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Free speech prevails on Long Island
Posted By Pamela Geller On 04/16/2013 @ 7:47 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments
“Her April 14 appearance at Great Neck Synagogue was canceled amid liberal protests,” said the Jewish Daily Forward, “but anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller got the last laugh: The next morning, two other area synagogues invited her to speak the same day as the canceled speech.”
Note the “anti-Islam” smear. They always have to get that in, even when admitting defeat. And they were defeated. The cancellation by the Great Neck Synagogue sent the message that if leftists and Muslims defame those they hate loudly enough and for a long enough time, they will succeed in getting them silenced. But in contrast, Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky of Chabad, Great Neck, and Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg of Congregation Beth-El in Edison, N.J., stood up for the freedom of speech and the defense of the Jewish people, the American people and all free people, and had me speak at their synagogues Sunday instead.
The Chabad event in Great Neck was a great victory. Hundreds came out to hear my talk and to stand for free speech. The rooms at the Chabad House were all jammed, with people standing in the aisles. It was an overflow crowd: another 400 to 500 people watched the event on a jumbotron set up outside in an outdoor theater that had been prepared for this event.
It was divine: defiant, happy, confident freedom warriors standing up in the face of Islamic supremacist and leftist intimidation, and refusing to bow down.
They also stood up in the face of the leftist goons who had been pushed and prodded by Islamic supremacist Habeeb Ahmed of the Nassau County Human Rights Commission and his co-conspirators. After my speech Sunday morning at Chabad of Great Neck, we reconvened outside the building that houses the Nassau County Human Rights Commission for a free-speech rally calling for the resignation of Ahmed, who used his position on the Commission to scheme behind the scenes for the cancellation of my appearance at the Great Neck Synagogue. Ahmed is being investigated for the abuse of his office, but that is not enough: He must go. Using government offices to abet the demonization and marginalization of those who are fighting for freedom is unconscionable and unacceptable.
About 200 patriots were there for the rally, declaring that they weren’t going to stand for these intimidation tactics anymore. Robert Spencer started off with a succinct explanation of the war on free speech and why much more was at stake in this incident than just one speech by me; then Ashraf Ramelah of Voice of the Copts detailed how the Muslim persecution of Christians in Egypt and elsewhere is justified by the same Islamic law that denies the freedom of speech. Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel drew out more about the importance of standing up against these intimidation tactics, and I concluded the rally with a point-by-point refutation of a smear flier about me that the enemies of freedom had distributed outside the shul that morning.
In response to my talk at the Chabad House, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Long Island said, “We have been having an interfaith dialogue, which helps all of us.” Interfaith dialogue is another mechanism Islamic supremacists use to silence other religious leaders concerning the persecution of religious minorities under Islam, gender apartheid, etc. Why isn’t religious persecution under the Shariah discussed? What are those who engage in religious dialogue doing to address the slaughter and subjugation of non-Muslims that is justified by the texts and teachings of Islam?
Here’s an example: Rabbi Rosenberg was engaged in “dialogue” with Muslim imams who refused to stand when Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikva,” was being played. Where is the give-and-take? In “dialogue,” as in all things, non-Muslims are expected to bend toward Islam, while the Muslims make no attempt to bend toward non-Muslims.
The spokesman also said that the Islamic Center of Long Island would never invite an “extremist” speaker. This is another example of the Islamic supremacist smear tactic of portraying me as an “extremist” like Osama bin Laden was an “extremist” – Ahmed Rehab of Hamas-CAIR, Imam Rauf of the failed Ground Zero Mosque and others have said the same thing, equating the murderers with those fighting the murderers.
And even worse, one of the former officials of the Islamic Center of Long Island, the late Ghazi Khankan, preached there regularly and blamed Israel, “the enemy of Muslims and Arabs,” for 9/11. The American Jewish Committee’s Ellen Israelson said that Khankan “has always been vocally anti-Israel.” But they don’t have “extremist” speakers!
Habeeb Ahmed says that he didn’t mean to imply by identifying himself as an official of the Human Rights Commission that his attempt to get me banned was an official HRC activity. But the implication was clear. Not that I believe him, but if he really didn’t mean to violate any laws and was only using his title “for identification purposes only,” ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Media coverage was generally savage, but that was no surprise: If the media described my work in an honest and forthright fashion, most decent freedom-loving folks would agree with me. They know this.
The rabbis who invited me to speak at their synagogues Sunday did what all free people should be doing. The Jewish people, and all freedom-loving people, must stand up. Free people must have the will to speak against annihilationist rhetoric. History is proof that fear and capitulation are a recipe for disaster.
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