*Editor’s Note: This letter was submitted to The Temple News and handed out on Oct. 4 to address TU Purpose’s speaking event the evening of Oct. 7.
We, the International Socialist Organization of Temple University, are concerned and outraged that the racist, anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer [spoke] on Temple’s campus [Thursday, Oct. 7]. We are particularly appalled at the way organizers are spinning the event as a “free speech” issue.
These are people who want to silence all Arabs and Muslims and stop their immigration to this country. Geller and Spencer are not free speech leaders but hate speech leaders. The issue of free speech is a cover to allow them to advance their twisted, far-right views on Arabs and Muslims.
Geller is known to her fans and critics alike as “Queen of the Muslim Bashers.” Geller refers to the moderate Sufi Muslims of the proposed Park 51 Islamic Community Center as “Islamic supremacists” and writes that “societies are disintegrating as adherents of a radical, intolerant ideology run amok with no respect for Western rule of law.” Geller is also known for her support of dictator Slobodan Milosevic and her adamant denial of any Serbian concentration camps in Kosovo. Her blog has published numerous false claims, including that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan (who is Jewish) supports Nazi ideology (accompanied by a fake picture of her in a Nazi uniform), a video suggesting that Muslims have sex with goats, a doctored photo showing President Obama urinating on an American flag, and false claims that Obama’s mother was involved in pornography and that Obama “was involved with a crack whore in his youth.” Her views are by no means within the boundaries of reasonable debate; the Southern Poverty Law Center considers her an extremist and calls her public statements “hate speech.”
Robert Spencer runs Jihad Watch, an anti-Muslim website dedicated to the argument that Islam is an inherently terrorist religion. Spencer holds the view that “traditional Islam contains violent and supremacist elements,” and that “its various schools unanimously teach warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.” Jihad Watch is associated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, another anti-Muslim group that uses McCarthyist tactics to attack academic freedom around the country.
Spencer and Geller’s presentations encourage intolerance towards Arab and Muslim communities and provide an unsafe environment. In an era of un-ending wars against Arab and Muslim countries, these racist views are used to justify attacking and occupying foreign countries for control of the world’s most important resource: oil.
We condemn TU Purpose for hosting these disgusting hate-mongers. Hate speech is not welcome on our campus.
In solidarity with our Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters,
The International Socialist Organization