Want a good measurement of the toxicity level of Pamela Geller, whose American Freedom Defense Initiative worked so hard for so long to attract the sort of violence that struck its Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Texas yesterday? Two survivors of the Charlie Hebdo murders went on Charlie Rose’s show to make it clear they want nothing to do with Geller (per a report from Mediate‘s Matt Wilstein):
“To be honest, I can imagine the kind of comparison you can make between the Charlie Hebdo attack of January 7 and this event, but there is nothing to do [with one another], there is no comparison, absolutely no comparison,” Jean-Baptiste Thoret said in a clip of a longer interview set to air tonight.
While he described the group that put on the event in Texas as part of an “anti-Islamic movement” against the “Islamization of the U.S.,” Thoret said the motives of Charlie Hebdo are “absolutely not the same.” For the magazine, he said it “was a question of criticizing” all religions, not Muslim people “in particular.”
“We don’t organize contests, we just do our work,” Gerard Biard added. “We comment on the news. When Muhammad [pops up] in the news, we draw Muhammad. But if he didn’t, we didn’t — we don’t.”
Geller and her hate-filled associates are protected by the First Amendment like everyone else. But pardon me if I don’t celebrate them as exemplars of American values.