My piece on notorious Islamophobe Pamela Geller’s appearance at Maryland Conservative Action Network (MDCAN)’s conference appeared in this morning’s Editorial section of the Baltimore Sun.
Today, the Maryland Conservative Action Network (MDCAN) – an organization dedicated to facilitating dialogue amongst Maryland’s conservative population – is hosting a day-long conference in Annapolis entitled “Turning the Tides.”
Unfortunately, instead of a legitimate conservative candidate, the keynote speaker selected by MDCAN for this conference is none other than Pamela Geller, the leader of a designated hate group and one of America’s most virulent Islamophobes. Geller most recently has received media attention for posting inflammatory ads in metro stations across the country equating Muslims with savages and inciting hatred and fear of Muslims post 9/11. Geller’s actions and words have also caused friction and backlash against American Muslims related to the “Ground-Zero” mosque controversy in New York City. In the past, she has suggested on her blog that President Obama was the secret love-child of Malcolm X, and has expressed support for the urination on corpses of dead Afghans by U.S. Soldiers.
Disturbingly, MDCAN has often opted to invite guest speakers who are well-known bigots and anti-Muslim fanatics, and who aggressively advocate against religious and ethnic minorities. The troubling list of speakers at past MDCAN events have included Frank Gaffney, another well-known Islamophobe who was extensively cited by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik in his chilling manifesto released in the wake of the 2011 Norway attacks, and Fred Grandy, a former radio show host and former congressman who has actively promoted conspiracy theories of “creeping Sharia” and who has warned Americans repeatedly that “Muslims working within our government is cause for concern.”
Without question, CAIR-MD upholds our Constitutional right to free speech. However, it is reckless and irresponsible of an organization like MDCAN to welcome bigots and hate-mongers like Geller as designated speakers at publicized events knowing that she will continue to actively perpetuate fear and intolerance against Muslims. We strongly denounce the racism, fear-mongering, and Islamophobia perpetuated through her words and actions, and urge the organizers of this conference and all people of good conscience to do so as well. We also ask all public officials scheduled to attend this conference to reconsider their decision to do so in order to preserve the honor and integrity of their offices and the people – of whom include many American Muslims – that they represent.