Pamela Geller's Offensive Anti-Muslim Ads Hit San Francisco Buses
Fresh off a legal victory in New York that allowed anti-Arab, anti-Muslim ads to go up on city buses, the nation’s leading anti-Muslim activist, Pamela Geller, has brought the offensive message to San Francisco.
The ads, which were rejected in New York by the Metropolitan Transit Authority before a judge ruled that the decision violated free speech rights, send a strident pro-Israel message. They read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” Then, between two Jewish Stars of David, the ad reads: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” The initial MTA decision in New York to reject the ads were because they “violated [the MTA’s] prohibition on ads that demeaned individuals or groups on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and five other specific categories,” according to the New York Times.
As ABC reported, San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency has a policy against allowing political ads. But the legal victory for Geller in New York apparently “had an impact,” ABC reports. The advertisements are meant to counter other billboards that have ran in California that question US military aid to Israel.
The money for the ads was fronted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Islam group run by Geller and fellow anti-Muslim blogger Robert Spencer. Geller’s organization has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Geller and Spencer led the fight against the Islamic community center in Manhattan in 2010, and routinely publish demeaning material about Islam and Muslims on their respective blogs. Geller, for example, once published an image of the Prophet Muhammad with a pig on his head and urine dripping from his face.
The ads represent the synthesis of right-wing Zionism and Islamophobia. Geller is a strong supporter of expansionist Zionism, and sees the Israel/Palestine conflict as a “clash of civilizations” between Judeo-Christians and Muslims.
The current crop of ads is only the latest Geller initiative to bring her Islamophobic message to a wider audience. She ran ads opposing the Islamic center near Ground Zero, and was also behind ads that encourage Muslims to leave their faith.