Target: Roger Ailes, chairman and president of Fox News Channel
Goal: Stop giving fearmongering Islamophobic activist a platform on national television
Pamela Geller is a fringe conservative blogger and activist, and an extremely vocal advocate of Islamophobia. Unfortunately, that has not prevented her from being a frequent contributor to Fox News on issues surrounding the Middle East and the “Muslim world,” under the assumption that she has some kind of expertise on these issues. Allowing her a platform on national television without a concurrent critical analysis of her beliefs serves only to legitimize her position and incite popular opinion among Fox News’ audience against both American Muslims and Muslims around the world. Fox News must take responsibility for its programming and bar Pamela Geller from future appearances on its network.
Pamela Geller is often remembered from the controversy surrounding the building of the Cordoba House/Park51 Islamic community center and mosque (the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”) in Manhattan in 2010—a controversy that she, and other Islamophobes, manufactured—but her track record is much more extensive than that. Geller co-founded the anti-Islamic American Freedom Defense Initiative and its side-project, Stop Islamization of America, both of which have been categorized as hate groups by the government of the United Kingdom (a distinction that led to Geller’s actually being barred entry into the country where she was planning to speak at a rally for the virulently-Islamophobic English Defence League). She is also the individual responsible for anti-Islamic subway and bus advertisements in several major U.S. cities, including New York City. In addition, in a recent Fox News appearance she called respected Tunisian politician and Islamic thinker Rashid al-Ghannushi a “savage” and Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan a “silver-tongued snake.”
Pamela Geller has consistently shown herself to be nothing more than a megaphone for stereotypes and fearmongering. Add your name to the petition below, and encourage Fox News to cease giving Geller a platform from which to advocate for her misguided beliefs.
Dear Mr. Ailes,
Your news network must cease inviting Pamela Geller, editor of Atlas Shrugs and co-founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, onto your network as a contributor to discussions about Islam, the Middle East, or the “Muslim World.” Giving her an unrestricted platform on national television only serves to legitimize the Islamophobia that she so readily buys into.
While Geller may be very opinionated when it comes to issues surrounding Islam and the Middle East, those opinions are tainted with Islamophobic bigotry and prejudice, and ultimately do more harm than good. The Muslim community in the United States is dealing with prejudice from their non-Muslim American brothers and sisters, purely on the basis of their faith. Though this has been happening since long before September 11th, 2001, it has skyrocketed since that event, and instances of anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic violence has risen along with it. In addition, Arab-Americans and members of the American Sikh community have been experiencing Islamophobia-based prejudice simply on the basis that they “look like Muslims,” even if they do not practice Islam. Pamela Geller is one of the most prominent anti-Islamic voices in the country, and as such has only been encouraging instances of Islamophobic violence. Media responsibility and ethical considerations dictate that she no longer be given a platform on your network.
I am encouraging you to discontinue the use of Pamela Geller as a contributor. Please take responsibility for your programming and conform to standards of American dignity and equality by ceasing to give Pamela Geller’s Islamophobia a soapbox to be shouted from.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hydrargyrum via Wikimedia Commons