The Education of Pamela Geller

Alex Knapp flags this paragraph from a New York Times profile of Muslim-baiting blogger Pamela Geller.

She spent the next year educating herself about Islam, reading Bat Ye’or, a French writer who focuses on tensions over Muslim immigrants in Europe; Ibn Warraq, the pseudonym for a Pakistani who writes about his rejection of Islam; and Daniel Pipes, whom she ultimately rejected because he believes in the existence of a moderate Islam.

Knapp responds:

This is grotesque to me. It’s like saying that that someone spent a year educating themselves about Christianity, reading Chrisopher Hitchens, an English writer who wrote articles focusing on the “crimes against humanity” of Mother Teresa, Friedrich Nietzsche, a former seminary student who wrote at length about his rejection of Christianity, and Sam Harris, whom they ultimately rejected because he believes in the existence of moderate Christianity.

If you put that in a profile of an anti-Christian blogger, you would know immediately that they’re a fraud and simply not worth listening to.

If you want to listen the fruits of Geller's self-education, check out her interview with 60 Minutes from a few weeks ago. Note, though, that after the interview, Geller helpfully provided some important context in which to watch the segment: 60 Minutes "is part of the Islamic supremacist agenda."

My all-time favorite Geller moment is still the time she published proof that Barack Obama is the illegitimate love child of Malcolm X. (She now disclaims the theory, but says she published it because "the writer did a spectacular job documenting Obama's many connections with the Far Left.")

Geller would be easy to dismiss and not take seriously...if it weren't for the fact that a disturbing and growing number of people take her seriously.

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  • ||

    Geller would be easy to dismiss and not take seriously . . . if it weren't for the fact that a distubring and growing number of people take her seriously.

    Even more alarming are the people who think she's hawt.

  • ||

    She looks like the illegitimate love-child of John Boehner and an oompa-loompa. Disgusting mind and face.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I first saw Willy Wonka when I was about 4. Those oompa-loompas scared the shit of me.

  • ||

    Wow, you folks are picky. This doesn't rate as hot? (Her name is misspelled in the URL, but it's her.)

  • ||

    Meh, I've seen a bunch of pictures where she looks like an alien. You want to see a funny

  • ||

    oops, sorry. You want to see a funny picture . It's on media matters but it's downright hilarious...and SFW.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Ew. Do we hafta click on MediaMatters to see it? I'd rather hang out at Wonkette, and that's no toss-up.

  • JoshINHB||

    Why'd you post a pix of Elena Kagan?

  • ||

    She does have somewhat extreme features, and her makeup needs adjusting sometimes. (Big eyes + too much eye makeup = looks like an alien.) But for a 52-year-old woman, she's definitely a hottie.

  • zoltan||

    She has the under-eye bags of a zombie.

  • alan||

    You must have never seen her in Jackie Brown or her earlier movies. Hawt.

  • ||

    I think you're confusing Pam Geller with Uri Geller.

  • ||

    No, you're confusing Sarah Michelle Gellar with Pam Dawber. And the show was Mork and Mindy.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Related to teh OMG MOSLEMS!! -

    Followed the link from the Daily Brickbats and read this story. My cranium almost burst.

    If this kid is to be believed, apparently a lot of FBI agents watch too much TV.

  • ||

    Go read her Wikipedia page. Holy shit, she is batshit crazy. At least it's not boring!

  • BakedPenguin||

    She's part of a deep plot to make Christine McDonnell look sane and hot.

  • ||

    She is NOT a witch, right?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, that depends on your... oh, you said witch.

    No, I don't think she's witch. If for no other reason than putting that broomstick between her legs might be too tempting...

  • Sir Bedevere||

    Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.

  • Villager||

    Well, she turned me into a newt.

  • Villager||

    Uh...I got better.

  • Restoras||

    Man the parapets. The forces of unReason are about to descend.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Too late. The gaggle of Wonkettes seem to have retreated from posting here.

  • Old Mexican||

    Geller would be easy to dismiss and not take seriously . . . if it weren't for the fact that a distubring and growing number of people take her seriously.

    And the fact that increasing islamic militancy does not help the cause for reason very much, either . . .

