Like most people in 2015 hearing news of the islamist attack on an exhibition in Garland Texas, which featured artwork depicting muhamed through the years, my reaction was one of incredulity, coming only four months after the Charlie Hebdo shooting where a dozen journalists and cartoonists were killed, the 'Draw Muhammed' competition seemed a reckless and unnecessary provocation.
I was soon to learn that this was indeed a deliberate 'provocation', but in the sense that Rosa Parks had been provocative on her infamous bus ride in Montgomery Alabama, or the way that the Boston Tea Party had also been a deliberate and dangerous provocation.
During the following news cycle, three names appeared and reappeared with increasing levels of disdain, first among them was Pamela Geller; as activist and organizer in chief, she joined Robert Spencer and Geert Wilders to personify what we in the West are doing to thoroughly 'deserve' the murderous enrichment that islam bestows upon us.
Shortly after that I decided to research islam for myself, and looking back now I can see how clearly racist we are in the West. By assuming their religion is inherently peaceful, we are also assuming that it is only 'cultural' or 'ethnic' differences that make so many Muslims violent and cruel - we find it far too easy to blame the people, rather than the ideology.
After many years living in blissful ignorance, finding the truth about islam and mohamed was surprisingly simple. In the days when Google was still a trusted and impartial arbiter, a few quick searches brought the whole sorry story to light: rape, murder, robbery, slavery, deceit, torture, narcissism, pedophilia and even rumors of necrophilia - it's all there, the perfect example for ISIS and their ilk.
Needless to say, my view of the Garland Three changed significantly, and now I can readily empathize with Spencer and Wilders, but Pamela Geller and her strident Zionism remains an enigma, so I was pleased to pre-order a copy of her latest book, Fatwa: Hunted in America.
The first thing to note is that this book is not about Pamela in any trivial or personal sense. It is primarily about her fight to keep the freedoms that we all take as granted, to use her own words, she says more than once: "This is not about me", but that's a shame because I, and probably many others, would like to know a little more about 'The most dangerous woman in America'. There is some insight to her early life but it seems her mission takes precedence and she almost forgets herself. A picture does emerge over the following chapters, but this book is primarily about her struggle (jihad against Jihad?) and the vicious hostility of those she is fighting for, as much as from those whom she is fighting against.
There are lots of facts and dates, and if my preamble was news to you, then this book should serve as a concise introduction to one of the greatest threats to your current way of life. If you already know the challenges we face, then her book is an interesting compendium and reference.
It was fitting for me, that on the day I finished reading, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, another provocative action to be sure, and one that I know will have pleased Pamela.