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Posts Tagged ‘Pamela Geller’

Muslim Groups’ ‘HeArt Over Hate’ Not Really Over the Hate (VIDEO)

Friday, October 19th, 2012

In response to Pamela Geller’s anti-Jihad ad campaign, The Muslim Public Affairs Council is joining with Columbia University’s Muslim Students Association to launch its own ad campaign “to showcase the Islamic principle of ‘repelling evil with what is better‘ (Koran, Ch. 23, Surah Muminoon, verse 96) .”

MPAC says its campaign will “call on New Yorkers to stand together in opposing bigotry and hatred,” in its effort “HeArt Over Hate: Repelling Bigotry through Art & Music.”  It’s a clever play on words, but while it looks to deliver on its promise to be repellent  what MPAC and the MSA will be showcasing is support for brutal hatred, torture and violence.

The headline act, according to MPAC’s press release, is the Def Jam poet Amir Sulaiman.  Sulaiman spews violent, racist, hate-filled language that encourages the torture, shooting, fire-bombing and hostage-taking of American judges, American servicemen, Israelis, and courtroom employees.

In his poem, “Danger,” Sulaiman lauds Fidel Castro, calls for the release of those in Guantanimo, and claims those on death row are as innocent as the judges who sent them there.

While Geller’s ads called for the defeat of jihad and support of Israel, MPAC’s headliner identifies with murdering Israelis:

I’m a teenage Palestinian
Opening fire at an Israeli checkpoint, point blank, check-mate, now what?!

Sulaiman’s poem ends by exhorting his young listeners:

We must kick, bite, yell, scream
We must pray, fast, live, dream, fight, kill and die free!

Another member of the “HeArt Over Hate” event is hip-hop artist and activist Mazzi SoulPurpose. Mazzi fondly recalls the shouts of “Zionism is Racism” from a protest he participated in front of the United Nations in 1988.  He also said that based on what he observed on a trip to “Israel/Palestine”  what was happening “in Sderot, Ashqelon, & Haifa were extremely pale in comparison to what the settlers are doing in the West Bank.”

Columbia University’s Muslim Students Association is advertising its HeArt Over Hate program as one “that will bring together Muslim performers from all over the city for a common goal: to celebrate peace and pluralism over bigotry and extremism.”

Geller’s ads contain no language of violence, torture or murder.  The criticism of the anti-jihad ads is that they labelled those who support jihad as savages. Critics insisted that Geller was calling all Muslims savages.  Geller’s ad reads:

In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.

In a statement released on Thursday, October 17, MPAC president Salam Al-Marayati, who recently represented the United States at a global human rights conference in Warsaw, said “it is important we counter such ads with messages of peace that are the true representation of what we stand for as Muslims.”  Al-Marayati told a radio interviewer on September 11, 2001, that Israel should be on the list of suspects for those responsible for that tragedy.  In response to Geller’s ads, he said, “America needs leadership to rise above racism and bigotry.”

Many other community groups labelled Geller a hater for using the term “savage” in her ads.

“We believe the ads are highly offensive and inflammatory,” said Ron Meier, New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.  The Council on American-Islamic Relations called it “anti-Muslim hate,” Juan Cole called it “offensive,” Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, a leader in Rabbis for Human Rights, “deeply misguided and disturbing.” Jewish Council for Public Affairs called it “Bigoted, Divisive and Unhelpful.” In a New York Times op-ed, The President for the Union of Reform Judaism called Geller’s ads, “wrong and repugnant.”  Rabbi Rick Jacobs also said their only purpose is to “incite hatred against Muslims.”

Here are the complete lyrics to Amir Sulaiman’s “Danger”

I am not angry; I am anger.
I am not dangerous; I am danger.
I am abominable stress, eliotic, relentless.
I’m a breath of vengeance.
I’m a death sentence.
I’m forsaking repentance,
to the beast in his hench men.

Armed forces and policemen
that survived off of oils and prisons until there cup runneth over with lost souls.
That wear over-sized caps like blind-folds
Shiny necklaces like lassoes
Draggin’ them into black-holes
And I may have to holla out to Fidel Castro
To get my other brothers outta Guantanamo
And the innocents on death row?
It’s probably in the same proportion to criminals in black robes
That smack gavels
That crack domes
That smack gavels
That smash homes

Justice is somewhere between reading sad poems and 40 oz of gasoline crashing through windows
It is between plans and action
It is between writing letters to congressmen and clocking the captain
It is between raising legal defense funds and putting a gun to the bailiff and taking the judge captive

It is between prayer and fasting
Between burning and blasting
Freedom is between the mind and the soul
Between the lock and the load
Between the zeal of the young and the patience of the old
Freedom is between a finger and the trigger
It is between the page and the pen
It is between the grenade and the pin
Between righteous and keeping one in the chamber

So what can they do with a cat with a heart like Turner
A mind like Douglass
A mouth like Malcolm
And a voice like Chris?!

