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Cartoon contest organizer Pamela Geller known for inflammatory rhetoric


The Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that exploded in violence over the weekend in Texas was organized by Pamela Geller, a New Yorker who rails against Islam with such ferocity that one of the nation’s top civil rights groups lists her in its “extremist files.”


Geller, 56, is head of an organization called the American Freedom Defense Initiative, whose mission, according to tax records, is to act against “capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.”

Through websites, books, ad campaigns and public events, Geller has been warning for years about the “Islamic machine” that she says threatens to destroy the U.S.

She famously led the campaign in 2010 – under a different group, called Stop the Islamization of America – to prevent the opening of an Islamic community center blocks from the World Trade Center site. She called it the “ground zero mosque.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks hate groups, keeps a dossier on her in its “extremist files,” calling her “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead.”