It is no doubt guided by Society of Professional Journalists policy that requires journalists never to state or imply any link between Islam and terrorism, but for Leftist journalists (i.e., almost all of them) these days, it’s a kneejerk reaction: when they see an Islamic jihadist vowing blood and murder, they immediately frame it in their report in terms of Muslims being victimized. So when there is a jihad mass murder attack or foiled plot, we get the stories about Muslim communities fearing a “backlash” against innocent Muslims. And in this execrable New York Daily News editorial, the first and only reaction to the genocidal antisemitic statement from Hamas that is depicted in our ad is to note that “the message would offend many Muslims.”
The Daily News means they will be offended at Pamela Geller, of course, not at Hamas. They should be offended at Hamas, if what we’re constantly told about the vast majority of Muslims being moderate, democratic, tolerant and pluralistic were true. They should see the ad and call upon Hamas and other Muslim groups to stop the jihad against Israel, drop the genocidal rhetoric, and teach against Islamic antisemitism in mosques and Islamic schools in the U.S. The Daily News should be calling upon them to do those things. Instead, it smears Pamela Geller as a “hatemonger” (in the photo caption) for pointing out that this genocidal antisemitic statement was made, and that nothing is being done about it.
“The First Amendment train: Despite Pamela Geller’s offensive nonsense, the MTA should continue to allow political ads on buses and subways,” New York Daily News, April 24, 2015:
After being forced by a court to run an inflammatory, anti-Muslim ad on the city’s buses and subways, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority aims to get out of the political advertising business.
Hamas is a Muslim group. It made the statement that “killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah” in a video that also said: “Repeat in the name of your Jihad: Death to Israel!” Our AFDI ad was meant to counter Hamas-linked CAIR’s cynical and deceptive campaign trying to fool Americans into thinking that jihad was romping through the daisies and blowing milk bubbles through a straw. The ad counters these comforting fictions with reality, making the point that for all too many Muslims, jihad is something more lethal. The implication is that Muslims and non-Muslims alike should be calling upon Hamas and other Muslim entities to drop this hateful rhetoric. Instead, the Daily News shoots the messenger, referring to the ad as “Pamela Geller’s hateful nonsense” and as an “inflammatory, anti-Muslim ad.”
With sympathy for the MTA’s tough spot, the agency is mistaken in trying to eliminate issue-oriented ads as a way to swat one annoying gadfly.
Pamela Geller makes a habit of throwing rhetorical bombs. She’s written books like “Stop the Islamization of America” and argued that President Obama is “consistently on the side of Islamic supremacist regimes.”
What, he isn’t? Where? When?
One of her latest proposed ads quotes a Palestinian TV station run by Hamas as stating that “Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah,” alongside the image of a young man in a headscarf. “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”
Understanding that the message would offend many Muslims and arguing that it might even incite violence, the MTA rejected the campaign.
Why would the ad offend many Muslims? Because they condemn Hamas and its genocidal rhetoric, and back up their condemnation with real action to teach against these attitudes in Muslim communities? Where? When? Do they have a different idea of jihad and consider Hamas and its antisemitic jihad to be un-Islamic? Even if that were true, Hamas presents itself as Muslim group waging jihad in cause of Islam, and justifying its actions by referring to Islamic texts and teachings. Do Americans not need to know this? Does no one need to call attention to it or endeavor to counter it? Everything the ad says is true: Hamas made this statement, and did so in the context of jihad. Muslims who oppose this view of jihad and this hateful antisemitism should be siding with Pamela Geller and criticizing Hamas, not her. And the Daily News should be more concerned about the fact that there are Muslims who actually believe this than about the Muslims who claim to be so offended by it that they want it off the buses, but don’t lift a finger to counter these attitudes within Muslim communities.
And the idea that it “might even incite violence” is also nonsense. The ad ran in San Francisco and Chicago without incident. The MTA claimed it would incite violence but could not adduce even one example of its doing so. And the violence would be from Islamic jihadists who would presumably mistake it for a pro-jihad ad. You’d have to be quite dim to do that, but if someone did, the focus should be on protecting people from violence, not on curtailing speech in light of the possibility that violence could ensue — for once we do that, we enable any thug to shut down any speech he dislikes by threatening violence over it.
…It’s well and good, and constitutional, to ban ads that could reasonably incite violence — say, with mocking images of the Prophet Mohammed.
In this, the Daily News is essentially counseling surrender to the jihad. Instead of standing up against violent intimidation, the Daily News is saying, Give in to the bullies and thugs. They will kill us if we say something they dislike, so let’s not say anything they dislike. That is the coward’s way, the path of capitulation and submission. What ever happened to, I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it? Gone and forgotten. And so also, before too long, will be our freedom of speech, and with it our other freedoms.
Beyond that, viewpoints should be welcome. New Yorkers are big boys and girls. If swallowing some outrageous drivel is the cost of preserving other worthwhile advertising in one of the city’s most important gathering places, so be it. One hater shouldn’t spoil things for everyone else.
So it’s “outrageous drivel” now to call attention to Hamas’ genocidal rhetoric. Which only ensures that we will get more such rhetoric.