MINEOLA - Protesters gathered in Mineola today to call attention to an alleged attempt to shut out Pamela Geller, the outspoken activist against Islamic terrorism.
Geller spoke before a packed crowd in Nassau today after a separate appearance in Great Neck was canceled. Her supporters later rallied in front of a Nassau County office building today to claim that a county commissioner abused his power and organized a campaign to silence Geller.
The campaign to stop Geller's speech at Chabad of Great Neck was organized, protesters claim, by Habeeb Ahmed, who sits on on the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights. Geller says emails from Ahmed to local faith leaders prove it. One of Ahmed's emails was posted on Geller's website, and it reads in part, "We need to stop her from coming to Great Neck... She is the personification of an Islamaphobe."
"He used his public office to crush free speech," Geller say. "It's unconscionable that he would be allowed to stay in that position."
The original invitation for Geller to speak at a Great Neck synangogue was rescinded, but another synagogue in the same community hosted Geller this morning. Some say her speeches are anti-Islam, but supporters argue that she's just anti-terrorism, and that she has a right to free speech.
Ahmed released a statement Friday that says, in part, "My thoughts and opinions regarding the visit of Pamela Geller to Nassau County reflect my personal opinion-- not that of Nassau County or the Human Rights Commission, and not that of the Islamic Center of LI. The use of my designations in my emails is for identification purposes only. I regret if it was taken in any other way."