Pamela Geller to Critics: I Didn't Provoke This 'War'

Organizer of Texas event thinks it's dangerous to fear jihadists
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2015 1:27 PM CDT
Pamela Geller is shown during the American Freedom Defense Initiative program in Garland, Texas.   (Gregory Castillo/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

(Newser) – Pamela Geller, whose group staged the Texas event that drew two shooters with alleged links to ISIS, is defiantly dismissing critics who accuse her of provoking the attack. The event featured cartoons lampooning Muhammad, and Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, sees it as a matter of free speech. If Muslim jihadists were offended, well too bad, she writes in Time. "Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not stand for being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed, while everyone else lives in fear."

If society caves to the rules about what can and can't be said as dictated by these extremists, it sets a dangerous precedent that encourages more violence, writes Geller. She thinks, for example, that if international media outlets had run similarly controversial Danish cartoons back in 2005, attacks such as the one on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris would not be happening today. "This is a war," she declares. "Are we going to surrender to these monsters?" Click for her full post. Or for an opposing view, check out a Salon piece that accuses Geller of being an "extremist" herself who is only making matters worse.

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