  • BeltwayLurker||

    reason rejects her because Islam is the token faith of liberaltarians

  • Paul||

    This is grotesque to me. It’s like saying that that someone spent a year educating themselves about Christianity, reading Chrisopher Hitchens, an English writer who wrote articles focusing on the “crimes against humanity” of Mother Teresa, Friedrich Nietzsche, a former seminary student who wrote at length about his rejection of Christianity,

    Or like NPR getting to the bottom of the post-Citizens GOP fundraising advantage by talking to a passle of Democratic strategists.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The Dems with sense aren't touching the supposed Chamber of Commerce funny-money argument, because they know damned well *their* party gets funny money from overseas.

  • shrike||

    Geller is another batshit crazy manifestation of the far-right paranoid nutcase echo chamber - all fed by the unchecked lies they spew.

    Yeah, I put the like of Sharron Angle and her "sharia takeover of the US" and Fathead Newt in there for the same reason.

    Newt wrote a book about how Obama's secularism is destroying America.

    Fucking loons - all of them.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    Newt wrote a book about how Obama's secularism is destroying America.

    Which is not. It is his penchant for profligacy that's destroying America.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not gonna defend Geller here, she's a cunt.

    But watch The Stoning of Soraya M and tell us there isn't something sick about it, shrike.

  • shrike||

    I won't watch it because I hate all religion and in order -

    1- Islam
    2- Christianity
    3- the other ones.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Coward.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't know who Sam Harris is, but Nietzsche is a perfectly valid source to read for analysis of Christianity.

    And who the fuck is Alex Knapp to say that he's not? Some asshole I've never heard of, that's who he is.

  • Alex Knapp||

    Fluffy,

    Immediately following the excerpt Radley quoted above, I state: "You definitely wouldn’t describe them honestly as having “educated themselves” in Christianity. While studying those opposed to a religion can certainly be a part of one’s education, a study of Christianity certainly isn’t complete without reading the Bible and important Christian writers such as Tertullian, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Simone Weil, Paul Tillich, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards and many many others."

    The point being, you can and should read critiques of a religion to understand it, but LIMITING yourself to critiques and then considering yourself "educated" is an egregious error.

    (And personally, I love The Anti-Christ. But it wouldn't be my starting point for understanding Christianity.)

  • ||

    Eh, I'm a bit conflicted about this. In theory it's true that to best understand X, one should read both pro-X and anti-X writers. But in practice, when dealing with violent threats based on the ideology of X, how much do you really need to study the apologists? If I read Robert Conquest on Stalin, how much am I gaining by reading Stalin's entry in the 1955 edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia? Can't we pretty much assume it's just going to sing his praises? Yeah, many supported him and maybe he did a few good things: so what?

    Similarly, Geller (and most everyone else) already knows the positive aspects of any religion: the benefits of faith, structure in lives and societies, charity, yadda-yadda-yadda. Of course the apologists will just list the pluses all religions have at times, and minimize or ignore the unpleasant elements which are the crucial aspects. And the mainstream media and the entire educational system already drums it into us that the only enlightened thing to do is to think of Islam as "just another religion." (That is, when they pause from attacking the Catholic church and evangelical Christians.)

    As extreme as she may be at times, I think she's probably closer to the truth than many of her critics. All religions aren't equal, and there are many good reasons for thinking Islam (even "moderate Islam") is a huge threat to liberty.

  • shrike||

    Harris = Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, foremost critic of religion in the USA, author of 'The End of Faith'.

  • Fluffy||

    He apparently also wants you to read Tertullian, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and a bunch of other apologists.

    Having read those other writers, I can tell you that Nietzsche does a better job imposing sense on the absurd ad hoc mishmash that is Christian theology than any of those d-bags. Hating Christianity he made it sound better than anyone who loved it.

  • Brett L||

    You and I read Augustine differently.

  • Contemplationist||

    Radley you are in over your head here. Sometimes conspiracies are true and unloony. Its like the jeremiah wright story. Yes Obama had those connections. And yes Muslim organisations in the US (many many of them) have these shady connections to Shariah-supremacist groups. The problem for you, Radley, is you think that if the media is not interested in something, and if some loner somewhere is, it must be conspiracy-mongering. But you should know damn well that what the media chooses to report does not mean other things aren't going on.
    This is an open project for those willing to do the investigative journalism. You could check the Investigative Project on Terrorism when talking about Muslim organisations as well.

