identified with the Right. And now it is clear: the Leftist intelligentsia would rather see the freedom of speech restricted, and Sharia censorship imposed, rather than stand with someone whose opinions they find unacceptable.

That really isn’t any surprise. The Left in America is increasingly authoritarian, intolerant, and opposed to the freedom of speech. Leftist thinkers speak only to each other, dismissing challenges from the Right with ad hominem attacks or ignoring them altogether. It would be easy for those who live in that echo chamber to think of the Garland jihadi gunmen, Ibrahim Simpson and Nadir Soofi, as ideological kin: assassins rather than character assassins, but with the same goal in mind.

Those who understand, however, that the freedom of speech, and free society in general, cannot possibly survive the imposition of censorship to avoid offending a group that reacts with murderous violence to being offended, are indeed saying Je Suis Pamela Geller today. If the free world ever remembers that obeying someone who will kill you if you disobey only reinforces your slavery, it will owe her a debt of gratitude of awesome proportions.