…..Presence of anti-jihad leader and defender of free speech, Pamela Geller, helped swell the size of the audience.
MD CAN organizers were delighted with the record-breaking turnout at Saturday’s Turning the Tides Conference 2013. The number of attendees topped 270 with last minute registrants who heard about the fuss the Council on American-Islamic Relations was making to try to stop Geller’s appearance and to bully other speakers to back out of speaking and not take part. (No one backed out!)
You will surely be getting other news from many other sources about the myriad speakers and their diverse topics of enormous interest to conservatives, but I want to focus this morning on bringing you up-to-date on CAIR-MD’s antics which foolishly demonstrated to the 270 plus attendees just who they are and the type of tactics they are willing to use to curtail free speech in America—namely that they are bullies. For a chuckle, visit CAIR-MD’s facebook page and note that they participated in an “anti-bullying” seminar in December.
Surely we don’t object to their right to protest as they did outside Annapolis, Maryland’s DoubleTree Hotel—they have free speech too, but their bullying of elected officials is something they have learned from the Far Left and does not help their cause with the public (but, don’t tell them that!).
***Stop now and read Pamela Geller’s column at World Net Daily today with her account of events on Saturday, and then come back here***
Media bias was blatant!
There could not have been a more clear confirmation of just what Geller told the audience hours before the demonstration outside–-that the media is biased in favor of CAIR and the Islamists—than the coverage by local ABC Channel 7 News that virtually camped out outside the DoubleTree; and the Baltimore Sun on the day of the event which posted unchallenged CAIR-Maryland’s screed against Geller.
First, just a bit on CAIR-MD. In 2002, CAIR-MD was incorporated in the state of Maryland, but by 2006 they had dissolved due to a dispute with the IRS (I reported all of that here). Then in August of 2012, a new CAIR-MD formed but as of this writing there is no record of their incorporation under the name of CAIR-MD with the Maryland State Attorney General’s office, so they don’t appear at this time to be a legal group, just an ad hoc gathering of Islamic agitators. In fact, just checking the National CAIR website they aren’t listed as a state chapter there either.
Besides former MD State Delegate Saqib Ali, they seem to have a rising star of sorts in Zainab Chaudry the group’s vice President and scribe who likely joined the demonstration outside the DoubleTree. Someone looking awfully like her was observed carrying a crumpled American flag into the ladies restroom at the DoubleTree. Here is Chaudry’s ten day-old blog. Is that the Egyptian (now Muslim Brotherhood governed) flag behind her? Or the three colors symbolizing Arab power?
ABC Channel 7′s biased coverage
Look at this one minute and forty one second news bite that excluded an interview with one of MD CAN’s organizers and note (with a laugh) that ABC Seven even had the gall to use CAIR’s press release title for their title—“Multi-faith group protests Pamela Geller.” Really! “multi-faith”, it looks like they didn’t even bring the Quakers this year as they did in 2011.
Geller had made a point in her speech about readers’ comments to news reports that are blatantly biased against her (and others who say what she says), she said there is a sea change—comments used to be largely politically-correct cheering for the Islamists, but all that is changing she told the audience. Be sure to read the comments to the Channel Seven one-sided news story—at last count there are over 60 and except for one “Mohammad” they were largely in support of Geller and free speech. If I was the news reporter who spent most of the afternoon at the DoubleTree I would be ashamed of the editing and my work.
Baltimore Sun publishes anti-Geller screed, then doesn’t link it! ***Update*** Two days later it gets a link.*** We only knew about it because Geller picked up a newspaper at the airport when she flew back to NYC. (Most of us have given up on the Baltimore Sun.) Here is what Geller says about the
unlinked opinion piece by Ms. Chaudry. By not linking this, has the Baltimore Sun joined other mainstream media sources that put out propaganda that cannot now be properly distributed and challenged? Or, perhaps they were too chicken to turn down Chaudry’s submission and be labeled “Islamophobic racist bigots,” but didn’t want to send it out broadly. Who knows?
Endnote: To see why they hate her so much, Geller (American Freedom Defense Initiative) won a legal case reinforcing her free speech rights and is responsible for signs like these in the New York subway system. She says she began the campaign after seeing anti-Israel advertisements. Earlier anti-jihad signs were placed in such places that they could be easily defaced. So, now she places them on clocks because of their height and their symbolism—time and the sound of ticking. Apparently someone was able to get a sticker on these anyway!
Update! Here we go, as I said above others would be writing about the conference. This is excellent coverage by Michael Swartz at Monoblogue (be sure to see Part I and Part II).
Update January 15th: Jackie Wellfonder has another great report here. And, Richard Falknor has a great photo essay at the Thursday Meeting website here (I especially liked the “barbarians at the gate” reference).
Update January 16th: Marta Mossburg who was in the room when Geller spoke has written, here, at the Baltimore Sun, about Geller’s right to speak.
Update January 17th: Baltimore Sun posts my ‘letter to the editor’ critical of Sun for publishing CAIR-MD letter and not covering our conference, here.