Pamela Geller, Christopher Hitchens and the absolute right of free speech

Pamela Geller, and every other American, has the right to free speech.

Pamela Geller at anti-Islam rally (

SAN ANTONIO, June 16, 2015 – Pamela Geller is fast becoming Public Enemy No. 1 for Islamic jihadists.

Within the past month alone, there have been two separate plots by three Islamic savages — all of whom were quickly sent to meet their virgins — to take the life of political activist Pamela Geller. The jihadists are targeting Geller for her “crime” of organizing a free speech event that happened to include a Muhammad cartoon contest.

Last weekend, ISIS decided to up the ante: a Twitter account affiliated with the Islamic terrorist group released Geller’s home address accompanied only by the ominous twitter hashtag “#GoForth.”

ISIS has decided to make Pamela Geller a martyr for the freedom of speech, the keystone of Western civilization, in order to send a message of intimidation and submission to anyone else who may consider acting in ways contrary to Islamic holy law (sharia).

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The media refuses to see the big picture and instead continues to focus on whether Geller’s chosen way of exercising her right to free speech was prudent. American mainstream media has shown no support for Geller and, in some cases, has gone to the extreme of implying that Geller has brought this violence upon herself by exercising her right to freedom of speech.

Christopher Hitchens, one of the most respected polemicists, authors and contrarians of recent memory, has thoughtfully articulated some of the most persuasive arguments in support of an absolutist view of freedom of speech. These seem salient in regard to the current erosion of freedom, and attempted imposition of Islamic holy law into our society, which Geller so admirably refuses to submit to.

It is time for those who support freedom of speech and who refuse to capitulate to any law that is not made pursuant to the United States Constitution to arm themselves with the ability to clearly articulate the reasons the media and every freedom-loving individual should fully support and tolerate Geller’s right to exercise her freedom of speech in ways she chooses, regardless of society’s judgment on the prudence of her actions.

Anyone who claims to be a defender of freedom of speech should familiarize his or her self with the following biting quotations from Hitchens:


“If you want to avoid upsetting these people, you have to let Indonesia commit genocide in East Timor, otherwise they’ll be upset with you. You’ll have made an enemy. If you tell them they can’t throw acid in the faces of unveiled women in Karachi, they will be annoyed with you. If you say we insist, we think cartoonists in Copenhagen can print satire on the Prophet Mohammad, you’ve just made an enemy. You’ve brought it on. You’re encouraging it to happen.

“So unless you are willing to commit suicide for yourself and for this culture, get used to the compromises you will have to make and the eventual capitulation that will come to you. But bloody well don’t do that in my name because I’m not doing it. You surrender in your own name. Leave me out of it.”

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“The prohibition on picturing the prophet—who was only another male mammal—is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. This current uneasy coexistence is only an interlude, he seems to say. For the moment, all I can do is claim to possess absolute truth and demand absolute immunity from criticism. But in the future, you will do what I say and you will do it on pain of death.

“If Muslims do not want their alleged prophet identified with barbaric acts or adolescent fantasies, they should say publicly that random murder for virgins is not in their religion. And here one runs up against a curious reluctance. …”


“The question of ‘offensiveness’ is easy to decide. First: Suppose that we all agreed to comport ourselves in order to avoid offending the (Muslim) believers? How could we ever be sure that we had taken enough precautions? On Saturday, I appeared on CNN, which was so terrified of reprisal that it ‘pixilated’ the very cartoons that its viewers needed to see. And this ignoble fear arose because of an illustration in a small Scandinavian newspaper of which nobody had ever heard before! Is it not clear, then, that those who are determined to be ‘offended’ will discover a provocation somewhere? We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt.”


“But my attachment to free speech is at least absolute and consistent… Within a short while—this is a warning— the shady term “Islamophobia” is going to be smuggled through our customs. Anyone accused of it will be politely but firmly instructed to shut up, and to forfeit the constitutional right to criticize religion. By definition, anyone accused in this way will also be implicitly guilty. Thus the ‘soft’ censorship will triumph, not from any merit in its argument, but from its association with the ‘hard’ censorship that we have seen being imposed over the past weeks (he refers to the riots and killings worldwide due to the Danish cartoons of Muhammad). A report ($$) in the New York Times of Feb. 13 was as carefully neutral as could be but nonetheless conveyed the sense of menace. ‘American Muslim leaders,’ we were told, are more canny. They have ‘managed to build effective organizations and achieve greater integration, acceptance and economic success than their brethren in Europe have. They portray the cartoons as a part of a wave of global Islamophobia and have encouraged Muslim groups in Europe to use the same term.’ In other words, they are leveraging worldwide Islamic violence to drop a discreet message into the American discourse.

“You may have noticed the recurrence of the term ‘One point two billion Muslims.’ A few years ago, I became used to the charge that in defending Salman Rushdie, say, I had “offended a billion Muslims.” Evidently, the number has gone up since I first heard this ridiculous complaint. But observe the implied threat. There is not just safety in numbers, but danger in numbers. How many Danes or Jews or freethinkers are there? You can see what the ‘spokesmen’ are insinuating by this tactic of mass psychology and mobbishness.”


“Of course. Everyone is. No city in the world is not going to have this. It’s probably going to be the dominant fact of our future. They will be able to demonstrate with fairly convincing means that there is nowhere that’s safe from them. It’s coming.”

Any freedom-loving individual, particularly after reading the above quotations, would be bothered to know that Christopher Hitchens passed away from esophageal cancer in 2011.

However, his unwavering, often irrefutable, defenses of freedom of speech will not be forgotten and should be utilized by those who support Pamela Geller’s right not to be murdered for the crime of exercising her freedom of speech however she chooses.

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