Site of proposed Ground Zero mosque may become a museum

The developer who sparked a firestorm in 2010 when he proposed to build a community center with an Islamic prayer room two blocks from Ground Zero announced this week that he plans to turn the property at 45-51 Park Place into a museum of Islamic culture.

A spokesman for the developer, Sharif El-Gamal, told The New York Times that the proposed museum would be three stories high and 5,000 square feet, much smaller than the proposed community center, which was slated to be 15 stories tall and include a swimming pool, basketball court, auditorium, classrooms, and cafe, as well as other attractions.

El-Gamal ran into difficulties finding financing for the community center project, even though the project won the support of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, several 9/11 families, and many Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders. It languished after becoming the target of criticism from right-wing groups, anti-Muslim activists, and several other 9/11 families.

The museum project has already come under fire by anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who vigorously fought the community center.

Hate Group Leader Cited By Terrorist to Headline Catholic Homeschool Conference

During the last weekend in July, The Kolbe Academy, a Catholic homeschool program located in Napa, California will host a conference in Sacramento where educators and home school instructors will gather to discuss how they can “engage the culture in a year of faith.”

Ordinarily, such a program would come and go unnoticed. But this year, featured amongst a lineup of distinguished speakers, is Robert Spencer, a controversial anti-Muslim blogger who civil rights organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League label a “hate group leader.” This places him in close proximity to KKK leaders, the Black Panther Party, and neo-Nazi groups.

His scheduled appearance casts a negative light on what should be a positive event. It also raises questions about why a man whose writing was cited thirteen dozen times by the Norway terrorist Anders Breivik, who slaughtered 77 youth campers in Oslo in 2010, was ever invited to speak about youth education in the first place.

Spencer, a Catholic deacon from New Hampshire and director of the blacklist blog Jihad Watch, is set to appear as part of a speaking lineup that includes prominent clergy and educators from all across the United States. Once the director of Kolbe Academy, where he also served as a history and classics teacher, his publications include “Classical Education in the Contemporary World” and “How to Introduce Your Child to Classical Music in 52 Easy Lessons.”

If any religious group in the United States understands the harmful effects of prejudice, it is Catholics. Throughout the 1900s, they were on the receiving end of the same stereotypes and associations that Spencer aims at Muslims today.

The Santa Rosa Diocese, which governs the Kolbe Academy, should follow the actions of the Worcester Diocese in Massachusetts, which rescinded Spencer’s invitation to speak at a men’s conference in Massachusetts in March. The Sacramento Diocese, which governs St. Stephen The First Martyr Parish, the parish where the event will be held, should do the same.

 

Anti-Ground Zero Mosque campaigners Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer barred from entering Britain to speak at an EDL rally

Two of the people behind a campaign against the building of the “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York have been barred from entering Britain to speak at an English Defence League rally in London this weekend, it has been announced. The Home Secretary Theresa May has told Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, both of the anti-Islamic group Stop Islamization of America, that their presence in the UK would “not be conducive to the public good”. The decision, which they cannot appeal, will stand for between three and five years.

 

Ms Geller said: “In a striking blow against freedom, the British government has banned us from entering the country. In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.”

 

Mr Spencer echoed her comments, and added: “This decision is a victory for the campaign of smears and defamation that has been waged against us in the UK since we announced we were going. In reality, our work is dedicated to the defence of the freedom of speech and equality of rights for all. If that is too hot for the U.K. now, then Britain faces a grim future.”

 

A Home Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that Pamela Geller is subject to an exclusion decision. The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good. We condemn all those whose behaviours and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form.” EDL co-founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – aka Tommy Robinson – did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Right-wing American speakers planning to join the EDL’s Woolwich march ‘should be banned from entering the country’

The Home Secretary is understood to be considering a request to ban two of the people behind a campaign against New York’s “Ground Zero Mosque” from entering the UK. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who are among America’s most notorious anti-Muslim campaigners, have been invited to speak at an English Defence League rally in Woolwich to mark Armed Forces Day and the death of Drummer Lee Rigby. But the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz has written to Ms May expressing his concern and labelling them “incendiary speakers”. In his letter, Mr Vaz wrote: “These individuals are infamous in America for inciting racial hatred, including sponsoring discriminatory advertisements placed on public transport. “It is clear that the location, motivation and attendees at this march will incite hatred. Adding incendiary speakers such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer just fuels the fire.”

 

Mr Vaz said: “I am alarmed that the EDL is planning this type of march in Woolwich. Before we have to pay the costs for the extra policing required for this demonstration the Home Secretary should consider using her discretion to ban these two speakers from entering the country. A ban should be enforced properly and physically stop people entering our borders.” Scotland Yard said that it was aware of the march and would have an appropriate policing plan in place.

 

A government source indicated that the Home Secretary was looking into the proposal to ban the pair. However, a spokesman refused to confirm this, saying that it would not be appropriate to discuss individual cases.

 

EDL co-founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – who also goes by the name ‘Tommy Robinson’ – said: “It is ridiculous. We want other extremists to be banned from entering the country. These two people have never been arrested, they are well-respected in America. It is fascism, to me.”

