Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have both announced that they “respectfully request that those of you who will be attending our protest against the Ground Zero mega mosque bring American flags, not signs…. Please get the word out now. We will be confiscating signs.”
“Confiscating signs”? Geller and Spencer have always portrayed themselves as uncompromising defenders of freedom of expression, notably in relation to Geert Wilders’s right to incite hatred against Muslims, yet here they are suppressing the freedom of their own supporters to express opposition to the Park51 development as they see fit.
Now, why do you suppose that might be? Well, it’s just a thought, but take a look at the signs above, which were brandished by participants at Stop Islamization of America’s last demonstration against Park51 in June – they rather expose Geller and Spencer’s pretence that SIOA’s events are anything other than an excuse to whip up fear and hatred against Muslims among ignorant racists, don’t they? To organise another such anti-Muslim hate-fest on the 11 September anniversary would be widely regarded as a sickening exploitation of a national tragedy, SIOA would be denounced by 9/11 families along with the mainstream media, and even Fox News might be less inclined to offer Geller a platform in future.
Of course, on the next SIOA demonstration it will no doubt be business as usual, and placards and banners bearing poisonous expressions of Islamophobic sentiment will once again be welcomed by Geller and Spencer.
It remains to be seen, however, how the mob of mindless bigots that Geller and Spencer have unleashed through their “Ground Zero mosque” campaign will react to the threat to confiscate placards and banners. I imagine that many of them won’t be too keen to go along with what they will see as a capitulation to political correctness.
Already some readers of Jihad Watch are expressing their incredulity at Geller and Spencer’s demand:
“WHY WILL YOU BE CONFISCATING SIGNS? Isn’t that another suppression of speech? … ISLAM MUST BE MET HEAD ON – lots of flags and ‘my feelings are hurt’ just won’t do the trick.”
“We will be confiscating signs? From my cold dead hands you will. This is America, Robert. We are not under sharia law nor are we under a police state. SHAME ON YOU for even proposing this!”
“Robert, I will bring the Dutch flag, Israeli flag or any other flag or sign I wish to bring to the 9/11 protest. This is not about you. I’m a avid reader and obviously support your and Pamela’s cause, but don’t ever tell us how to protest again.”
“Frankly, I’m not sure I care to defend a society where a mass demonstration by the people, which is their Constitutional and moral right, must walk on eggshells.”
“There is no legal authority to confiscate people’s property. End of story. It is America not Arabia…. The whole point of this demo surely is that it is about opposing Shariah ‘law’…. I think Robert and Pamela have maybe been spooked by CAIR. The most important thing is not to have an ‘offence-free’ demo but to have a demo with as many people present as possible.”
Park51 opponents at a protest on 26 August, not organised by SIOA but attracting the same mob of Islamophobes
– will Geller and Spencer be able to persuade them to leave their placards at home?