Fatwa! The first time I read that word it was applied to Salman Rushdie, author of the “Satanic Verses.” A Fatwa is the Islamic equivalent of an old wild west “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster. Rushdie literally went into hiding. Then came 9/11, 2001. It changed all of us. Pamela Geller was leading a happy, carefree life in Manhattan. 9/11 changed her more than most. It wasn’t a specific death. It was the realization of how good life in America could be and how hard others were working to destroy that life. Pamela Geller embraced her calling. She created her blog: “Atlas Shrugged,” which quickly became a top thirty go to site nationally. Her brand: Everything you wanted to know about the new clash of civilizations; Islam vs. the West, 365/24/7. She probed the depths of the pro-Islam, anti-American feeling 9/11 unleashed in America. Radical Islam immediately planned a 9/11 Ground Zero mosque. They bought a building that had been hit by the landing gear of one of the ill-fated airliners. To them that made the site holy. Mayor Bloomberg led the Liberals in signing on to the mosque. He never counted on Pamela Geller. It was grass roots all the way; a DVD, (of which I have a signed copy), advertising, petitions, word of mouth. The reason there is no Ground Zero mosque can be summarized in two words: Pamela Geller.
Pamela Geller is a free speech hawk. Islam does not look kindly upon those who would subject Mohammed to Western style commentary. The right answer should have been Mohammed cartoons in every major newspaper on the same day. Instead our media goes blank. For Pamela Geller it meant a challenge. She organized the Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, with the Netherland’s Geert Wilders as her “judge.” Islamic terrorists attacked the event. Bullets flew. Arrests were made. (And the Republican Party of Palm Beach County had to replace Geert Wilders as our Lobsterfest key note speaker. Geert was unhurt but uninsurable).
Pamela Geller is banned in the United Kingdom — literally and totally. She has a Fatwa, and just released a book with that title. To the media she is an Islamophobe. She has to fight to run ads and to keep her social media accounts open. She has 24/7 bodyguard protection; all one hundred pounds of her. Pamela Geller is a Profile In Courage.
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. He founded JBS Associates, a 600-person financial service company, and currently combines politics and business with Niger Innis in Inclusive Elections LLC, a firm that brings urban electorate voters to the GOP. He is the author of "Adults Only: For Those Who Love Their Country More Than Their Party." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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