Sunday morning, in a surprise announcement, The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles President Jay Sanderson put the kibosh on a planned lecture by controversial Jewish activist and avowed anti-Islamist, Pamela Geller. Geller, who resides in New York, had been set to speak at the Jewish Federation's Los Angeles headquarters by invitation of the ultra conservative Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), a Jewish Federation affiliate.
Even though President Sanderson offered no official explanation for canceling, outside the Wilshire Boulevard venue, Geller and the couple dozen folks who'd come to hear her speculated that Sanderson acted out of fear of an anti-Geller protest; specifically, a Muslim anti-Geller protest. Geller and her hypervigilant cohorts never imagined that the Los Angeles Muslim community hadn't considered protesting the event. Instead, on Saturday evening, members of the Muslim community via CAIR (Council on American--Islamic Relations) and a coalition of inter-faith organizations, issued the following compelling and sober statement decrying the Jewish Federation's plan to host the Geller lecture:
Interfaith Coalition Decries Hate Group Leader's Appearance at L.A. Jewish Federation
Pamela Geller, is co-founder of SIOA, an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A Southern California interfaith coalition today expressed "deep shock and alarm" over the Jewish Federation's decision to offer a platform to the leader of an anti-Muslim hate group.
Pamela Geller, who will deliver a lecture tomorrow on "Islamic Jew hatred" and "the root cause of war in the Middle East," is co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and author of a book offering step-by-step instructions on how to stop mosque construction in America.
Tomorrow's event is sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and is hosted by the Federation in Los Angeles.
SEE: Pamela Geller on the Islamic Jew-Hatred
The interfaith coalition released the following statement:
"We are extremely shocked and alarmed to see a mainstream Jewish organization associating itself with one of the nation's leading Islamophobes who doesn't hesitate to share the podium with European racists and whose admirers apparently include Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik. Religious leaders and institutions have an increased and urgent responsibility to promote tolerance and mutual understanding among all Americans, instead of giving aid and comfort to fear-mongers like Geller. Imagine how hurt Jewish community members would be, and rightly so, if they discovered American Muslims hosting an anti-Semitic speaker."
The interfaith coalition includes: Council on American-Islamic Relations - Greater Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), Islamic Circle of North America - Southern California (ICNA), Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Jewish Voice for Peace - Los Angeles (JVP-LA), LA Jews for Peace, Muslim American Society - Greater Los Angeles (MAS-LA), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU).
SPLC: Active Anti-Muslim Groups
Pamela Geller's New Book: Communist Bookstore Clerks and "Secret Halal Meat"
Geller most recently bragged that she uses a Quran, Islam's holy text, as a doorstop. She also called for the demolition of a mosque in Florida, and will be speaking along with the violent racist group English Defence League's Tommy Robinson at an international event later this summer.
SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar group in Europe that seeks to block the construction of mosques on that continent. Its sister organization, Stop the Islamization of Europe, "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense."
The United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because: "The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease."
Geller has claimed that "Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam" and that Islam "mandates" lies and deception.
SEE: Pamela Geller: The Looniest Blogger Ever
She has also posted images on her blog that include a fake photograph of then Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in a Nazi uniform, another fake image of President Obama urinating on an American flag and drawings purporting to depict Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a pig.