#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.

Robert Spencer’s Attacks on #MyJihad Campaign Debunked

Garibaldi of Loonwatch wrote about a recent twitter exchange between terrorist inspirer and pseudo-scholar Robert Spencer and Civil Rights activist Ahmed Rehab. Spencer was forced into undermining his career long effort to demonize Islam and Muslims, reluctantly conceding that the term Jihad means more than “terrorism” and “violence,” a position he is loathe to share on a daily basis with his readers since it doesn’t fit his scheme of evil Muslim hordes Islamizing the universe.

This fits a pattern of doublespeak on Spencer’s part: on the one hand he tells his audience that there are “no distinctions between peaceful and violent Muslims” and that the “only good Muslim is a bad Muslim,” yet when pressed in public about his positions he backtracks, and says things like, “Islam makes a lot of people be very moral and upright and live fine lives.”

This brings us to Spencer’s recent double speak, in which he tells his fans that the “true meaning” of Jihad is the one that is forwarded by radical Muslim preachers. Intriguingly, Spencer finds himself in the unenviable company of agreeing with extremists such as Omar Bakri, Anjum Chaudhry, Osama Bin Laden and others who believe that the targeted killing of innocents is a legitimate expression of Jihad in Islam.

Spencer’s article begins by first trying to delegitimize the #MyJihad campaign, he writes,

“The deceptive and misleading #MyJihad campaign…”

Off the bat one can see that Spencer has already made up his mind, for him anything that runs counter to the “Jihad is evil” mantra is unacceptable. That is why he is eager to hide the true import of the campaign: giving voice to how millions of Muslims relate to Jihad in their daily lives. The #MyJihad campaign also clearly states on both its website and Facebook page that its goal is, “taking back Jihad from anti-Muslim and Muslim extremists alike.”

One would think that if Spencer was honest about promoting peace and justice (words he bandies about meaninglessly), and not being anti-Muslim he would welcome such an initiative. Of course Spencer would be out of a David Horowitz Subsidized job if he welcomed the campaign. Spencer goes on to write,

This campaign is designed to foster complacency among Americans, and to blind them to the fact that Islamic jihadists are committing violence in the name of jihad around the world every day.

Spencer is worried by the educational potentiality of the #MyJihad campaign and attempts once again to obfuscate its message. Clearly Spencer missed the memo about what this whole campaign actually is about, let’s repeat it for him,

“taking back Jihad from anti-Muslim and Muslim extremists alike.”

Robert Spencer’s many faulty claims regarding Jihad have been directly debunked in Danios’ Understanding Jihad series. In this series Danios tackles Spencer’s assertions one by one, adding context and facts and also criticizing the enormous falsities Spencer forwards about Jihad, thereby putting “Jihad” in proper perspective. This may be the reason why to this day Robert Spencer refuses to reply to Danios’ rebuttals in the series and has also ran away from Loonwatch’s open invitation to debate.

Also read Sheila Musaji’s article: AFDI/SIOA Roll Out 8 More Anti-Muslim Ads

#MyJihad Twitter Bout Takes One Round

by Garibaldi

Danios has been writing a series on Understanding Jihad which rebuts Robert Spencer‘s lies, decontextualized and selective usage of Islamic texts and history to advance myths regarding Jihad. The series is unfinished, but has been credited for bringing much needed facts and perspective to the understanding and meaning of Jihad.

One aspect that is yet to be covered is how the majority of everyday, regular Muslims relate to Jihad, and what it means to them. Today, in response to Geller’s racist ad campaign calling Muslims and Arabs “savages” whilst juxtaposing “Supporting Israel” with “Defeating Jihad,” Muslims (and non-Muslims) have taken to Twitter to relate what Jihad means to them with the hashtag #MyJihad (h/t: Fred A.). Here’s a description from the Facebook page about the impetus for the campaign,

There has been a lot of commotion recently in broadcast and social media about hate ads placed in the NY Subway by islamophobe Pamela Geller that states:

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
What many on both sides of the debate are missing is that at the heart of the problem is the blatant misuse of the word “Jihad” as if it were an acceptable synonym of say “terrorism.”

Islamophobes aside, many Americans remain confused about this.

The best response to the hateful ad campaign is to convert it into an opportunity to get to the heart of the problem and to reclaim the word “Jihad,” a word many Muslims have shied away from and left to the ravaging of the ignorant in both the Muslim extremist and anti-Muslim extremist circles – both of whom seem to ironically agree on a bloody definition for the word. I love Jihad! Not Jihad the perverse way Bin Laden & Pam Geller define it. But: the struggle against ignorance, injustice & hate. It is the struggle against the darkness in ones own soul. It is the struggle to be patient in times of adversity etc.

Jihad is not savage, except in the minds of those who are too lazy or too careless to wish to understand a well-documented 1400 year old concept in both Islamic literature and Muslim life.

My Grandma’s Jihad was against diabetes and MS while bedridden for seven years. #MyJihad is against bigotry and hatemongering. What’s yours?

1. Tweet #MyJihad and tell us what your Jihad is.

Also this will be more than a twitter campaign. There will be an ad campaign as well in public transportation in various cities. The best tweets will be used as ads, so tweet away.

so:

2. Donate and help us get physical ads on billboards.
http://www.cairchicago.org/make-a-donation-form

Non-Muslims welcome, tell us about your Jihad too!

Anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of the Arabic language and Islam knows that Jihad literally translates to “struggle.” Hence, the preponderance of involved Twitterati are relating the concept of Jihad to their everyday struggles and tying it to a spiritual dimension rooted deeply in their faith. It is clearly an attempt to reclaim the meaning of Jihad from the extremists and absolutists in both the “West” and the “East,” who feed off of each others hate.

An interesting interaction involving perennial anti-Loon Ahmed Rehab and hate monger Robert Spencer underscored how such campaigns can be effective tools in turning the hate machine’s propaganda on its head:

Robert Spencer made the mistake of tweeting at Ahmed Rehab with what he thought was a wisecrack and witty side-busting tweet, but ended up receiving a rhetorical Jiu Jitsu flying kick which left him floored. The question still stands Spencer, are you going to “watch” yourself now as part of your “Jihadwatch?”