Breitbart under the leadership of Stephen Bannon has given succour and support to prominent anti-Muslim extremists and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. One prominent and popular voice is Pamela Geller president of Stop Islamization of America. Geller began blogging for Breitbart in 2009.
In 2014, she authored less than 40 articles for Breitbart. That figure more than doubles in 2015. Content from Geller came almost daily in certain months of 2015. She has been a guest on Bannon’s radio show seven times, according to Mother Jones. This non-exhaustive list demonstrates how the Breitbart platform has intensified the quantity and reach of individuals like Pamela Geller in ‘alt-right’, white nationalist and broader anti-Muslim spheres.
On December 5, 2015, Geller wrote: “If Lynch is serious in prosecuting hate speech, then she will have to start closing down mosques and banning the Quran.” This article gained 65,311 Facebook shares.
On the “jihad election” of Sadiq Khan as London Mayor, Geller wrote on May 10, 2016: “The Islamization of Britain made an immense advance this week”. She then claimed Khan has “extensive ties to jihadis and Islamic supremacists”. For Geller, any Muslim who voted for Sadiq Khan disproves the notion that “most Muslims are moderates and do not adhere to the Sharia, or support extremism”. Since his election, Sadiq Khan has made great efforts to engage and celebrate London’s diverse communities.
Nor does she accept that victims of anti-Muslim hate are real. In Geller’s writings, she speaks of “the lie of Islamophobia and the Muslim-victimhood myth.” Yet, our 2015 annual report found that hotspots of anti-Muslim hate occur when Muslims use public and private transport networks, walk in public spaces of cities, and where they do their shopping. Muslim women are more likely to be attacked than men in most settings. The number of offline incidents have trebled from 146 in 2014/15 (12 months to March 2015) to 437 ‘offline’ incidents in the 2015 calendar year. This shows an increase of 300 per cent and there was an increase over time on the previous reporting period by 200 per cent. According to FBI data, anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 67 per cent in 2015. There were 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes compared to 167 incidents in 2014.
In early 2014, Geller wrote (without citation): “As the Muslim population grows, so does violent intimidation and lawlessness”. She qualified with statement with the claim that “After Muslim populations reach 20%, we see rioting, jihad militias, church burnings, and worse–and once it reaches 40%, there are massacres and frequent jihad terror attacks, as we have seen in recent years in Bosnia, Chad, and Lebanon.”
Pamela Geller also operates on the misplaced belief that every London taxi driver is Muslim. This article was shared almost five thousand times on Facebook.
It’s worth remembering that Pamela Geller has been banned from entering the United Kingdom since 2013.
On November 24, 2015, Geller appeared on Stephen Bannon’s radio show. Before introducing Geller, he spoke of the “migrant invasion of Europe by Islam, or by Muslims”. When introducing Geller, he asked her: “You are one of the leading experts in the country, if not the world on this topic, would you recommend that everyone go read the Qur’an?” He concluded the interview by describing Geller as one of the ‘great patriots’.
A month later, she was invited on his radio show to elaborate on her claim that the Muslim Brotherhood have ‘infiltrated’ various parts of government. Bannon closed the interview by referring to Geller as an ‘American hero’ and ‘American patriot’.
Bannon heaped praise on Geller on January 6, 2016. He described her as the “The top leading expert in this field”. On February 4, 2016, she claimed on Breitbart radio that President Obama ‘never discusses’ antisemitism. This is not true. On January 27, 2016, President Obama said: “We must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise. We cannot deny it”.
Stephen Bannon will sometimes openly agree with Geller’s conspiratorialarguments. When in discussion with Pamela Geller had accused the ‘mainstream media’ of ‘going along the lines of Sharia compliance’. He agreed with Geller that the media operates ‘self-enforced blasphemy law’ on June 12, 2016.
When Bannon was announced as Trump’s campaign chief in August, Geller wrote: “I know Steve Bannon. It’s an inspired choice.” The roots of their apparent friendship date back to 2011 when Bannon invited her to a screening of his documentary on Sarah Palin.