On Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Other Jihadists

By Jeffrey Goldberg

I'm away, and it's hard to keep up with the news, but it seems as if my arch-nemesis Pamela Geller is in a bit of a pickle because she and her partner-in-Muslim-bashing, Robert Spencer, were favorites of the Norway killer. (Btw, I call her my arch-nemesis, but I'm grateful to her for calling me what I believe to be the best epithet ever, "Jewicidal Jihadi." Also, "Jihad Jeffro." All I've ever come up with to describe her is "shrieking bigot," which doesn't have the same power, or alliterative quality.) Here's The Times on Geller, and Geller's delightful response:

Mr. Breivik's declaration did not name Mr. Kaczynski or acknowledge the numerous passages copied from the Unabomber's 1995 manifesto, in which the Norwegian substituted "multiculturalists" or "cultural Marxists" for Mr. Kaczynski's "leftists" and made other small wording changes.

By contrast, he quoted the American and European counterjihad writers by name, notably Mr. Spencer, author of 10 books, including "Islam Unveiled" and "The Truth About Muhammad."

Mr. Breivik frequently cited another blog, Atlas Shrugs, and recommended the Gates of Vienna among Web sites. Pamela Geller, an outspoken critic of Islam who runs Atlas Shrugs, wrote on her blog Sunday that any assertion that she or other antijihad writers bore any responsibility for Mr. Breivik's actions was "ridiculous."

"If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists," she wrote.

Goldblog's position: Geller is a hatemonger, but she didn't pull the trigger. Free speech means free speech. But she should be aware now that violent people look to her for guidance, and she should write with that in mind. Which brings me to the subject of the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, mosque, the new "Ground Zero mosque" controversy. People like Herman Cain, who vilify this mosque (and other mosques) should think carefully about the ways in which their words are heard. I worry about a violent reaction to the Tennessee mosque more than I worry about any other terrorism target in America. More on this later, when I have better access to the Web.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/07/on-pamela-geller-robert-spencer-and-other-jihadists/242474/