    I know I know! Look at those crazy anti-jihadists! So kooky! We don't need no REPORTING to do here.

    Disappointing!

    Here's an analogy: Look at those pro-pot. anti-police stoners! Defending drugs n shitz! We dont need no reporting!

    How would you feel about that?

    Okay, how about this. I request you to, in good faith, reach out to Robert Spencer and ask for comment on Islam and jihad and shariah. I promise you he will not shriek and will reply to you in good faith if you extend it. Lets see some real reporting on Islam for once.

  • shrike||

    Go back to 'AtlasSucked' and try to buy Pam's panties below the bid.

    The very fact that Geller would usurp that name from Ayn Rand is a form of blasphemy in its own right. Ayn Rand would despise Geller but would reluctantly allow for her little internet hot dog stand.

  • Contemplationist||

    shrike i'm not a Randian. I don't care about any "blasphemy" whether of Muhammad or Rand. Go back inside your cave

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's amazing how you appear to revere Rand, yet bitch and moan about libertarianism here. You're an odd duck, shrike.

  • shrike||

    I admire her for her steadfast ideology - in favor of atheism and markets.

    I hate it when conservatives glom onto her when she would recoil.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Your defense of the health-care mandate = you don't give a shit about markets, shrike.

  • Liberals||

    Would she recoil from us?

  • Ayn Rand||

    Fuckin' A, you bet I would.

  • shrike||

    I defended the LEGALITY of the mandate.

    The onerous burden is another matter. I know the Constitution and the fact that direct taxes are now allowed under the 16th Amendment.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Backpedal all you want, shrike, but you were sporting a serious hard-on for the mandate.

  • ||

    Radley you are in over your head here. Sometimes conspiracies are true and unloony.

    Which conspiracy is that? The one about how the Park51 Mosque is a front for terrorists, or the one about Obama being Malcolm X's love child? They both sound so believable.

    You're right, how could Radley possibly discount such realistic theories? They basically prove themselves, especially if you repeat them over and over again.

  • Colin||

    I grew up down the street from a Pam Geller. Wonder if it's the same . . .

  • ||

    Was she oramge with a bulbous head ?

  • ||

    Did you grow up in Hewlett Harbor, Long Island? Go to school at Lynbrook High? Then maybe.

  • ||

    My guess is that the 9/11 hijackers (some of whom spent their last days on earth boozing it up at strip clubs) weren't that well-read on the classics of Islamic scholarship, so I wouldn't count that as a big strike against her.

  • ||

    Your guess would be wrong. Go read Reliance of the Traveler, whose English translation has been certified by Al-Azhar University as a reliable guide to orthodox Islamic practice. Then, come back here and tell me how what the 9/11 hijackers did was in any way at odds with orthodox Islamic doctrine. I also suggest reading the works of Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, a very influential Islamic scholar.

    As to boozing it up at strip clubs:
    a) deceiving the kuffar, even to the point of performing sinful acts in order to maintain that deception, is both mandatory and laudible when in the service of Islam
    b) dying in the service of Allah erases all sins in the afterlife

  • Esteban||

    Sure Maududi is influential, but so was Wahhab. That doesn't mean they're the final word on what Islam is or should be.

  • Apogee||

    There is no final word in 'islam', because there is no single sect of islam, so your critique misses the point.

    If there is a sizable percentage of people practicing islam that view Wahhabism as the final word, that's a problem.

    Millions intent on jihadist warfare should not be dismissed because of the existence of alternate viewpoints.

  • ||

    Oh but they are. Bid'ah (innovation) is forbidden in Islam. Once a matter is settled it may not be disputed. The 4 great scholars that founded the orthodox schools of Sunni Islam (Hanbal, Shafi'i, Hanifa, and Malik) have already spoken many centuries ago, and they are in agreement on 75+% of issues (nearly 100% on important issues, like dhimmitude).

