Our friend and colleague Pamela Geller was recently involved in a pretty big commotion in Garland, Texas. She had organized a free speech assembly and a call for artwork depicting the prophet Mohammed in response to a conference a few months back that had been calling for an end to offensive (to Islam) speech. The original conference had been organized by Muslim-Americans as a “Stand with Mohammed” conference and was in response to the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Geller and many other like-minded Americans were disgusted by the idea that an Islamic group could advance their own cause of limiting free speech using the violence of other Muslims as the impetus.
In response to Geller’s call for artwork depicting Mohammed, some crazy and violent Muslims, proved Geller’s underlying point about the dangers of radical Islam. Now many liberals are blaming Geller for the violence that some Muslims attempted to perpetrate against her and her group! (Much like many hand-wringing liberals still blame the artists at Charlie Hebdo for the attack that got them killed.)
Geller was on CNN with Jake Tapper on Monday to talk about her conference and her reasons for holding the cartoon contest.
My favorite part starts with a question from Tapper at about the 4:10 mark. Tapper asks if Geller is worried about offending peaceful Muslims…
“If I offended peaceful Muslims, that is the price you pay for living in a pluralistic, free, open society. Inoffensive speech needs no protection. Offensive speech needs protection. It’s not the 8th Amendment, it’s not the 9th Amendment it’s the 1st Amendment. It protects all speech and most of all it protects political speech. Because who would decide what’s good and what’s forbidden? The Islamic State? These two gunmen? This contest was for political cartoons, Mohammed cartoons, the cartoons are “political critique,” and with political Islam which is imposing restrictions on free speech we are lampooning it… we should be able to have this conversation. We can’t have an event discussing or showing Mohammed cartoons or a Mohammed play? This is AMERICA. This is not Saudi Arabia.”
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