Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer announce new anti-Islam ad
by Sheila Musaji, the American Muslim
Today, Pamela Geller published an announcement about yet another anti-Islam ad that SIOA, the hate group that she runs with her partner Robert Spencer plan to run. Before dealing with this newest assault on Muslims, it is necessary to go over the background, as it makes it clear that this is a pattern.
In September of 2011, I posted an article Pamela Geller: A Tale of Two Bus Ads which sets the background for what has now become a tale of seven ads. Here is that first article:
Pamela Geller has just posted an appeal to her readers to attempt to stop what she calls an “anti-Semitic”, “jew-hating” ad that is “racist” and “Judeophobic” that is being placed on New York City public transit by Two Peoples One Future and to donate to support what she calls her “pro-Israel” ads.
I believe that any rational person who wants to see peace rather than war as the future of humanity, and who believes that it is possible for us to learn to live together in peace can look at the two ads in question and see clearly which ad exemplifies the possibility of a peaceful solution to this particular issue, and which exemplifies hatred and bigotry.
It seems that currently we are in a time when the extremists and bigots from all sides of the religious and political spectrum, are the voices that we hear most loudly. The extremists seem to be able to get their message out very effectively, and too often drown out the voices of the moderates.
These bus ads promoting an extremist position on one side, and a moderate and peaceful position on the other side are just one example of what has become a battlefield between extremists and anti-extremists on many issues we face in the world today.
Look at the ads, check out the Two Peoples One Future site, and if you agree that this is an issue on which we need to take a stand against the extremists, then take a minute and write and call, and make your voice heard on the side of moderation.
And, remember that Geller was successful in just such a campaign to stop these ads from running in Seattle.
Here from Geller’s site is the ad that Geller proposes running:
I have submitted our pro-Israel ad. I am waiting for ad approval as we speak.
If they refuse my ad, we will sue. Immediately.
And, here is the ad which she finds so offensive:
NY subway ads calling for ending US aid to Israel? Caroline Glick
Geller is asking her readers to contact the appropriate authorities and tell them that they are against the ads by Two Peoples One Future. She even provides them with the contact information:
[…]How can you help? – 1. The ad placement is handled by CBS Outdoor. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – 2. Email the Mayor.http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.bd08ee7c7c1ffec87c4b36d501c789a0/index.jsp?doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fmail%2Fhtml%2Fmayor.html – 3. Call the MTA at 212-878-7000 and, in response to the prompts, press 1, 3, * and then either 2 for the press office and/or 4 for corporate affairs. Leave a message. You can also email them at http://mta-nyc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/mta_nyc.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php – 4. GET THE WORD OUT.
It is curious that AFDI/SIOA/SION thinks that the proper response to an ad calling for peace for Israeli’s and Palestinians (who are Jewish, Muslim, and Christian) is to attack Islam and Muslims.
When the local authorities refused to run SION’s ad, they filed a lawsuit, which is still continuing.
Next, this became a tale of five ads.
I wrote about this in an article A Tale of Three Bigoted Ads. Here are a few key passages
A group called American Atheists announced that they would place two billboards saying “You know it’s a myth… and you have a choice”, one in English and Arabic and one in English and Hebrew. They planned to place one of these in the heart of a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, N.Y., and the other close to a mosque in Paterson, N.J., which is home to a large Muslim population.
The billboard aimed at Judaism was successfully prevented from being posted near the Hasidic neighborhood and ultimately the American Atheists had to settle for a site about a mile and a half away from the predominantly Jewish neighborhood. The billboard aimed at Islam was posted. Both Muslims and Jews found the ads offensive. However, the response from both communities was reasonable and tolerant.
… Another group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation placed an anti-Catholic ad titled “It’s time to quit the Catholic Church” in the New York Times.
This ad prompted Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer of the hate groupsSIOA/SION to write an ad with very similar wording but anti-Muslim titled “It’s time to quit Islam” and submit it to the Times for publication.
… The first bad decision was that they freely chose to accept and to print a bigoted anti-Catholic ad, providig a platform for the wide dissemination of the hateful content of the ad. The choice to print that ad was reprehensible. The ad should never have been accepted for publication in any respectable newspaper.