    Neither Maududi nor Wahhab are innovators. They say nothing but what the 4 orthodox sects already agree upon and teach as the three proper roles of non-Muslims on *anywhere* on Earth: as newly reverted Muslims, slaves in all but name (dhimmis), or corpses. The sects are also in agreement that Muslims have a duty to make Islam dominant over the entire world.

    Maududi and Wahhab are important, not because what they say is at odds with already existing orthodox doctrine, but because they preach that devout Muslims must live as Muhammad did, and take the sword to the unbelievers, wherever they may be, until all proclaim there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.

    You are simply wrong when you say Islam isn't that. The sahih (reliable) Hadith (the sayings and acts of Muhammad) collections of Muslim and Bukhari quote Muhammad as saying his mission is exactly that. The Quran says Muslims must obey and imitate Muhammad. The Quran being the literal word of Allah, the order to obey and imitate carries the weight of a command that cannot be refused. All orthodox schools agree on this meaning. This is not *my* invention. *I* am not "interpreting" anything. I do not put words into their mouths. I merely report what *Muslims themselves* say their religion means.

    The argument that "there is no single sect" of Islam is a fraud, for it implies that Muslims do not have a shared meaning for what the Quran and Hadith say. Do not be fooled. Sunni and Shiites may not agree on the proper successor to Muhammad or who may rise to Caliph, and they may kill each other for heresy, but they are in violent agreement that Muslims should and must rule everywhere.

  • Jake Boone||

    Bob, you don't really have any clue what you're talking about, do you? You're regurgitating talking points from conspiracy theorists as if they were gospel, and you display a fundamental lack of understanding of not just Islam, but religion in general.

  • ||

    If I have a fundamental lack of understanding of Islam, then you will certainly have citations from orthodox Islamic sources telling me where I'm wrong. Where Muslims are told that:

    1) Muhammad is not the perfect model of conduct
    2) Muslims need not imitate him in word and deed
    3) non-Muslims are permitted to be in positions of authority over Muslims
    4) non-Muslims may legitimately hold power on a permanent and indefinite basis
    5) Sharia (divine) law is not to be preferred over all other forms of law
    6) warfare to spread Islam is illegitimate

    Be sure, in your citations, to take into account the concepts of taqiyya, kitman, and abrogation. In addition, take into account the Islamic meanings of the words "defensive", "innocent", and "peace".

    Put up or shut up.

  • ¢||

    Having read those other writers, I can tell you that Nietzsche does a better job imposing sense on the absurd ad hoc mishmash that is Christian theology than any of those d-bags. Hating Christianity he made it sound better than anyone who loved it.

    Uh, this? Geller is slightly analogous—slightly.

    She's similarly vengefully nutty about a religion, and her nuttiness similarly surrounds—and allows—a clarity about the crazed heart of the religion that's not available to most non-nuts, con- or pro-.

    She basically has a jihadi's understanding of Islam, and an enemy's attitude toward it—as non-Muslims with any understanding of the religion, however gained, tend to have.

    The non-nuts' de facto position that Islam is the one unassailably sacred religion is way more fucked up than any of the haters' see-if-it-sticks shit-flinging is. The let's-not-pretend-we-get-along crowd(s) can at least cite something in their attitude's favor, similarly to how Nietzsche could cite the Gospels honestly, and Aquinas couldn't.

    People who sling around information-free condemnations of Islamophobic ignorance, like the linked post's, can cite nothing but their own fear—honestly.
    (That's a Nietzschean em-dash. Obscure paleography joke! ...Hiyo.)

  • ||

    May I assume that a similiar denunciation of anti-communists who relied on the writings of ex-communists will be forthcoming?

  • ||

    To be a good anti-communist you really have to read at least Marx.

  • ||

    You appear to imply that Gellar hasn't read the Quran, Hadith, etc. I suggest you read the influential tafsir (commentaries): Kathir, Al-Ghazali, Hanbal, Maududi, etc, along with the sahih (reliable) Hadith collections of Muslim and Bukhari, and Reliance of the Traveler. They are as enlightening as they are frightening.

  • Adonisus||

    Muslims have the right to practive their religion.

    Period.

    Discussion over.

  • Light-hearted mocking fun||

    Drawing a cartoon of a an infidel-killing mamood riding a camel.

