Pamela Geller (born June 14, 1958) is an American political activist and commentator. She is known for her opposition to the proposed construction of an Islamic community center near the former site of the World Trade Center, and sponsorship of the “Draw the Prophet” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. She has been described as anti-Islamic which she denies, preferring to describe herself as opposing Islamism. She says her blogging and campaigns in the United States are against what she terms “creeping Sharia” in the country. Multiple groups have described her as Islamophobic.
She is currently the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative which she co-founded with Robert Spencer. The American Freedom Defense Initiative has been designated an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The British government barred Geller’s entry into the UK in 2013 saying her presence would “not be conducive to the public good.” She and Spencer co-authored the book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America in 2010.
The Huffington Post has called her “far right”, as have other media sources while others, such as the BBC, contrast her right-wing support for small government with her socially liberal positions.
Geller is the third of four sisters born to the Jewish family of Reuben, a textile manufacturer, and Lillian Geller. She grew up in Hewlett Harbor, in New York’s Long Island.:136 She helped out in her father’s business, where she learned to speak fluent Spanish. Two of her sisters became doctors, and the third became a teacher.
Geller attended Lynbrook High School and Hofstra University, though she left before completing her degree.
She was married to Michael Oshry from 1990 until the couple divorced in 2007, and is the mother of four children. As of April 2013 she was living in Hewlett, New York.