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Front Page Magazine Interview: Pamela Geller “Free Speech Victory”

FPM bus

Jaime Glazov conducts a one on one interview with me to discuss the religious liberty bus campaign.


FP: What was the motive of your campaign?

Geller: Jamie, this campaign was and is in defense
of religious freedom. Our ad asks, “Fatwa on your head? Is your family
or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!” This is the first time anyone offered public help
to people threatened under Islam’s death penalty for apostasy. America
is the land of the free, and apostates must know they are free here.
Safe here. Government and law enforcement should be on
this. But they aren’t. So we are. It is time for free citizens to stand
for freedom — or lose it.

Miami-Dade Transit’s kowtowing to CAIR, even though it ultimately
reversed itself, shows how close we are to losing it.

FP: Didn’t CAIR run a bus ad campaign of its own?

Geller: Yes, Jamie. CAIR and other Muslim
Brotherhood-linked groups ran campaigns on buses across the country last
year, including Miami, inviting people to convert to Islam and claiming
that Abraham, Moses and Jesus were Muslim prophets. It was important to
counterbalance this offensive appropriation of the founding figures of
Judaism and Christianity and outright deception with a healthy message.

FP: It’s amazing that defending freedom of religion
would be controversial.

Geller: That’s right, Jamie. Freedom of religion is
an unalienable right. Sharia law should hold no weight or legitimacy
here. Apostates should be free in America to leave Islam without fear,
and be who and whatever that they want to be.

But Miami-Dade Transit thought otherwise, and it took the threat of a
lawsuit to keep them from submitting to Sharia. While they allowed the
CAIR bus ads despite how offensive they were to Jews and Christians,
they initially disallowed the SIOA ads. In December 2008, the Miami
ran a glowing piece on the CAIR bus ad campaign, which ran
in Miami-Dade and Broward counties for eight weeks. No one took offense,
despite the Islamic supremacist nature of the ads. No one breathed a
word of protest.

So Muslims can run bus ads all across America inviting the clueless
to convert to Islam, but we cannot make information available to Muslims
who want to leave Islam. Still think this is a free country? Still
think we enjoy the protection of the First Amendment on speech that
offends the powerful? Think again: it didn’t start with Miami. At least
three of the bus companies that ran CAIR’s dawah (invitation to Islam)
bus ads turned down our ad.

FP: How did CAIR react when your ads were pulled?

Geller: As Miami-Dade Transit bowed and scraped,
CAIR lied. CAIR-South Florida director Muhammed Malik claimed: “Islam
guarantees freedom to and freedom from religion. . . . [We] reject as
un-Islamic any extremist interpretation that sanctions the killing of
any individual because she decided to ‘leave Islam.”

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