  • ||

    Even if they think their religion tells them they have to kill people who don't practice their religion?

  • Adonisus||

    Islam is not some giant, monolithic religion. It has a zillion different sects and subsects, all of whom have very different views of both their prophet, their holy book and what it says. A number of them do indeed think the Quran commands them to kill the infidels...and a number believe the former are absolute bloodthirsty madmen. Nor do all muslims believe that a theocratic state based on sharia law.

    But that's besides the point. In the United States we have freedom of religion, where people are allowed to practice whatever faith the choose (or none at all).

    What Islam actually says is completely irrelevant to the discussion. As long as they are not harming the liberties of their fellow Americans, they should be allowed to practice their faith.

  • Apogee||

    No, what islam actually says is entirely relevant, because if it instructs its followers to engage in behavior that is antithetical to the liberties of their fellow Americans, then those followers cannot actually practice their faith.

    The choice will then turn to the renunciation of the faith or the elimination of the liberties. The possibility of mutual exclusivity is exactly what needs examination.

    You rightly mentioned the differing sects of islamic practice. Sorry, but when some of those sects believe in ordained killing as a practice of their faith, sorting out which sect believes what is absolutely up for discussion.

  • ||

    The "zillion sects" is a lie. There are exactly 5 orthodox schools of Islam: 4 Sunni, 1 Shiite. All of them teach the establishment of Islamic theocracy. All agree that under Sharia law, followers of those "zillion different sects" are guilty of either apostasy or heresy and may be lawfully killed without penalty, even by Jewish and Christian dhimmis. Somebody who says that a Muslim should reject imitating Muhammad is no more a Muslim than somebody who claims Jesus isn't the son of God is a Christian.

    Any Muslim who claims that Islam doesn't command the establishment of a theocracy is a liar or a heretic. Since there is no reliable test to distinguish them, and no reliable test to say which heretics can be recruited into orthodox practice and turn from heresy to lying (cf supposedly assimilated British-born Muslims taking weapons and bomb-making classes in Pakistan), Islam cannot be tolerated in the West any more than Communist spies could.

    What Islam actually says is entirely relevant, for devout Muslims recruit the non-devout by proclaiming themselves exemplars of true and authentic Islam. If what Islam actually says is in agreement with them, and it is, the non-devout have no moral or doctrinal argument within Islam itself to reject what the recruiters say. Therein lies the danger: the non-devout will become devout precisely because they see it as a way to lead a more Islamic life.

  • Jake Boone||

    The "zillion sects" is a lie. There are exactly 5 orthodox schools of Islam: 4 Sunni, 1 Shiite.


    [Citation needed.]

  • ||

    Google is your friend.

    http://www.uga.edu/islam/shariah.html#law

  • ||

    Really? Truly? Me too?
    I heart u.

  • ||

    High five, and five, and five and five.

  • JoshINHB||

    No amount of barbarism or debauchery by fake Islamists like Hamas, the Taliban, the Moslem Brotherhood, Al Queda, the Mutaween, Basij, etc. will trick us educated elites, because we learned the true nature of Islam in a comparative religion class as freshmen.

  • ||

    LOL +1

  • ||

    It's interesting to note the differences in the arguments. On the one hand we have Bob Smith, whose posts clearly show some familiarity with the Quran and Islamic thought. Bob provides cites to back up what he says.

    Then we have Jake Boone, who takes swipes at Bob with boilerplate accusations--who thinks that his boilerplate accusations are valid refutation of Bob's posts. Jake does not seem willing to provide cites.

    Finally, we have Adonisus,whose bland platitudinal argument revolves around the idea that our enumerated rights supercede common sense so that, to be true to those rights, we must allow them to be used as the noose that kills us--no matter what the situation tells us we should do to survive. Adonisus will cling to the moral high ground even as that ground is being formed into a tomb in which to bury him alive.

    People like Bob are routinely dismissed as valid points of view. They are put alongside the crazier elements who also fear Islam's spread and equated with them. This makes it easier to ignore the actual actions that have been commited that they are wont to point out--enabling the head-in-the-sand attitude that so many Americans want to hold on to when discussing Islam.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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