 

Neither Ms Geller nor Mr Spencer responded to requests for comment.

Police Remove Muslim Women From Pam Geller’s ‘Human Rights Conference’

Yesterday in Dearborn, Michigan, noted anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer hosted a conference promising to advocate for “human rights” in one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States. Geller, writing on her blog on Sunday, warned, “We will meet fierce resistance by Islamic supremacists who will do anything, say anything to impose the sharia and whitewash the oppression, subjugation and slaughter of women under Islamic law.”

But surprisingly, Muslim women found themselves denied entry to the conference and, after patiently waiting in the corridor after being told to wait, were removed from the Hyatt Hotel by the Dearborn Police Department and Hyatt security.

Several of the young women commented that they shared a similar appearance with Jessica Mokdad, the young women who Geller and Spencer claim was murdered in an “honor killing” (a conclusion not shared by Mokdad’s family or Michigan prosecutors).

Temple University, Philadelphia: protestors condemn Geller and Spencer’s ‘irrational hatred’

PROTESTERS who had filled the auditorium seats at an anti-Muslim event on Temple University’s campus Monday night left the room quite empty when they marched out in opposition after the discussion began.

The organization hosting the “Islamic Apartheid Conference,” Temple University Students for Intellectual Freedom, says its mission is to introduce controversial issues often left out of mainstream debates and defends its right to political incorrectness. Panelists at the conference included Robert Spencer, contributor to the blog Jihad Watch, and Pamela Geller, famous for her hostility to the proposed construction of an Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center.

After walking out, more than 50 demonstrators, consisting of North Philadelphia residents, campus groups and Occupy Philly protesters, remained outside in the rain, holding signs and confronting attendees as they left the event in Ritter Hall, on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 13th Street.

At Geller-Spencer’s CPAC Panel, Anti-Muslim Activist Says He’s Proud of Attacks on Mosques

Speaking today at the unofficial CPAC panel “Islamic Law in America: How the Obama Justice Department Is Selling Us Out,” sponsored by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force was “proud to say” that most of the mosques attacked in the US were in the South: CPAC: Anti-Muslim Activist James Lafferty Says He’s ‘Proud’ of Attacks Against Mosques.

This is far from the first example; Geller and Spencer are usually too cunning to express this kind of open support for anti-Muslim violence, but their associates … not so much: Pamela Geller Associate John Jay Openly Calls for Mass Murder.

Alan Colmes Has Heated Exchange With Director Of ‘Jihad Watch’ Blog Cited By Norway Terrorist

When a tragedy like the one in Norway occurs, it’s human nature to try and explain the unexplainable. This almost always turns into a search for someone to blame. This frequently leads to attempts to guess what media figures the killers in question may have followed, putting those figures on the defensive. That defense is much harder when the terrorist himself cites your work explicitly. Such is the position that Robert Spencer, director of the blog Jihad Watch, now finds himself. Today, he appeared on Alan Colmes’ radio show to defend his site and his work.

Unsurprisingly, they found very little common ground.

Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message

Through her books, media appearances and speeches, and her organization, ACT! for America, Ms. Brigitte Gabriel has become one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders.

“America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America,” she said. “They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department. They are being radicalized in radical mosques in our cities and communities within the United States.” She insists that she is singling out only “radical Islam” or Muslim “extremists”—and yet her speeches and books leave the opposite impression.

As a child growing up a Maronite Christian in war-torn southern Lebanon in the 1970s, Ms. Gabriel said, she had been left lying injured in rubble after Muslims mercilessly bombed her village. She found refuge in Israel and then moved to the United States, only to find that the Islamic radicals who had terrorized her in Lebanon, she said, were now bent on taking over America.

Ms. Gabriel is only one voice in a growing circuit that includes counter-Islam speakers like Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Walid Shoebat. What distinguishes Ms. Gabriel from her counterparts is that she has built a national grass-roots organization in the last three years that has already engaged in dozens of battles over the place of Islam in the United States.

Islamophobes on both sides of the Atlantic are working together

22 Oct 2010

It has taken some time for aggressive European style Islam hatred to make its mark in the US. For years, the old world’s constant state of conflict with its Muslim citizens and the hysterical warnings over the imminent takeover of the West by Sharia law has produced little more than a shrug of the shoulders in America, the classic immigration land. There was relatively little in the way of a reaction against Muslim Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. There were no mass protests against Muslims, no mosques burned.
There were a few bloggers prepared to declare war on jihad; people like Charles Johnson whose tirades on his “Little Green Footballs” blog attracted millions. One of these, Pamela Geller, was particularly active and particularly virulent in her comments, and later began her own blog, “Atlas Shrugs”. She, along with bearded intellectual Robert Spencer (he blogs on “Jihad Watch”), head the organisation “Stop Islamization of America” (SIOA) and are now regarded as the leaders of the anti-Islam movement in the US.
And they are becoming increasingly radical and it was they who were behind the protests in New York this month. They are good friends with Wilders, and admirers of his radicalism. His belief that Islam is a conspiracy to conquer the world, rather than a religion, is one they share.