CAIR Asks Alaska Lawmaker to Drop Hate Group Leader as Witness

Mar 29, 2011, 13:22 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) designated as anti-Muslim hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Alaska state Rep. Carl Gatto (R-Palmer) to drop a scheduled witness in support of a proposed anti-Sharia bill (House Bill 88) who is the leader of an extremist organization recently designated as a hate group.

CAIR says that witness, Pamela Geller, heads Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which was designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the nation's more than 1,000 hate groups. Gatto's office has confirmed that Geller is scheduled to testify in support of the bill on March 30.

SEE: Active Anti-Muslim Groups

Sponsor Statement: House Bill 88

Geller has claimed that "Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam" and that Islam "mandates" lies and deception. She has also posted images on her blog that include a fake photograph of then Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in a Nazi uniform, another fake image of President Obama urinating on an American flag and drawings purporting to depict Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a pig.

One image posted by Geller, headlined "Piss Be Upon Him," showed one of the controversial Danish cartoons of the prophet covered in urine. ("Piss Be Upon Him" is designed to mock the traditional phrase "Peace Be Upon Him" that Muslims use when mentioning any prophet of God.) In a 2010 blog entry, Geller posted a video claiming that Muslims engage in bestiality.

SEE: Pamela Geller: The Looniest Blogger Ever

Video: TV Host Exposes Pamela Geller's Anti-Muslim Bigotry

SIOA is an Anti-Muslim Hate Group

The United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because: "The 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."

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, "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense."

Geller also co-founded another hate group, American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), with an individual who says he is an admirer of the founder of two terrorist organizations and who has in the past called for the killing of all Muslims.

SEE: SIOA Co-Founder: Kill Your Liberal Relatives and All Muslims

Rep. Gatto, whose bill is modeled on similar state measures introduced nationwide targeting Islamic principles (Sharia), said the proposed law is necessary because of the religious beliefs of recent immigrants. "As a kid, we had Italian neighborhoods, Irish neighborhoods. . .but they didn't impose their own laws," Gatto said. "When these neighborhoods are occupied by people from the Middle East, they do establish their own laws."

SEE: Alaska Seeks to Bar Foreign Law From Courts

Similar anti-Sharia bills are being considered in a number of state legislatures. Many of the bills are drawn from a template prepared by David Yerushalmi, head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE). Yerushalmi testified at a past hearing for the Alaska bill.

SEE: Tennessee Bill Would Jail Shariah Followers

Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade

On its now password-protected website, SANE offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims."

SEE: A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America's National Existence (SADITANE)

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations