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Some advice for Pamela Geller
by Amer Zahr
May 8th, 2015 (11 Comments)
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Dear Pam,

I've been watching you.  Now, I don't mean that I've been "watching" you in the same way the FBI watches us Arabs and Muslims.  I just mean I've been following you.  Wait, I don't mean I've been "following" you the same way those crazy guys followed you to Texas. I just mean I've been keeping my eye on you.  Observing you. Trailing you.  Okay, none of that sounds good.

I see that you are spending a lot of time trying to offend Muslims.  In fact, you have made a bit of a career out of it.  And while you might think otherwise, you're not doing a great job.  You're going about it all wrong.  Sure, drawing cartoons of Muhammad might get a couple of crazies to crash one of your events.  But the vast majority of Muslims aren't really going to do anything about it.  You're just a small nuisance to most of us.

I'm a half-Muslim Arab American, and most of my friends are Arabs and Muslims.  And we don't ever really talk about you.  Your hateful rhetoric is just turning you into some kind of weird, irrelevant, creepy sideshow.  I mean, you know you're running amiss when even Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham are calling you reckless and stupid.

If you want a glimpse into your future, just look at Terry Jones.  Remember him?  He's the Muslim-hating Quran-burning pastor from Florida.  During his last "protest" in Dearborn (Dearbornistan, so you might know it), the Muslims just ignored him.  Doing something wacky like lighting the Quran aflame got him some fame, but just as quickly as he ingited that lighter, we all forgot about him.  I was sitting in a hookah cafe last night in Michigan and no one was talking about him.  You know what we were talking about? Football, food, and women. Just like other good Americans.  And look at Terry now.  He just opened a french fry stand in Florida.  He's gone from cooking Qurans to cooking potatoes.  Is that really what you want for yourself?

If you want to get the vast majority of Muslim Americans into a real uproar, you don't draw cartoons of their prophet and call them savages in subway ads.  Those things just make you look absurd.  No, you have to hit us where it hurts.  I've put together a short list of some new slogans for you that might be more potent.

"Driving a BMW makes you look like a terrorist."

From my unscientific observations of Muslims, I have found that they really love BMWs.  It seems to be our car of choice.  We are, admittedly, a quite flashy people.  And BMW was founded by Nazis, too.  You could do a whole national ad campaign on this one.  This could be really far-reaching.  Not only do Arab Muslims worship their BMWs, Indian, Pakistani, and Iranian Muslims love theirs too.  Have you seen "Shahs of Sunset"?  Now, targeting BMWs might offend some Jewish Americans too, if my observations serve me right.  But if you don't want to go after BMW, you could just substitute Mercedes or Range Rover.  You will achieve the same widespread effect.

"Opening a gas station is so savage."

I assume I don't really have to explain this one.  By the way, a quick note to my white American friends here.  You know that guy with the accent named "Mike" behind the register?  His name isn't really Mike.  It's probably Muhammad or Mahmoud.  And "Al" is Ali.  And "Sam"... well, that could be anything.  Also, contrary to popular opinion, Mike, Al, and Sam are not setting the gas prices.  That's mostly your fellow white friends in New York, Texas, and DC.  So enough with that sort of anger.  Oh, and to Mike, Al, and Sam, I'm sorry for outing you, but I had to let them know.

"Becoming a doctor or engineer is so ISIS-y."

As it turns out, Muslim Americans have some of the highest rates of education in the country.  In 2009, Gallup even reported that "Muslim American women are one of the most highly educated female religious groups in the United States, second only to Jewish American women." If you really want to enrage my people, you attack education.  Most Americans should be able to get on board with that. But I would be quite careful about using this slogan.  You might get every Muslim mother in America at your doorstep.

I hope I have helped.  I have a lot of other ideas.  You could also go after Marlboro, True Religion jeans, or any business that sells old Baywatch posters.  These are all treasures (and some guilty pleasures) of Muslim Americans.

So, Pam, please change your ways.  They are more than just hateful, bitter, and despicable.  They're simply not working.  If you insist on persisting in your current methods, I don't see bright days ahead.  If your stubbornness gets the best of you, you might end up unemployed.  But don't worry.  There are other ways to survive.  I'm sure Terry will have a spot for you in Florida.  He could always use help on the fryer.

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* Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."

Comments (11)
  1. this is one of your best pieces. I am still laughing.

  2. Nice work!!! This was a good one!

  3. Loved the new term “ISIS-y”. And The reference to BMW drivers and Old Baywatch posters was too funny.
    Keep it up!!

  4. Halina Minadeo ... May 9th, 2015 - 01:55

    I am terrified of Muslims spitting out sunflower seed shells! Hee-hee, still laughing. Really a little gem, this one.

  5. Wesam Alissa ... May 9th, 2015 - 03:11

    Beautiful piece Amer. Hopefully she will read it and chose to work with Terry, this will get her better results…
    Shameful how some still think of Muslims without reading about Islam or even live with them…

  6. Mahmood Hassan ... May 9th, 2015 - 10:28

    Good article……

  7. Geller’s great friend in futility is the Dutch hate speaker Geert Wilders who has electrified crowds of, oh, I don’t know, up to 20 or 30 bigots on his visits to Australia. Do you have some life-changing advice for him too Amer?

  8. Dear Amer: your satire on P. Geller was both amusing and apropos! As a Catholic Irish I recognize resurgent nativism and the disguised American Protective Association esposued by biigots like Geller and friends that routinely disparged my fellow Catholics in the 19th and early 20th centuries; incriminated their Christian beliefs, burnt their schools and churches, and intimidated faithful teaching nuns with bodily harm.

  9. Amer: The eloquent author and Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen [d. 1979], God have mercy on his soul, wrote of the Quran’s positive statements of Jesus Christ and Him mother Mary in a popular book that he wrote decades ago, the name of which I can provide a later time.


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