Conservative activist Pamela Geller was called out on Saturday in a CNN interview by a Muslim activist for her latest round of anti-Islamic billboards, which feature, among others, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“The ads are absurd, they’re offensive,” said Linda Sarsour, a spokesperson for the National Network For Arab American Communities. “You’re quoting a man who is a Holocaust denier. He is not an American Muslim. Miss Geller has a history and track record of vilifying the American Muslim community and pitting communities up against each other.”
The new ads feature Muslim leaders making homophobic remarks. According to SF Weekly, Gellar devised the campaign as a response to LGBT critics who have accused her of Islamophobia.
Geller defended the ads on Saturday by accusing Sarsour and her other critics of libeling her.
“They don’t condemn the statements in the ads,” Geller said. “You have the prime minister of Turkey saying, ‘The mosques are our fortresses, the minarets are our bayonettes, and the Muslims are our soldiers.’”
Host Christine Romans interected that Ahmadinejad had, in fact, been criticized for his remarks in the past.
“I guess I just don’t understand your point,” Romans said.
“My point is the American people are being disarmed by obscuring the true reality of Jihad,” Geller answered, before accusing the media of “whitewashing” the issue.
Sarcour countered that while she did not debate Geller’s First Amendment rights, homophobic statements can also be found by those who practice Abrahamic religions (like Judaism and Christianity).
“What I’m troubled by is miss Geller’s obsession and fascination with Islam and with American Muslims,” Sarcour said.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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