In a world racked by wars and revolutions, it’s almost possible on occasion to lose sight of the insignificant issues. Almost, but not quite – because there are always some bloggers vigilant to spread absurdities that the MSM can’t be bothered to publish. And one of the most ludicrous of them all, right-wing pundit Pamela Geller (best known for her tireless efforts to call President Obama a lying, terroristic, un-American Muslim) has just excelled herself. As Americans were settling in to celebrate Thanksgiving, she published a warning that patriots risk serving up birds which have been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law – ‘stealth halal turkeys’, as she called them.
Geller’s capacity to make sense of the world surrounding her is limited, admittedly. Her political views on the Yugoslavian civil war and post-apartheid South Africa are peculiar enough for even some Islamophobes to find her embarrassing, and her support for the English Defence League gives a good indication of where she stands on the political spectrum more generally. And though she portrays herself as a champion of ‘Judeo-Christian’ orthodoxy, no thoughtful observant Jew would happily accept her claim that it is ‘torturous’ for Muslims to slit animals’ throats, given that kosher meat relies on precisely the same method of ritual slaughter. All in all, it seems fair to assume that her terror of halal turkeys is now gaining expression simply because she is hawking the book mentioned at the beginning of her blogpost.
But there is one odd detail that is worth flagging up, all the same – namely, that Geller is not alone in her concerns. Three years ago, a similar turkey-phobia was attributed to Anjem Choudary, the former solicitor whose loudmouthed extremism has long made him the go-to guy for anti-Muslims in search of a straw man. But as far as Choudary was concerned, turkey were anything but a stealthy way of submitting to Islam. Christmas turkey dinners were, in fact, a step down ‘the pathway to hellfire’. Coincidence or conspiracy? Given Choudary’s many similarities to Geller – not just the fear of Trojan turkeys, but also a common hatred of Barack Obama and a commitment to a civilisational clash without end – it would be unfair not to speculate. But only Geller and Choudary can know for sure . . .