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AFDI Quran ads front page story in The Jewish Voice

8

Fantastic front page story over at The Jewish Voice. Pick up a copy.

"Controversy generated by anti-Jihad Subway Ads" Fern Sidman, The Jewish Voice, December 21, 2012
According to media reports, on December 17th, a new series of ads that draw a direct connection between the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York and Islamic law will appear in the New York City subway system. Outspoken conservative blogger, Pamela Geller, who is the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, has just purchased a slew of advertising space in several subway stations and on numerous Metro-North platforms in order to display her newest anti-jihadist message.

Ms. Geller gained international notoriety back in 2010 when she single-handedly
Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 4.39.52 PMlaunched a campaign against an Islamic mosque that was to
be erected near “Ground Zero” at the former site of the World Trade Center buildings. Through her blog, known as AtlasShrugs.com, she promulgated the philosophy that this mosque was a desecration of the memories of close to 3000 Americans who perished in the infamous attack. Reasoning that the intended mosque was an extension of the radical ideology on which the al-Qaeda suicide attackers predicated their fatal mission, Ms. Geller was in the forefront of ensuring that this mosque would not be built on this “hallowed ground.”

Her latest ads will feature a panorama of the sky the moment the World Trade Center burst into flames in 2001, accompanied by a quote from the Quran that reads “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.” Ms.
Geller’s various websites, AtlasShrugs.com and TruthAboutQuran.com are listed on the top of the ad; while an Metropolitan Transit Authority disclaimer will consume up to 25% of the ad space. The MTA disclaimer reads: “This is a paid advertisement sponsored by American Freedom Defense Initiative. The dis- play of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed.” The subway management’s new disclaimer policy came in September of this year following an incident in which protestor Mona Eltahawy, 45, was filmed spray-painting another AFDI advertisement, which equated radical Islamic ideology with savagery. The ad stated: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage,
support the civilized man.” It
added, “Support Israel. Defeat
Jihad,” in between two Stars of
David.

Ms. Eltahawy was apprehended and all 10 ads in the
series were defaced by the
end of the first day. The MTA
addressed the issue of polemical advertising at its monthly
board meeting and had previously attempted to amend
its advertising guidelines so it
could refuse what it perceives
to be “demeaning” ads; a rule
that would prohibit “images
or information that demean
an individual or group of individuals on account of race,
color, religion, national origin,
ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation,” but
that modification was deemed
unconstitutional by a federal
court in June of this year. With
its hands tied, the MTA opted to include a disclaimer on
ads that expressed a particular
viewpoint on “political, reli-
gious or moral issues or related
matters.”

“A cost of opening our ad
space to a variety of viewpoints
on matters of public concern
is that we cannot readily close
that space to certain advertisements on account of their
expression of divisive or even
venomous messages,” the
MTA’s statement at the time
read. “The answer to distasteful
and uncivil speech is more and
more civilized, speech.”

In an interview with The
Jewish Voice, Ms. Geller said
that this time around, she is making her largest subway ad
purchase yet; with 250 spots
strategically located beside
each of the clocks hanging in
New York City’s subway stations. The clocks are suspended from ceilings above subway
platforms in stations across the
city, substantially decreasing
the likelihood that they too
will be defaced. “The clock buy
is brilliant because metaphorically it’s so powerful. The clock
is ticking, from a civilizational
point of view. Bombs, at least
in movies, tick and are set off
by clocks,” observed Ms. Geller,
while adding that the “left-fascist vandals would have to get
a ladder” in order to do any
damage to them. She says that
the ads are “also behind glass. If
the criminals destroy these ads,
this would be a much more serious crime, because of the cost
involved in damage to these
clocks. And I would prosecute
to the full extent of the law,
as would the MTA. That’s one
reason why I love this ad — it’s
the safest ad in the subway, and
the most visible.” The price tag
for the ads is roughly $320 each
for a four-week placement and
about $70,000 for all the clocks.

Of the controversial maelstrom of publicity that her ads
have elicited, Ms. Geller boldly asserts, “It is freedom of
speech, and I will not abridge
my freedom of speech so as
not to offend savages. I cannot
imagine why anyone would be
outraged by the truth, but this
is the era that we’re living in.
Truth is the new hate speech,
and just telling the truth is a
radical act. There’s nothing
that’s inaccurate in my ad. It’s merely a statement of fact, so
what’s the problem?” Dismissing the potential adverse effects
of the disclaimer attached to
her ads, Ms. Geller says, “The
MPAC ads have the disclaimer, as the ad sponsored by a
group of liberal dhimmi rabbis. The disclaimer makes no
difference. It is absurd to think
that people don’t know that
paid advertising is paid advertising. No one actually thinks
the MTA endorses ads in the
first place. We are currently
making new buys, so the ads
will be running for some time
into the future. In any case, we
want to increase awareness of
an increasingly prohibited sub-
ject, and yes, we believe that
our Quran ad highlights the
motives of the jihadis who are
at war with the U.S. — motives
that are increasingly ignored
and denied.”

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 4.59.43 PMAccording to Ms. Geller,
both “Hamas and Muslim
Brotherhood groups in America” have been running subway
ads touting Quranic verses. She
said that she chose this juncture in time to place her ads
because, “a third anti-Israel ad
is currently running on Metro
train kiosks. At the same time,
there is CAIR’s (Council on
American Islamic Relations)
deceptive ad that featured a
Quran quote counseling forgiveness – a quote that Muslim
scholars say is abrogated, and
that was designed to mislead
Americans into complacency.”

Speaking with a palpable
degree of gravitas and enormous candor, Ms. Geller insisted, “No one defaced the
anti-Israel ads. No one protested them. The double standard
is obvious. My pro-Israel ads
calling jihadis “savages” were
widely denounced as “racist,”
yet Hillary Clinton, the New
York Times, and others have
recently called jihadis “savages” without a murmur of protest from anyone. The double
standard is set against those
who stand strongly for Israel
and speak out against the roots
of jihad terror as within the Islamic faith. Yes, this is a blatant
attack on my First Amendment
rights. It’s very dangerous. It’s
really dangerous – this war on
free speech, and I think every
American should be more concerned about that than the content of my ads,” she said.

Warning of deeper and
more perilous implications for
Jews and supporters of Israel because of those who dare
to speak the truth about the
pernicious agenda of radical
Islam, Ms. Geller ruefully observed, “the knee jerk attack
on pro-Israel ads speaks to
a systemic, institutionalized
anti-Semitism. The cultural
norming of Jew hatred.”

Offering prognostications
of the role that Islamic terrorists will play in the Israeli-Pal-
estinian conflict in the years to
come, Ms. Geller said, “I think
that President Obama will
eventually recognize Hamas
and press Israel to make painful and ill-advised concessions
to Hamas, as well as to enter
into negotiations with them,
and that is of very grave concern to me.”

While Ms. Geller has
gained a reputation in politically liberal circles as an
incendiary figure for her criticism of radical Islam and for
her staunch opposition to the
foreign policy objectives of
President Obama, she maintains that she is “definitely not
anti-Islam”, but rather someone who “extols the truth
about ideologies whose aim
it is to eradicate ‘infidels’ another non-believers.”

Her typical brash honesty rose to the
surface when she told a Village
Voice reporter in a recent interview with the publication that
she believes, President Obama
is a “Muhammadan who wants
jihad to win” because of his appeasement stance as it pertains
to the nascent radical Islamist
movement that has taken hold
in many countries in the Middle East since the birth of the
Arab spring. Ms. Geller does
not apologize for representing
a clarion call for truth concerning the existential dangers
that the Islamist movement
plays for the future of Western
civilization as we know it, nor
does she ever demure from incessant criticism. Political ob-
servers have noted that she is a
woman driven, “not by hatred
of the other, but by love for the
values that we’ve all come to
cherish; freedom, liberty, justice and true democracy.”

The Truth Must be Told

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