That is why I am not dangerous; I am danger
I am not angry, I am anger
I am abominable, stress, Eliotic relentless
I’m a death sentence
For the beast and his henchmen
Politicians and big businessmen

I’m a teenage Palestinian
Opening fire at an Israeli checkpoint, point blank, check-mate, now what?!

I’m a rape victim with a gun cocked to his cock, cock BANG! Bangkok! Now what?!

I am sitting Bull with Colonel Custard’s [sic] scalp in my hands
I am Sincay with a slave trader’s blood on my hands
I am Jonathan Jackson and a gun to my man

I am David with a slingshot and a rock
And if David lived today, he’d have a Molotov cocktail and a Glock
So down with Goliath, I say down with Goliath

But we must learn, know, write, read
We must kick, bite, yell, scream
We must pray, fast, live, dream, fight, kill and die free!

VIDEO: Pamela Geller Drowned Out at 9/27 MTA Meeting

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Pamela Geller’s attempt to stop the New York City MTA from changing the rules in order to block her anti-Jihad subway ads.

See also:

MTA Sneaks In Free Speech Restrictions, Bypassing Court Ruling Favoring Anti-Jihad Ad

Savaged for Daring to Name Savagery: Pamela Geller Attacked by Critics of Free Speech

Egyptian Reporter Defaces Subway ‘Anti-Savage’ Ad, Sprays an Opponent, Gets Arrested (Video)

MTA Sneaks In Free Speech Restrictions, Bypassing Court Ruling Favoring Anti-Jihad Ad

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

In what many, including legal scholar Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, call “unconstitutional” restrictions on free speech, the board of the New York City Transportation Authority unanimously passed a new set of regulations governing the kinds of advertisements it will accept. The MTA is now empowered to ban any ad the  MTA

reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.

The new regulations also require disclaimers to be included in any political, religious or morality-based ads, stating  that they do not represent the views of the MTA.

These new regulations were announced on Thursday, September 27, just three days after the American Freedom Defense Initiative ads were put up after a lengthy and costly court battle brought by AFDI and its executive and associate directors, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, to enforce their First Amendment right to free speech.  That ad appears in 10 subway stations in the New York subway system.  It reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.  Support Israel.  Defeat Jihad.”

The spokesman for the MTA, Aaron Donovan, admitted to a reporter from The Blaze that the changes came in response to AFDI’s anti-Jihad ads and the ensuing litigation.

Initial reports were that commuters were passing by the ads without any noticeable responses, but apparently there were complaints that instilled fear in MTA board members.

There was at least one widely publicized attack against the ad, engaged in by Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy. That attack was motivated by the woman, who has only been a U.S. citizen for one year.  Eltahawy claimed that her acts of criminal vandalism, which were caught on videotape by The New York Post, were legitimate acts of free speech and non-violent protest.

Eltahawy was arrested and charged with various offenses.  When she was released from prison the next day, Eltahawy was critical of her time in jail.  However, Eltahawy  neglected to mention that when she was detained by Egyptian police during the Arab Spring uprisings, her arm and her wrist were broken and she claimed the police repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her.

The newly-elected Egyptian president, former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, instructed the Egyptian Consul General, Zousef Zada, to monitor Eltahawy’s case.

The New York Times reported on the new restrictions, without any comment regarding the potentially unconstitutional regulations.

Instead, the venerable leader against the assault on the First Amendment – The New York Times - merely reported the outlandish statements made at a press conference announcing the changes, by the MTA chairman, Joseph J. Lhota.   “We’ve gotten to the point where we needed to take action today,” Lhota said, in what must have been a reference to anger directed at the anti-Jihad ads, “You deal with a free speech issue with more free speech.”   Like Eltahawy, Lhota appears to believe that free speech includes official action taken to restrict free speech.

The MTA may hope it has avoided a First Amendment challenge because its restriction is “viewpoint neutral.” This is because the new regulation does not overtly single out any special group or groups for special treatment, which was the fatal flaw pointed out by Judge Englemayer in his July 20 ruling which forced the MTA to finally post them, after a year-long delay caused by their rejection of that ad on grounds determined to be unconstitutional.

The new restriction is sure to inspire potent legal challenges on other constitutional grounds.  For example, can one “reasonably foresee” what kind of ad will “incite violence” or a “breach of the peace”?  A legal challenge on numerous grounds should be anticipated, as predicted by Dershowitz in an interview with The Algemeinerin which he referred to the new rules as not only “unconstitutional,” but also “plain dumb.”

And to argue that ads, such as the anti-Jihad ones, will incite violence, whereas the pro-Israel ones would not, because they did not, might lead to an argument underscoring the point of Geller’s ads. That ads perceived by Muslims, to be anti-Muslim, such that they justify violence, could conceivably be used to prove that Muslims are unable to tolerate First Amendment norms in the same way as do other ethnic groups.  And that argument itself might, under this theory, incite violence.

