Pamela Geller’s Collateral Damage

Spencer’s and Geller, the leaders of “AFDI” are up to their tired advert Crusade again.

Collateral Damage

San Francisco Foghorn

If you are planning on riding the 14L bus this week, keep your eyes open for the newest ad taken out by Pamela Geller, founder of the American Freedom Defence Initiative. In response to the recent Islamophobia surrounding ISIS, Geller depicts Muslims as a radical group of extremists showing how one’s devotion can only be measured by their radical acts of aggression. Geller’s ad deserves the triple crown for not only being polarizing, but also for being uninformed and mistargeted as well.

Two years ago, Geller made headlines when she took out similar ads on New York buses equating Muslims to savages. When her ads were pulled by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Geller sued the MTA, and with the federal court ruling in her favor, was able to continue to promote her proudly anti-Islamic views. With the recent obsession with ISIS and Ebola, how could Geller not capitalize on the state of fear that the mainstream media is perpetuating?

Geller is painting an entire religion, culture, and region of the world as terrorists causing fear against Muslims in the United States. This xenophobic response to war is not new and it is a stark reminder of how little has changed since the Japanese Internment camps of the 1940s. Geller has the attention of many Americans peaked because of the recent military gains ISIS has made, as well as the footage they released of their executions of American and British citizens. The association then becomes jaded; if Muslims are only mentioned for their acute actions of violence then one would assume it is a culture inherently full of bloodshed. This could not be more wrong. Associating an entire religion, an entire culture, and entire region of the world with these small organized radical groups causes harm to the Muslim Identity and further alienates Islam from other religions.

These ads — not only harmful to Muslims, but lump Sikhs and Hindus into the same group because of slight similarities in their religious clothing — further perpetuate an intolerant stereotype. It is religious collectivism that is not grounded in any sort of number, statistic, or study. With every religion, there is a radical minority that defaces the tradition in order to gain political leverage and a larger following. But the association that has been made between Muslims and violence must end.

Geller is subject to fear, just as we all are. This fear has caused her to demonize and destroy what she believes is a threat — Islam. Is she wrong? Definitely. But this is no different than it has ever been. This fear comes from an unrealistic view of what Muslims are and what their culture consists of. As for every group that we are fighting, there is propaganda created by fear that leads to a radical view from those who would otherwise be neutral. However, these ads do not condemn ISIS. They attack every man in a turban and every woman in a burka. They fuel the growing Islamophobia in the United States instead of substantiating Islamic culture and beliefs. They are ignorant of any cultural identity as well as ethnic background. They perpetuate violence and hatred where understanding is necessary.

Ads like this and organizations like the American Freedom Defence Initiative will never disappear. It is within their constitutional rights to exist and espouse their views in whatever nonviolent way they choose. But, these ads are misleading and wrong in scope. These ads do nothing to stop ISIS. They do nothing to further defend the United States from their aggressive advances, and do nothing to stop the terrorist organization’s rapid recruitment. These ads instead perpetuate hatred and ignorance — hatred for those who do not deserve it and ignorance in regards to why they do not.

#MyJihad: San Francisco Tells Hate Group Leaders Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer To Hit The Road

MyJihad4

We covered the #MyJihad ad campaign back in December, a campaign that seeks to reclaim the term Jihad from Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists alike. The response from Islamophobes has been nothing short of shrill, quixotically they want nothing more than to highlight and advance the “Jihad of Bin Laden as the correct Jihad.”:

These advertisements challenge the prevailing idea about Jihad being foremost about “Holy War,” a view which is most enthusiastically propagated by the hate group AFDI/SIOA and their founders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer (whose Ad campaigns this past year have sent an opposite message of hate and racism.)

In response to the bus ads Islamophobes are going berserk, which is understandable as they have pegged their careers and lives on demonizing Islam and Muslims. The question I would ask is: If Muslims are telling you that they don’t believe in the “Jihad” of Bin Laden why tell them they have their religion wrong? What interest does it serve Geller and Spencer to propagate the Jihad of Bin Laden as the correct Jihad? That seems to be the height of absurd Islamophobia.

Recently, Geller and Spencer have put up response ads to the #MyJihad campaign, however not only have they been shown to be the kooks that they are but the money they spent on the ads are being used to fund Human Rights research on discrimination against Muslims!

Controversial ad campaign appears on San Francisco buses

by Claudine Zap

Bus ads many believe are anti-Muslim have roared into San Francisco. The campaign, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), includes one running on 10 of the city’s Muni buses with an image of Osama bin Laden, the burning twin towers and the tagline, “That’s his jihad. What’s yours?”

The ads supposedly quote from extremists. One attributes a statement from the militant group Hamas, which reads: “Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah.”

AFDI had beat back an attempt by New York City’s transit authority to block a similar campaign in that city’s subway system. Comparable ads have run in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

San Francisco officials have condemned the campaign, but they have allowed them to run. The $5,000 the group paid to Muni will go to the Human Rights Commission to study discrimination against the Islamic community, according to the city.

“These offensive ads serve no purpose than to denigrate our city’s Arab and Muslim communities,” District Attorney George Gascon told local ABC News on Monday. The city has also created a campaign of its own to counter the ads.

Mondoweiss: Another Morphing Muni ad and a Hat Tip to Ayn Rand

Thanks to MondoWeiss for the link and the tip. Love the morphing ads.:

by Allison Deger (Mondoweiss)

Pamela Geller’s defeat the “savages” San Francisco Muni advertisements created a firestorm among local culture jammers who are challenging the pro-Israel pundit’s message by re-designing the originals ads. See the latest makeover above.

Rand appearing on Donahue said Arabs are “primitive savages.”

Incidentally, Geller is an avid follower of objectivist novelist Ayn Rand who is also an ideological compass for the presumptive GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. On August 14, 2012 Loonwatch noted Geller’s fondness of Rand goes beyond her website’s name, Atlas Shrugged, after the philosopher’s book, Atlas Shrugs.The text of Geller’s Muni ad is derived from a 1979 Rand quote from the Donahue Show. At the time Rand said:

If you mean whose side should we be on: Israel or the Arabs? I would certainly say Israel because it’s the advanced, technological, civilized country amidst a group of almost totally primitive savages. [Emphasis mine]

By comparison Geller’s ad reads:

In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel Defeat Jihad. [Emphasis mine]

Screen shot 2012 08 21 at 1 19 07 PM
Meme recap of the evolving San Francisco Muni ads. (Image: Facebook)

For more background on Geller’s attack ads paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, see Annie Robbins reporting herehere, and here.

Pam & Bob: Welcome to the Bay, Where We Don’t Tolerate Hate

I have to say I love the Bay Area, the weather, the nature, the people–just beautiful. I knew that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s SIOA hate ad campaign wasn’t going to last long before being touched up by the creative hands of guerilla artists, and it hasn’t.:

Original image via. Lily Haskel (h/t: ARBassa).

Please share with all your friends.

Pamela Geller of AtlasShrugs: Bus Ads Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Racist Views of Arabs and Muslims?

 SIOA, Geller and Spencer’s ad campaign

“If you mean whose side should we be on: Israel or the Arabs? I would certainly say Israel because it’s the advanced, technological, civilized country amidst a group of almost totally primitive savagesAyn Rand (1979, The Donahue Show)

Pamela Geller so adores the “objectivist philosopher” and author Ayn Rand that she gave her blog the name Atlas Shrugs, in homage to Rand’s book “Atlas Shrugged.” Is it then a coincidence that her most recent hate campaign contained the text: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”? Geller’s chosen description almost exactly parallels Ayn Rand’s statement regarding the conflict in Palestine, with the exception that she cowardly omitted who she intends by “savage.” As you can see from the quote above Rand described the conflict as one between “civilized” Israelis and the “savage” Palestinians and Arabs.

There is no doubt in my mind that in light of these facts the AtlasShrugs/SIOA/JihadWatch ad campaign is a racist and Islamophobic one. So far the ad campaign has run in New York and is running on buses in San Francisco. New York’s transit authority (MTA) initially refused to run the ads, Geller sued and won on free speech grounds. San Francisco has admitted that it fears being tied up in litigation and has decided to allow the ads even though they contradict its policy on “political advertisements.”

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This is not Geller’s first foray into bigoted advertising campaigns.

The looniest blogger ever is a big fan of advertising her bigotry and hate of Islam, Muslims and Arabs on buses, taxis and other forms of transportation across the United States. Previously, Geller and Spencer teamed up for an advertisement campaign that claimed the pretense of helping those who want to “Leave Islam,” but weren’t able to out of “fear.” In reality, her message was not one of help but hatred, as was well covered. Geller’s aim was to defame American Muslims as an oppressive community that was secretly holding an untold number of former Muslims who want to leave Islam hostage.

These bigoted endeavors are generally attempts to gain publicity by Geller, but just ignoring her will not do–not this time.

Geller and Spencer’s recent ad campaign in the name of their hate group SIOA portrays Israel as “civilized” and its critics as “jihadists” and “savages.” The campaign is in response to advertisements that call on US citizens to tell Congress to stop sending aid to Israel, such as this one:

Melrose Walnut r

I believe this to be a worthy message and agree with it, but even if you don’t, even if you disagree with this advertisement on political grounds, to react as Geller and her ilk have is abominable. In characteristically hyperventilating and loony verbiage Geller and Spencer consider such advertisements to be not only “anti-Israel” (which they aren’t) but “anti-Semitic” and “genocidal!” Such a dilution and abuse of the very serious term “anti-Semite” should not only be condemned but countered by all those who expose bigotry, especially national Jewish organizations.

Geller claims that her ads are not about hate, and that the “savages” she is talking about are “suicide bombers,”

Because any targeting of innocent civilians is savagery. Mothers and children on a bus are targeted, and that is savagery. Kidnapping and murdering is savagery. The U.S. does not conduct war that way, and neither does Israel [this is a lie, which we have proven over and over–Ed.]. Now, there is sometimes the accidental death of civilians, which is far different than the targeting of innocent civilians.

The truth is Geller isn’t referring only to suicide bombers. She is putting forward a type of double-speak. Geller is reaffirming Ayn Rand’s racist position on Israel-Palestine, this is why the language is so similar between the two.

You will never hear Geller condemn Rand. I hope Geller gets questioned about this striking parallel between her ad and her hero and idol, Ayn Rand’s words:

(h/t: magicredpil)

A local ABC affiliate in San Francisco has some good coverage on the ad campaign and reaction from  residents and San Francisco’s city transportation (Muni), Geller makes a cameo as well:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/video?id=8769863

There is a petition calling for the ads to be stopped. They seem to have a good case considering the fact that Geller’s ads are steeped in implicit racism and bigotry against a whole people and community.

UPDATE: A direct quote from Ayn Rand that is nearly identical to the words on Geller and Spencer’s Bus Ads  (h/t: BelievingAtheist).

“The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it’s the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. WHEN YOU HAVE CIVILIZED MEN FIGHTING SAVAGES, YOU SUPPORT THE CIVILIZED MEN, no matter who they are.”