When the accused Norwegian right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik‘s so-called manifesto surfaced on the internet in the aftermath of the attacks, many commentators quickly took note of the citations to — and wholesale reproduction of pieces by — a group of American bloggers who fancy themselves “counter-Jihadists.” Though no mainstream media outlets alleged that any responsibility for the attack rested with Islamophobic bloggers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, the clear influence they had on Breivik’s anti-Muslim ideology garnered coverage in outlets like the New York Times.
Now Geller and Spencer are leveraging all the attention to raise funds from their supporters. In the past week, both Geller and the David Horowitz Freedom Center — the group that houses Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog — sent out e-mail portraying themselves of victims of what Horowitz, in his letter, called attacks from the “international left.”
In his July 26 email, Horowitz wrote that Spencer was under scrutiny “[b]ecause some of Robert’s ideas happen to have been cited by the lunatic responsible for the carnage.” According to a ThinkProgress analysis of Breivik’s so-called manifesto, Spencer and his Jihad Watch blog were cited a combined 162 times in the 1,500-page document. (Horowitz was cited once.)
Horowitz goes on to offer up a pamphlet he and Spencer are writing — titled: “Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future” — and asks for donations, linking to a page to donate online:
In return I ask you to please give as generously as you can to help us keep Robert, myself and my team of writers here at FrontPage and Jihad Watch turning out the work that keeps the left and its Muslim extremist allies at bay and keeps us in their gun sights. [...]
Help us build up our legal defense fund against the coming witch hunt. [...]
Thank you for standing by us again as we take the battle once more to those who want to kill free speech as the first step of their plan to disarm America.
Then on July 29, Geller — who, combined with here blog Atlas Shrugs, was cited 12 times in Breivik’s screed — sent out a fundraising e-mail of her own, co-signed by her long-time ally Spencer:
Robert and I speak the truth day in and day out and stand on the front lines of freedom. […]
And now they want to shut us up!…
Your Contribution TODAY goes directly to the Protection of Free Speech and Speaking Out Against Islamic supremacism.
For donations of $250 or more, Geller and Spencer will send you a “free DVD copy of our acclaimed movie The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks!” or, for donations of $500 or more, you can get a personally signed copy of Geller’s book “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.”
Supporting their argument, Geller and Spencer cited the media’s reporting that Breivik considered himself a “Christian”: “mainstream media called this savage a CHRISTIAN, and tried to blame the murder of those innocent souls on ‘Radical Christianity!’ It is unbelievable!”
Breivik’s notion that “there are no important theological differences between jihadists and so-called ‘peaceful’ or ‘moderate’ Muslims” is lifted almost directly from the writings of Geller, Spencer and the “counter-jihadists.”