Newsweek‘s Declassified blog reports an email exchange with Pamela Geller, who sees no reason to withdraw her backing for the far-right EDL despite its supporters’ widely reported racism and hooliganism at the demonstration in Bradford on Saturday,
Geller told Declassified: “The media has been defamatory and libelous towards any and all counter jihad activists, including the EDL, which far from being neo-Nazi and racist, is pro-Israel and has Sikh and other non-white members and spokesmen. The EDL’s own explanation of what happened in Bradford is here. As you can see from that statement, a group of Islamic supremacists and Communists actually began the violence by throwing rocks at EDL members.”
In response Declassified points out that reports by the police and even the right-wing press contradict the EDL’s fantasy account of a peaceful, patriotic event that came under attack from the Left and was otherwise only slightly marred by the unrepresentative actions of a handful of “Combat 18 boneheads”:
“The Telegraph said that as EDL protesters got off buses that had taken them to the site, they shouted slogans at locals, including ‘Allah-Pedophile’, ‘We want our country back’, and ‘We love the floods’ – a reference, the paper said, to flooding that’s now devastating much of Pakistan.
“The Daily Mail, a newspaper perhaps even more conservative than The Telegraph, also reported on the violence. The paper’s website carries photos of what it says are EDL protesters, with one caption reading, ‘Crossing the line: EDL supporters in hats, hoods and balaclavas hurl missiles at police in Bradford today’.”
But Geller will have none of it. In reply she acknowledges that some of the slogans the Telegraph attributed to EDL protesters were “in bad taste, although in saying that I am not accepting the accuracy of The Telegraph account, and also understand that words said in anger are not always words the speakers would endorse in moments of reflection”.
Indeed, according to Geller, if racist chants and violence occur at EDL rallies this is very probably part of a conspiracy to undermine the “counter jihad” movement:
“The Left and real neo-Nazis frequently attempt to infiltrate EDL rallies in order to discredit the EDL. This is amply documented. Both have an interest in seeing the EDL fail: the Left so that there will be no serious resistance to its agenda, and the neo-Nazis so that there exists no respectable alternative to them in opposing the British elite, and also because the neo-Nazis have generally aligned with the Islamic jihad that the EDL resists.”
But then, Geller also believes that the attack on New York taxi driver Ahmed Sharif was a leftist plot to discredit her campaign against the “Ground Zero mosque”.
The truly bizarre thing is that this woman is regularly featured in the US media as if she has some rational ideas to contribute to a discussion of Islam. As for the UK, faced with the example of Pamela Geller you do feel that in all fairness Melanie Phillips should perhaps now be renamed “relatively sane Mel”.
Postscript: For more on the common ground Geller finds with the far Right, see the recent article by Heidi Beirich at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog.