The bigoted Gail Sullivan kicks off her predictable piece today in the Washington Post today on the SIOA trademark ruling with “anti-Muslim Pamela Geller….” under the headline “anti-Muslim group.” In this, Sullivan paints all Muslims with a broad brush. My work opposes jihad and sharia. Period. Clearly Sullivan believes that all Muslims support sharia and jihad, or she would make the distinction between jihadists and peaceful Muslims.
She doesn’t. She’s a bigot. And the comments over at The Washington Post reflect the impact of her reckless smear and defamation.
Outspoken anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller felt the need to protect her brand.
May 2013, I was awarded the Guardian of Freedom award by the Nassau County Federation of Republican Women.
February 2013 Queens Village Republican Club, the oldest Republican club in America, honored me as the “American Patriot of the Year” in February 2013.
The Creative Zionist Coalition gave me the Queen Esther Award for Jewish Heroism. or the Annie Taylor Award for Courage in 2010 from the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
In October 2011, members of the United States Marine Corps presented me with the flag flown on September 11, 2011 over Camp Leatherneck, “amid the battlefields of Afghanistan during decisive operations against enemy forces in Helmand Province.”
Sullivan only refers to the subversive SPLC in her character assassination. Yellow journalism.
It is the job of a journalist to be accurate. Apparently Sullivan skipped that class.
Here is the exchange between Gail Sullivan of The Washington Post and me.
WaPo: 1. Why did you want to trademark “stop the Islamization of America?”
GELLER: We wanted to trademark it and use it as we do now – to brand our educational efforts. The trademark was so that others would not use it to represent ideas and initiatives we did not support. We did not intend to use it in merchandising.
WaPo: a. Were you planning to put the phrase on merchandise or otherwise use it in branding?
GELLER: We do now.
WaPo: b. Were you concerned your group would be confused with other groups who use the same phrase?
GELLER: There is only one SIOA but we were concerned that others would use the phrase and wanted to make sure that it would be identified with our initiatives only.
WaPo: 2. What is the goal of your “Stop Islamization of America” group?
GELLER: The goal of our AFDI group, of which SIOA is an initiative, is to defend the freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. Many of our campaigns aim to educate and increase awareness of islamization and jihad terror.
This ruling, for example, is proof that such an organization is critically necessary. This is clear evidence of how the federal government, and especially the courts, continue to bend over backwards to kowtow and placate Muslim sensitivities (in accordance with the blasphemy laws under the sharia.) But why? Because they are afraid of the response. Not from me, of course. The TTAB is not protecting Muslims from our “islamophobia” and/or “bigotry” (because there is none). No, they are afraid of the response from Islamic supremacists, and that is the problem..
WaPo: 3. Do you plan to appeal the court’s decision?
GELLER: Yes, we plan to appeal the court’s decision. It’s unconstitutional.
It ludicrous that millions of Egyptians rejected Islamization last summer and the US government considers resisting Islamization to be “anti-Muslim.”
WaPo: 4. What do you mean by “Islamization?”
GELLER: We mean the introduction into American society and law of principles of Islamic law that deny the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the principle of the equality of rights of all people.
Islamization is the political, military conversion of civil society to a theocracy based on sharia.
WaPo: 5. Do your concerns about Islam extend to all Muslims or just particular factions?
GELLER: It extends only to those Muslims who are advancing a supremacist agenda that is inimical to American constitutional freedoms including Sharia adherents and those that pretend Sharia is not tyranny.
WaPo: 6. Do you think Islam is a dangerous religion?
GELLER: If you mean a sharia based Islam? Yes. If you mean some peaceful religious observance by people who reject sharia but call themselves Muslim, no. Certainly the Muslims who are justifying violence and supremacism by reference to Islamic texts and teachings are dangerous. Muslims who oppose those acts of violence should be working to reform the texts that are used to invite those acts. =========================================================================
Now here is what Gail Sullivan wrote in the Washington Post :
“Court denies trademark protection to anti-Muslim group,” By Gail Sullivan, Washington Post, May 14, 2014
Outspoken anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller felt the need to protect her brand.
Geller, perhaps best known for leading the charge in 2010 against construction of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York, is the founder of “Stop Islamization of America,” a group that wants to educate Americans about “Islamic domination and expansionism.” It has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rebuffed the controversial blogger’s attempt to trademark “Stop the Islamisation of America,” upholding the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s finding that the name disparages Muslims. (The word “Islamization” appeared with an “s” and a “z” in different parts of the opinion — the court found the spelling variation “immaterial.”)
The trademark board can refuse applications for trademarks that disparage persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols. The board had denied Geller’s application, finding that the words “Stop the Islamisation of America” associated Islam with terrorism, a characterization many Muslims are likely to find offensive.
The board cited Geller’s Web site, which quoted a source who said 80 percent of American mosques are controlled by extremists. They also cited an ad campaign Geller sponsored that offered assistance to Muslims thinking of leaving their faith.
Geller’s lawyer, David Yerushalmi, said the board distorted Geller’s words, which merely oppose “Islamist Muslim Brotherhood groups” that “use mosque-building as a political tool to accomplish Islamization.” At oral argument, he said “all of the record points to the fact that Islamization ultimately includes terrorism.”
Geller agreed. In an e-mail to The Washington Post, Geller said the ruling is “evidence of how the federal government, and especially the courts, continue to bend over backwards to kowtow and placate Muslim sensitivities … they are afraid of the response from Islamic supremacists.” Geller plans to appeal the decision, which she called “unconstitutional.”
Legal expert Eugene Volokh, whose blog is hosted by The Washington Post, was sympathetic to Geller’s views on the outcome of the case, though not necessarily to her ideological position.
My tentative view is that the general exclusion of marks that disparage persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols should be seen as unconstitutional. Trademark registration, I think, is a government benefit program open to a wide array of speakers with little quality judgment. Like other such programs (such as broadly available funding programs, tax exemptions, or access to government property), it should be seen as a form of “limited public forum,” in which the government may impose content-based limits but not viewpoint-based ones. An exclusion of marks that disparage groups while allowing marks that praise those groups strikes me as viewpoint discrimination. But I’m not sure that courts will ultimately see this my way; so far they haven’t been inclined to do so, precisely because the exclusion of a mark from federal registration leaves people entirely free to use the mark.
The court’s decision doesn’t bar Geller from using the phrase “Stop Islamization of America.” It just denies legal protections that would let Geller prevent other groups from using the name commercially.
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