The issue of Islamaphobia and fear are alive and well with the Atlas Shurgs blogger Pamela Geller. Geller, a bloggist who publishes her site called Atlas Shrugs, an Ayn Rands reference, speaks boldly on issues related to Islam in America. One significant point for Pamela is keeping Islam and state seperate; however, Geller claims there is no such thing as a moderate Islam. Geller states that "I believe in the idea of a moderate Muslim. I do not believe in the idea of a moderate Islam." Geller expands on that idea when she explains:
"I think a moderate Muslim is a secular Muslim." She also comments on that issue when asked, "Just to be completely clear, so you’re saying if someone is a devout Muslim, meaning if he or she is practicing and believing in the tenets of Islam, they cannot in your view be a political moderate?"
And her response:
"No. No, no, they can’t. Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate
translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many
of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to. That’s deeply troubling. And I
don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day
that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. I don’t think they
Geller certainly takes a controversial point on devout Muslims and politicals moderates, and she also brings up idea of seperating Islam and state comes to a critical point when Geller addresses the issue of a mosque going up near the Ground Zero site. On this issue Geller says "To me it was an outrage, to me it was deeply offensive, to me it was indicative that interfaith dialogue and mutual respect and mutual understanding is a one-way street with Islamic supremacists, not Muslims. I believe that Muslims are more victimized by Islamic supremacists than even non-Muslims. But I covered it the way I covered any other story."
However, an interesting point is made by Geller when she says,
"Because I think that I’m giving voice to the voiceless. But how am I a leader?
Look, there is no way that I have a magical power wherein 70 percent of the
American people are opposed to this mosque. It’s demeaning and it’s
condescending to the individual, for you — not you, sir — for someone to say
This quote brings up the issue of whether Geller is a "fear monger" and "leader of hate" as some protests deam her, or is she merely reflecting what a percentage of Americans already believe. While Geller sees herself as a "voice of the voiceless," she indeed about a million of readers who frequent her site Atlas Shrugs in order to intake her anti-Islam view points and blog posts. Yet on this point the New York Times refelcts that "influence is serious: a spreading fear of Islam and a dehumanization of Muslims comparable to the sometimes-violent anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism of earlier eras. Even some of her former right-wing allies say she has gone too far. "
The dehumanlization of Muslims and sweeping generalizations are the core of the real issue here, and indeed Geller is perpetuating that dialouge as opposed to merely reflecting the issues many Americans agree with. Geller goes so far as to even generate the anti-Islamic vocalubary used by Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.