(LOS ANGELES, 6/24/12) — A Southern California interfaith coalition today commended the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for having the courage to stand up to bigotry by canceling an event featuring the leader of a notorious anti-Muslim hate group.
Pamela Geller, head of the group Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), was invited by the Zionist Organization of America to speak at an event at the Federationâ€™s headquarters this morning to deliver a lecture on â€œIslamic Jew-Hatred: The Root Cause of the Failure to Achieve Peace.â€
SIOA has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Geller has also authored a book offering step-by-step instructions on how to stop mosque construction in America.
The event was cancelled following a statement of concern by the coalition, which includes: Council on American-Islamic Relations – Greater Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP), Islamic Circle of North America – Southern California (ICNA), Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles (JVP-LA), LA Jews for Peace, Muslim American Society – Greater Los Angeles (MAS-LA), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Muslim Ummah of North America, Southern California (MUNA), and Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU).
In a statement today, the coalition said:
â€œWe commend the Jewish Federation for taking action to dissociate from Pamela Gellerâ€™s bigoted views. It is also encouraging to see that when interfaith communities work together, we can help promote tolerance and reject misinformation that only serves to confuse and promote hate.
Americans must continue to stand up and ensure that voices of hate and bigotry stay on the margins of our society, where they belong. We further ask people to take a moment to send a note of thanks to the Federationâ€™s leadership.â€
Geller once bragged that she uses a Quran, Islamâ€™s holy text, as a doorstop. She also called for the demolition of a mosque in Florida, and she will be speaking along with the violent racist group English Defence Leagueâ€™s Tommy Robinson at an international event later this summer. SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar group in Europe that seeks to block the construction of mosques on that continent.
Its sister organization, Stop the Islamization of Europe, â€œconsiders Islamophobia to be the height of common sense.â€ The United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because:
â€œThe applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease.â€ Geller has claimed that â€œHitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islamâ€ and that Islam â€œmandatesâ€ lies and deception.