The Times refused to print the anti-Muslim ad, as they should have done with the anti-Catholic ad. But, then they made their second bad decision. Rather than simply refusing the ad, or refusing it based on the fact that SIOA is a hate group, they said that they would consider publishing the ad in a few months, but that at this time “the fallout from running this ad now could put U.S. troops and/or civilians in the [Afghan] region in danger.” They also said “we publish this type of advertising, even those we disagree with, because we believe in the First Amendment.”
This decision seems to mean that the NYT is perfectly willing to publish bigotry unless there might be some negative consequences for doing so. They are saying that it is “safer” to attack Catholics than to attack Muslims, therefore we will publish anti-Catholic ads, but not anti-Muslim ads.
The Times placed the burden of their decision on one of the religious communities being attacked.
I suppose that means that if someone else sends an ad to the Times for publication titled “It’s time to quit Judaism” or “It’s time to quit Mormonism”, or any other religion, and, if they substitute the appropriate negative stereotypes and bigotry associated with that religion in the text of that ad, then the NYT would accept that ad.
After the NYT’s bad decisions, Pamela Geller called their refusal to print her ad an “abridgement of free speech in adherence to the sharia”. Geller also took issue with a reporter who referred “to our ad as an anti-Islam ad. It is not. It is a rebuttal ad.”
Geller correctly refers to the anti-Catholic ad as “an anti-Catholic smear ad” but then calls the rejection of the anti-Muslim ad a “rejection of an [sic] SION ad telling the truth about Islamic jihad.” She is unable to see that both of these ads are equally bigoted and hateful. Since, she and her partner Robert Spencer falsely see jihad everywhere, that is not surprising.
Geller’s freedom of speech has not been abridged. She is free to say whatever she wants and to print what she wants on any website or in any newspaper that is willing to publish what she has to say. Her ad is an equally offensive and bigoted ad, and describing it as a “rebuttal” is ludicrous. You don’t rebut bigotry with more bigotry.
It is curious that AFDI/SIOA/SION thinks that the proper response to an anti-Catholic ad placed in a newspaper by an atheist organization is to attack Islam and Muslims.
And, now this becomes a tale of seven ads.
Pamella Geller announced today that the hate group SIOA (run by Geller & Spencer) is attempting to launch a new series of ads to be displayed in Metro stations in New York and San Francisco. She says that these are in response to another pro-Palestinian ad.
Here is a photograph from a Huffington Post article on the Palestinian ad that Pamela Geller says
the AFDI/SIOA ad is a “response” to:
According to all the news stories about this ad, it was produced by The Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, and paid for by an individual named Henry Clifford, who is the Chairman of that organization.
The ad has been controversial, and some in the Jewish community found it to be biased or even subliminally anti-Semitic. There were demands for the ads to be removed.
The ADL issued a statement saying: “These billboards are deliberately misleading and biased and come with an agenda that is fundamentally anti-Israel,” said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps. This ad campaign completely ignores the facts, including the history of land ownership prior to 1948, Israel’s repeated efforts to exchange land for peace, and the commitment of successive Israeli governments to achieving a two-state solution with the Palestinians.”
James Arkin reports that Assemblymember Castelli Urges MTA Removal Of ‘Inflammatory’ Billboards About Israel, Palestine:
Castelli wrote a letter saying “I think the implication is kind of a subliminal one that is very anti-Israel,” Castelli said. “If you look at the message, it’s promoting peace and harmony in Israel and Palestine, but seems to disturb harmony in our community.”
Castelli said he was contacted by “a multitude” of Jewish organizations in his district that were offended by the billboard. Castelli said he consulted those complaints, as well as a letter from The Anti-Defamation League, before deciding to draft the letter to Metro-North President Howard Permut. The Anti-Defamation League cited COPIP as an anti-Israel group. It said the billboards failed to reflect key facts and that the issue is “extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps.”
Henry Clifford, the chairman of COPIP, said there isn’t room on the billboards for the entirety of the issue, but that everything on the advertisement is an “accurate, historical, geographical portrayal.”
… “There is a fine balance between what is offensive and non-offensive free speech,” he said. “I understand and support the Constitutional right of free speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment, but you also need to recognize the sensitivity of individuals of our community. There may be things that are in the realms of free speech but are offensive or inflammatory” Castelli said.”
