Mona Eltahawy vs. Free Speech

Author's note: I sent this article to Matt Seaton of the Guardian in response to Mona Eltahawy's defamatory piece there, justifying her vandalism of my ad in the New York subways: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad." Seaton responded: "I don't see how the article was defamatory, but in any case I would welcome it if you wanted to post in the discussion thread under Mona's article. Alternatively, I think you have a well-followed blog; plus you did have your say in the subway ads in the first instance."

So only one side gets a say in the Guardian. I am not surprised that it would be the side trying to justify the infringement of my freedom of speech.

In her Guardian piece justifying her vandalism of my ad in the New York subway and infringement of my freedom of speech, Mona Eltahawy claims that five days after her hateful and malicious act, "a man set fire to my brother's local mosque." Then she says of her vandalism: "I broke the law, yes. So what?" What would Eltahawy say if the person who set fire to the mosque said the same thing? While claiming to uphold the freedom of speech and rule of law, Eltahawy reveals her hypocrisy, and her contempt for both.

Eltahawy goes on about her "love of the first amendment," while demonstrating her abysmal lack of understanding of what the freedom of speech is, how it works, and why it is important. How is destroying private property free speech? Vandalism is not freedom of speech, it's barbarism; in a word, it's savagery. If Mona Eltahawy wanted to exercise her freedom of speech, she could have bought her own advertisement and expressed herself any way she wished. Attacking people with toxic spray (and yes, she did spraypaint Pamela Hall, as the video shows, contrary to her claims in her piece), and destroying property is not freedom of expression or any legitimate form of protest.

But it isn't just the First Amendment that she doesn't get: clearly Mona Eltahawy's grasp on the facts, and reality in general, is tenuous at best. "When Islamophobes in Europe," she writes, "Geert Wilders and the English Defense League - unite to come to visit Geller and meet with mainstream Republican heavyweight such as Andrew Bolt and Newt Gingrich, you must understand it is for the purpose of vilifying all Muslims." Andrew Bolt is a mainstream Republican heavyweight? The only Andrew Bolt I know of is a journalist in Australia; I haven't met him.

Eltahawy claims that if she had wanted to block my freedom of speech, she would have torn down my ad, not spraypainted over it - a transparent dodge obviously designed to aid her defense when she comes up on criminal mischief charges in November. And then she, who spraypainted over my ad, has the gall to call me a "bully." But I wasn't the one out there covering over her message with spray paint.

"Resist the disingenuous argument," Eltahawy says, that I am "speaking out against 'Jihad' and not Islam." But she offers no reason, no argument in favor of such "resistance." We are constantly told that the vast majority of Muslims abhor the jihad terror that is committed worldwide in the name of Islam; why, then, would Eltahawy take a call to defeat jihad as referring to all Muslims?

Eltahaway also decries my use of the word "savage" as "racist" and "dehumanizing." But is any use of the word "savage" really some kind of thinly veiled call for genocide, as she strongly implies? Nonsense. Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the Nazis "savages." And they were. Would Mona Eltahawy spraypaint him as well?

Nor does Eltahawy have anything at all to say about the very real savagery that is committed in the name of the jihad against Israel. The ad refers not to all Muslims, but to to those jihadis who rejoice in the murders of innocent civilians. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians. The targeting of civilians is savage. The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens was savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage. The list is endless.

This kind of savagery goes on in the name of jihad on a daily basis around the world - and my ads are the problem? Mona Eltahawy demonstrates a moral myopia of truly immense proportions, mistaking fascist denial of the freedom of speech with the exercise of the freedom of speech, and identifying the resistance to savagery as worse than the savagery itself.

And even worse are all the polite, well-dressed savages behind her, applauding her fascist thuggery and giving it a platform in publications like the Guardian.

Pamela Geller is the publisher of and the author of the WND Books title "Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance."