Watch CBS News

L.I. Synagogue Cancels Controversial Pamela Geller Speech

GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island synagogue has canceled a controversial speech by conservative firebrand Pamela Geller.

Geller was set to speak Sunday at the Great Neck Synagogue. She had been invited by the men's club at the synagogue to give a speech on Sharia, the religious and moral code of Islam.

She has gained notoriety for her anti-Islam messages, notably including several series of ads that have appeared in the New York City subway and Metro North transit systems.

One round of ads read, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad." Another features the twin towers of the World Trade Center burning on Sept. 11, 2001, and a quote attributed to the Quran saying: "Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.''

Geller was also the force against the Ground Zero mosque, which she called a "victory mosque" marking the site of the 9/11 attacks.

Geller's most recent group, "Stop Islamization of America," has been dubbed a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Anti-Defamation League accused the group of "consistently vilifying the Islamic faith." The SPLC called Geller "the anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead," and claimed she has "mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps."

But she has presented herself as a victim of censorship.

"Whatever your position is, this is free speech, and this is a war on free speech, and the few that speak to these issues are demonized, marginalized, and rendered radioactive," Geller told CBS 2 Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Geller said the cancellation is "a sad day for freedom-loving people."

Do you think Geller should have been able to speak at the synagogue? Leave your comments below...

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.