And, here is the ad that SION believes to be a “response” to that ad:
It is curious that AFDI/SIOA/SION thinks that the proper response to a political ad focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, placed by a non-Muslim organization is to attack Islam and Muslims.
It is possible for people to hold differing views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestine land map might be viewed by different observers as – pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli policies, or even as simply a visual presentation of the facts on the ground. Whether or not any criticism of the government or policies of the State of Israel is automatically anti-Semitic is a subject of much debate, even within the Jewish community. Neither of the ads that Geller has responded to with a direct attack on Islam and Muslims used the word “Judaism”, mentioned religion, called anyone “savages”, etc. Both of those ads could easily be seen as pro peace, or pro discussion. Whether or not there might be any sort of anti-Semitism involved, even subliminally is at least debatable, and very much questionable. However to characterize the Palestinian land map ad, as Geller does, as pro-jihad, is ludicrous.
Geller’s proposed ads on the other hand are not subliminal, or open to any interpretation other than that they are bigoted, hateful anti-Islam (and therefore anti-Muslim) attacks.
In the article Geller posted on her site announcing this newest ad she introduces an article in The Daily Caller “The Daily Caller has the exclusive on AFDI/SIOA’s latest NYC transit campaign to counter the anti-Israel pro-jihad ads currently running on NYC’s Metro North line.” That Daily Caller article opens with “New York City train commuters may soon see new anti-Islam advertisements on the city’s Metro North line.”
This can only mean that the ad itself IS anti-Islam and that Geller not only finds no fault with this characterization, but considers it “an exclusive” on her latest ad.
This latest ad with it’s message falsely claiming 19,207 deadly Islamic attacks and stating that It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism are vicious lies and an attack on an entire religion and its members. Spencer and Geller, and their hate group SIOA have been pushing these memes for some time. We previously debunked this false number of “Islamic” attacks, and their source, as well as legitimate sources for actual factual data, in the article 17,000 “Islamic terrorist” attacks exist in fevered Islamophobic brains. We discussed Islamophobia and its parallels with anti-Semitism in the article Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism: Everything Old Is New Again, and the origins and meaning of the term in the article The origins of the term “Islamophobia”.
Spencer, and the rest of the Islamophobia echo chamber are stark raving mad! They see Jihad everywhere and in almost all cases it doesn’t exist except in their fevered Islamophobic brains. Here are just a few ridiculous claims about nonsensical Muslim plots:
An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”. A children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid was described as a toxic propaganda plot. Joel Hinrichs (a Christian) had a beard and had walked through the parking lot of a campus mosque thus proving that his crime was an example of sudden jihad syndrome. The awful April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech by a Korean student was also called Islamic jihad because Cho’s father had once worked in Saudi Arabia (before he was married and before Cho was born). A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”. A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became a stealth-jihadplot to impose Sharia on America. Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad. Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”. A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”. The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad.
The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking” Muslim jihad plots. They have uncovered: bumper sticker jihad, Thanksgiving turkey jihad, an incredible paisley scarf jihad, marriage to important men jihad, spit jihad, fashion jihad, spelling bee jihad, rape jihad, defacing dollar bills jihad, population jihad, creeping Sharia jihad, mosque building jihad,terror baby jihad, “creeping Sharia” jihad, pedophilia jihad, bus driver prayer jihad, forehead bruise jihad, postage stamp jihad, soup jihad, banning alcohol jihad, fake hate crimes jihad,piggy bank jihad, tv reality series jihad, handshake jihad, prom jihad, interfaith jihad, Arabic language jihad, public school jihad, religious accommodation jihad, Crescent moon jihad,Christmas tree tax jihad, oath of office jihad, immigration jihad, community fundraiser jihad. Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad.
There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic. There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”. There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle. There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America. There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism. There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack: The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State. There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security. There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature. There is a reason that they are featured (with extensive backgrounder articles) in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry. There is a reason that these individuals are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.
These people consistently promote the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims. They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam. When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.
The claim that “truth tellers” are being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia is nonsense. The further claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews also proves that Islamophobia doesn’t exist is more nonsense.
The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes. The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, and it isalso strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism.