Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer announce new “Islamorealism” anti-Islam ad
by Sheila Musaji
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, and her intro to the ad:
I have submitted our pro-Israel ad. I am waiting for ad approval as we speak.
And, here is the ad calling for an end to military aid to Israel, which Geller and Spencer find so offensive:
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. It is offensive that the SIOA ads make the assumption that all Palestinians (or anyone who opposes Israeli policies) are engaging in “Jihad” in the negative sense that Geller interprets the word Jihad. The Palestinians are living under and fighting against an illegal occupation, and both sides have individuals who have engaged in savagery.
When the local authorities refused to run SION’s ad, they filed a lawsuit, which is still continuing. [update: a judge in New York ruled that the ads are protected speech and can run. The ads are now running in NY and the transit authority has 30 days to consider rewording its’ advertizing policy.]
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. The number is false, and attained using smoke and mirrors. Calling even an actual terrorist attack “Islamic” is a false conflation of an entire religion with the act of an individual.
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, and provide more detailed debunking in the article Claim that all terrorists are Muslims ignores history. 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”.
It is not surprising that Geller/Spencer/AFDI/SIOA think that the Religion of Peace site is a reliable source for the number of terrorist attacks listed in their ad. The SPLC also lists The Religion of Peace* site as an active anti-Muslim group. Hate groups stick together.
Some time ago, Dinesh D’Souza (another Islamophobe) wrote a book and an article about what he thinks about racism in today’s America. In that article he said
The old civil rights model held that groups at the top of society got there through discrimination. Yet the empirical evidence showed that the two most successful groups in America were Asian Americans and Jews. Certainly these two groups didn’t succeed by keeping everyone else down; rather, they succeeded by out-competing everyone else. Moreover, these were minority groups that had not allowed discrimination to keep them down. As for African Americans, their position near the bottom rung of the ladder could be better explained by cultural factors than by racial victimization.
One of the new terms that The End of Racism coined was the idea of “rational discrimination.” The basic idea here is that there are two kinds of discrimination: one is based on prejudice, and the other is based on conclusions. If groups are hated just for their skin color, then this is irrational discrimination. But if groups provoke hostility on account of their behavior, then this is rational discrimination. The implication of this idea is that it is not racist to be wary of African Americans who behave badly, as long as you are well disposed toward African Americans who conduct themselves admirably.
This is not as strident as the “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism” statement of Pamela Geller but it is just as bigoted. Essentially, D’Souza is saying “It’s not prejudiced discrimination, it’s rational discrimination”. They are both wrong. It is simply bigotry and discrimination.
They were successful in getting the “savages” ad run in San Francisco. Bus Ads: Of Savages and Idiots for a full background on the controversy this is causing. Caitlin Esch reports that The SF MTA has said that it will run the ad, but condemns the content, and they will donate the money they receive from AFDI/SIOA to a public education campaign by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and Muni will go one step further by placing their own signage next to the SIOA ad saying, “Muni doesn’t support this message.”. They also said that they will review their ad policy going forward.
They were successful in getting this “Islamorealism” ad posted in New York, and it is causing a lot of controversy there. James Arkin reports that Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is urging Metro-North to put up ads of its own in response to “inflammatory” postings in the Hartsdale station. Feiner added that he will recommend the Metro-North donate profits from the ad to education campaigns against discrimination.
A local Scarsdale paper reports that “John Harris, Chair of the N.Y. Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League said, “It’s unfortunate that some people are trying to reduce the difficult issues in the Middle East to slogans on billboards. The latest Westchester ads by American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group headed by the anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, are offensive and inflammatory. Being pro-Israel doesn’t mean being anti-Muslim and anti-Arab. Suspecting a “jihadist” motivation by everyone who follows Islam contributes to an atmosphere where hatred and discrimination are easily justified. Geller has a First Amendment right to spread her views, but she does Israel no service by her bigoted attacks on all Islam. The ADL hopes that our Muslim neighbors recognize that Geller’s campaign reflects the thinking of a very small minority in the Jewish community and trust that they also understand, as do we, the dangers posed by extremists in all of our faiths.”
At this point, the only positive articles about the AFDI/SIOA ad campaign are from Geller, Spencer, and their allies in the Islamophobia industry. Geller insists that the ads are not hateful, and that any criticism is unfounded, and a deliberate attempt to misrepresent her message. However, it seems that Geller’s message is “misunderstood” as hateful by an awful lot of people.
The Business Insider thought the term “savages” referred to Palestinians generally. Adam Chandler in the Jewish Tablet thought the ad could be read as anti-Israel. The San Francisco Jewish Community Center thought the ad was anti-Muslim. Ron Meier, the ADL NY Regional Director thought the ad was highly offensive and inflammatory, saying “We support the court’s conclusion that the ad is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, yet we still strongly object to both the message and the messenger. We believe these ads are highly offensive and inflammatory. Pro-Israel doesn’t mean anti-Muslim. It is possible to support Israel without engaging in bigoted anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes.” Tfhe Huffington Post thought the ad was anti-Islam. Alex Kane thought the ad was offensive and anti-Muslim. The San Francisco MTA who ran the ads thought the ad belittles, demeans, and disparages others. Sydney Levy, Director of Advocacy for Jewish Voice for Peace thought the ad was very offensive. Tim Redmond of the of the San Francisco Bay Guardian thought the ad was inexcusably offensive. The Jewish Weekly thought the ads were bigoted. Johnathan Vigliotti thought the ads were anti-Islamic. The Times of Israel thought the ads were anti-Islamic. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feine thought the ads were offensive and inflammatory and encourage hatred. Bradley Burston ]thought the ads represented “At root, the Geller and pro-Kahane brand of “support of Israel,” is little more than a slash and burn Arab–hate that, if left unanswered, will tear apart the Israel and the Jewish community from within. It blinds people to solutions. It convinces people that there are no solutions. It persuades people that there are no options apart from violence, both of word and deed.” The SFMTA agreed to publish the ads as they are protected speech but posted a notice condemning the description of any group as “savages” and they will donate the money they receive from AFDI/SIOA to a public education campaign by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission ... update: the negative reviews continue to pour in Robert Mackey in the NY Times called the ads anti-Islam, as did CBS News as did NBC Connecticut, as did Hispanic Business, as did The Stamford Advocate. The Greenwich Post calls on its’ readers to reject the hate displayed in these ads. - Salon anti-Islam ad - Business Insider anti-Muslim - Electronic Intifada Islamophobic hate speech - Fox News inflammatory and anti-Muslim - New Republic anti-Muslim - PolicyMic ignorant - Think Progress Islamophobic - Newsday legal but lacking common sense - Big News anti-Islam - Digital Journal anti-Muslim - Haaretz anti-Muslim - New York magazine anti-Muslim - The Gothamist hateful - CNN hate speech - Huffington Post Islamophobic, not pro-Israel - Global Grind Islamophobic, anti-Muslim - The Daily Beast exploiting the first amendment with hateful public message - Haaretz anti-Arab hate
And, here are two interesting developments to provide a little relief from the hatemongers.
Since only Geller and her supporters find the “savages” ad to be reasonable, Ibn Percy has corrected this hateful ad:
And, as Loonwatch notes, this has been the response of some unknown San Franciscan’s:
Both of Geller’s ads are now running in both San Francisco and in New York. In San Francisco, MUNI has run their own ad next to the AFDI/SIOA ads. Here is that statement:
Geller and Spencer are predictably very upset. Not only have they gotten no positive publicity from this stunt, but they are being called out for their bigotry. Now Geller plans to counter the MUNI statement with yet another ad, she says
“I will be running this counter ad to their counter ad: ” This is becoming a never ending cycle of increasingly strident ads. The MUNI statement is a simple statement against what they perceive as bigotry in the AFDI/SIOA ad, but Geller and Spencer see it as “dhimmitude”, “Sharia-compliance”, “a manifestation of Sharia in Western Society”, and “anti-Semitism”.
Geller and Spencer continue to deny that their “savage” ad is bigoted, but as Garibaldi of Loonwatch noted in the article AFDI/SIOA Bus Ads Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Racist Views of Arabs and Muslims? the full text of the quote from Ayn Rand (Geller’s heroine) that obviously inspired Geller’s ad text makes that disclaimer doubtful. The quote:
“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“–Ayn Rand (1979, The Donahue Show)
Today, Adam Serwer posted an article with another quote from Ayn Rand on the same subject taken from the Ayn Rand Center site which makes this even more crystal clear. Serwer reports:
Geller has continued to insist that the Rand-inspired quote in her ads refers to particular acts taken by Palestinian groups during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the full context of Rand’s quote undermines this explanation:
Further, why are the Arabs against Israel? (This is the main reason I support Israel.) 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. Israel is a mixed economy inclined toward socialism. But when it comes to the power of the mind—the development of industry in that wasted desert continent—versus savages who don’t want to use their minds, then if one cares about the future of civilization, don’t wait for the government to do something. Give whatever you can. This is the first time I’ve contributed to a public cause: helping Israel in an emergency.
So Rand wasn’t merely referring to just to Muslims, to Palestinians, or even to terrorists. She was describing all Arabs as “savages.” Geller, who named her blog “Atlas Shrugs” after Rand’s novel, surely understood this context when she chose the quote.
After a series of ads were posted on transit systems in New York and San Francisco by AFDI/SIOA (Geller and Spencer’s hate groups) they were widely condemned as anti-Muslim and/or anti-Arab.
Geller and Spencer have called those who find their ads bigoted all sorts of names, with Geller focusing her wrath particularly on fellow Jews who have condemned the ads.
Today Geller published a furious article attacking Haaretz for an article they had published, Islamophobia, not Islam, will be the end of Israel by Bradley Burston. She called Haaretz a “viciously anti-Israel newspaper”. She called the author a “pox on our people”, and a “judenrat greasing the wheels of the genocidal machinery”. She says “He would have volunteered for kapo-duty at the death camps.”
She goes on again about her false claim of “Islamic Jew hatred mandated by the Qur’an” and falsely claims that Muslim voices are not raised to condemn anti-Semitism or terrorism.
Here are a few passages from the article that so infuriated Geller:
... For years, in the guise of supporting Israel, Geller has engaged in promoting hatred of Islam. In recent weeks, in a campaign timed to coincide with Muslims’ observance of the sacred month of Ramadan, her American Freedom Defense Initiative has run caustic, self-styled “pro-Israel” advertisements on the sides of public transit buses in San Francisco.
... Of late, in tandem with anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab attacks by radical settlers and Arab-hating Jewish youths in Israel and the territories (“He’s an Arab. He deserves to die,” a 14-year-old assault suspect told a court on Monday), there are troubling signs in America of a tendency to conflate hatred of Muslims with support for a Jewish state.
... At root, this is what Geller denies: Israel can only exist as a democracy if it continually acts to foster and equalize the rights of its Arab citizens, not abrogate and dismiss them. It can only exist as a democracy if it actively works to end the unperson status of the Palestinians of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A true democracy cannot treat bigotry with understanding. It has to fight it, or its sense of democracy has no meaning.
At root, the Geller and pro-Kahane brand of “support of Israel,” is little more than a slash and burn Arab–hate that, if left unanswered, will tear apart the Israel and the Jewish community from within. It blinds people to solutions. It convinces people that there are no solutions. It persuades people that there are no options apart from violence, both of word and deed.
Israel has elaborate defense systems against military attack and terrorism. Its defenses against its own extremists are much more porous.
The Gellers and Kahanists attack Israel at the root. An Israel torn apart from within doesn’t need an external enemy to destroy it. The enemy is right here.
It is very sad that she is so blinded by hatred that she is unable to even consider the possibility that criticism of her position might have some validity. All of those who are standing up against this bigotry are courageous, and should be thanked by all decent people.
Citizens wishing to counter the hateful ads are getting very creative. Although, actually damaging public property might legally be considered to be vandalism, it is difficult not to smile at some of these responses. As Robert Mackey reported today
This week, some of the San Francisco ads were edited by Ms. Geller’s opponents to invert their message. An image posted on Facebook on Sunday by an Oakland blogger showed that text was added to the side of one bus so that the ad now reads: “In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism.”Lily AH, via Facebook
According to Geller, some individuals have actually destroyed some of her signs in New York. She calls this “Islamic defacement under Sharia”. She claims that “scores of our ads have been defaced by Islamic supremacists and their apologists seeking to quash the truth and impose the blasphemy laws under the sharia ... Fight this pox on humanity.” And, then she says that she needs $1,000 for new posters, $5,000 for a new ad in San Francisco, and $10,000 to run an ad in D.C. She has lots of donate buttons.
I am certain that destruction of public property is against the law, and that if anyone has actually destroyed someone else’s property, then they should face prosecution under the law. However, since no one else has reported on this, and no one has been arrested for this, and no one has claimed responsibility for doing this — how can Geller possibly call this “Islamic defacement”?
AFDI/SIOA Bus Ads Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Racist Views of Arabs and Muslims? by Garibaldi of Loonwatch http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/afdi-sioa-bus-ads-inspired-by-ayn-rands-racist-views-of-arabs-and-muslims/0019295
17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks exist only in fevered Islamophobic brains, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/17000_islamic_terrorist_attacks_exist_in_fevered_islamophobic_brains
A Tale of Three Bigoted Ads, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/billboards
A Tale of Two Bus Ads, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/bus-ads
Billboard Wars Continue at Westchester Train Stations http://www.scarsdale10583.com/201208152641/village-voices/billboard-wars-continue-at-westchester-train-stations.html
Islamophobic Billboard At Metro-North Station Causes Outrage One Month After Pro-Palestinian Billboard http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/islamophobic-billboard-at-metronorth-station-pamela-geller-pro-palestinian-ad_n_1797651.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york
Message to Pamela Geller: Free speech, not hate speech, Adam Horowitz http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/message-to-pamela-geller-free-speech-not-hate-speech.html
Who’s Behind the Anti-Islam Ads on MTA and Muni?, Adam Serwer http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/08/anti-islam-ads-mta-muni
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-jihad plot 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 is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism. * This article originally referred to the TROP site as belonging to Daniel Greenfield. That reference has been removed because only one source could be found for that information, and it could not be verified.