Jaweed Kaleem’s reporting on our SIOA religious liberty bus ads has been poor from the beginning, and this story is no better. “Controversial anti-Muslim ads to be reinstalled on Miami-Dade buses,” by Jaweed Kaleem for the Miami Herald, April 24 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Ten controversial advertisements by an anti-Muslim group that were removed from Miami-Dade Transit buses after the department received complaints will go back up.
“Anti-Muslim” — SIOA is dedicated to defending the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. This is “anti-Muslim”? In that Kaleem is telling us more about what he believes about Islam than he probably intends to tell.
CAIR certainly complained. They boasted about that when the ads were taken down. But when the ads were taken down, they were only running on our initial order of ten buses. CAIR operatives spotted one of ten buses running in a fleet of 600 for three days? I doubt it. It is much likely that they heard about the ads from an informed party — could it have been Jaweed Kaleem himself?
The ads, which a transit official said were pulled last week because they “may be offensive,” have the message “Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!” and direct Muslims to a website urging them to leave the “falsity of Islam.”
Actually, the transit official, Karla Damian, said that the ads “may be offensive to Islam.” Kaleem leaves out that part about Islam, perhaps because he is aware of how absurd and offensive it is that American public officials are bowing to Sharia.
Transit spokesman Clinton Forbes said that, after reviewing the ads with the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s office, the county decided that, “although they may be considered offensive by some, they do not fall under the general guidelines that would warrant their removal.” He added the county “is not endorsing the message being presented.”
Apparently, we can’t even expect basic accuracy from the Miami Herald: Forbes didn’t say those things. They’re from a statement by Harpal S. Kapoor, director of Miami-Dade Transit. Attributing them to a Transit spokesman is like saying that Robert Gibbs is nationalizing the healthcare system.
The ads, purchased by New York-based Stop the Islamization of America, will be reinstalled May 3, said Pamela Geller, the organization’s director. Geller said CBS Outdoor, which contracts ad sales for county buses, will also run 20 additional ads.
Kaleem doesn’t mention that CBS Outdoor is giving us the 20 additional ads at a steep discount, in tacit recognition of the fact that they were wrong to take them down in the first place.
“It was a violation of free speech that they were removed. Whether you like it or not, all ideas should be presented. It is dangerous not for all but some to leave Islam in America. This is a victory for free speech and religious liberty,” Geller said.
Muhammed Malik, director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations, which had praised the ads’ removal, said it will now use them “as an opportunity to spark discussion about what Islam is really about.”
“Freedom and liberty are buzzwords they use as a smoke screen for their hatred,” he said….
Once again Kaleem mentions nothing about what CAIR really is — its Hamas links, etc. — and allows Malik to defame us without bothering to ask us for a reaction or response. Malik, you may recall, lied about Islamic apostasy law in an earlier Kaleem story.
Pamela Geller’s take on this egregious article is here.