Pamela Geller, the outspoken head of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, has spoken out after her group's Mohammed Cartoon event was targeted in a shooting attack by Muslim terrorists on Sunday night..
In an interview with CNN, Geller lashed out at the media "elites" for criticizing her group – the attackers' intended victims – as opposed to radical Islamists responsible for such violent attacks.
The event had offered a $10,000 award for the best cartoon depicting the founder of Islam, Mohammed, and featured a speech by Dutch MP Geert Wilders, among other prominent critics of Islam.
Depictions of Mohammed are forbidden by Islam, and many Muslim extremists have attempted to enforce those blasphemy laws globally – most notably culminating in the slaughter of the staff of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this year.
The prize was won by an ex-Muslim, Geller noted, as she responded to a grilling by her interviewer, who asked whether she realized "just how dangerous an event like this could be?"
"It's dangerous because increasingly we are abridging our freedoms so as not to offend savages," Geller shot back.
"The very idea that if something offends me or if I'm insulted by something, I'll kill you, and that way I can get my way – and somehow this is OK with members of the elite media and academia – is outrageous."
Geller insisted that the event was an attempt to push back against such attacks on freedom of expression.
"We have to have this conversation, and the fact that we have to spend upwards of $50,000 dollars in security speaks to how dangerous and how in trouble freedom of speech is in this country," she said, before taking a direct swipe at the media itself.
"And then we have to get on these news shows and somehow we – those who are targeted, those who were going to be slaughtered – are the ones who get attacked, speaks to how morally inverted this conversation is.
"I'm not concerned with Muslims, especially peaceful Muslims. I am concerned with the 25% which support Sharia; I am concerned with the amputations and the female genital mutilation and the honor violence; I am concerned that the media whitewashes and scrubs this. I am concerned for the victims."
Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in particular, some western media outlets were accused of "betrayal" after self-censoring in order not to "offend" Muslims, by refusing to show the front cover of the paper's post-massacre issue, which featured a picture of Mohammed.
Free speech advocates argue that by doing so media outlets are essentially granting victory to Islamist terrorism, and betraying their raison-detre of upholding freedom of speech and expression.