Egyptian Reporter Defaces Subway ‘Anti-Savage’ Ad, Sprays an Opponent, Gets Arrested (Video)

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Mona Eltahawy is an extremely well-spoken, Egyptian-American journalist who has become the g0-to speaker for comments on the Middle East in general, and on Egypt and Women’s issues in particular.  A speaker who stays on message no matter what is being asked, Eltahawy’s theme is: former Egyptian President Hosnai Mubarak and those who supported him are always bad, Muslims seeking to control their own destiny are always good and should be supported in the name of freedom and democracy, no matter how reprehensible their actions. Over the past few years Eltahawy has regularly been represented as an expert on such media outlets as CNN, the Guardian (UK), The New York Times and the Washington Post.

Eltahawy was arrested Wednesday evening, September 26, in a New York City subway station because she insisted free speech included her right to deface an ad espousing a message with which she disagreed – Pamela Geller’s anti-Jihad ad discussed and shown here.  She also insisted her free speech right extended to spraying toxic paint on a woman, Pamela Hall, who tried to interfere with Eltahawy’s efforts to deface Geller’s ad.  And then Eltahawy blamed Hall for interfering with her free speech rights and accused the arresting police officers of interfering with her “non-violent” protest, thereby engaging in anti-democratic activity.

It appears Eltahawy has a singularly self-focused understanding of freedom and democracy.  Given her limitations, it is problematic that so many media outlets rely on Eltahawy as an “expert.”  It is possible that given her criminal activity Wednesday evening, some will see her convoluted views of reality as casting doubts on past Eltahawy discourses.

The journalist’s inability to recognize why her activity was criminal and subverted the First Amendment, simply because Geller’s anti-Jihad ad constituted speech with which she didn’t agree, is telling.

But this isn’t the first time Eltahawy’s view of reality has been refracted through her own, narrow prism.

Eltahawy is best known for being an ardent activist for women’s rights, a dangerous and valiant effort for a Muslim.  She has written about the enormously high percentage of women who have been sexually assaulted in Egypt, as many as 80 percent, and that four out of five Egyptian women have reported being sexually assaulted.

Although Eltahawy has been highly critical and very vocal about the subjugation of women under Islam, when that view bumps up against her global recognition as an articulate spokesperson for the revolutionary Arab Spring, a disconnect takes place.

In the context of the anti-Jihad ads which she defaced, Eltahawy expressed outrage over the use of the term “savage,” to describe Jihadi activity.  In her view, the use of the word savage was an insult because she interpreted it to refer to all Muslims.  While defacing the ad, she told Hall, who tried to prevent the ad from being damaged, that she was protesting racism, and that Hall was defending racism.

But Eltahawy described Muslims who sexually assaulted and beat her last winter as a “pack of wild animals.”  So, was her anger over the use of the term savage, when she described wild, violent Muslims as “wild animals” hypocritical?  Not necessarily, because her criticism of the Egyptian police is consistent with her world view.  There were numerous reports of women assaulted by the civilian crowds, the revolutionaries, in Tahrir Square, during the Arab spring.  And it is in commenting on those assaults that Eltahawy’s hypocrisy is made clear.

Perhaps the best known, to western audiences, of sexual assaults by the Arab spring activists, is the assault on CBS’s Lara Logan.  Logan was brutally physically and sexually assaulted by those demonstrating in Tahrir Square crowds in February, 2011.

When Eltahawy was asked to comment on CTV News on the attacks on Logan, she “unequivocally condemned” the violence experienced by Logan.  However, the focus of her ire was always pointed back at the Mubarak regime, which was, she said, “known for targetting women.”

Eltahawy even went so far as to insinuate that Logan’s story was in some ways questionable, or at least an anomaly.  She also deflected the responsibility for the attack on unnamed others.

“Women I know said it was the safest area in Cairo,” Eltahawy said of Tahrir Square during the demonstrations.  But after Mubarak, the area was “open to all, so we don’t know who else was there.”

Pamela Hall is pressing charges against Eltahawy.  Her clothing and her bags were damaged by the paint.  When reached by The Jewish Press, Hall said she knew who Eltahawy was as soon as she saw her, but she was “surprised” to see her spray painting the ad.

According to Hall, using “paint is a much more serious act than slapping a sticker up and walking away.  What was she thinking?”

Savaged for Daring to Name Savagery: Pamela Geller Attacked by Critics of Free Speech

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Pamela Geller, conservative commentator and blogger provocateur, is the executive director of the American Freeedom Defense Initiative.  AFDI created and paid for an ad campaign to run in several urban transit systems, in response to anti-Israel ads that ran in the same spaces.

The AFDI ads contain a paraphrase from the philosopher Ayn Rand: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”  It concludes with: “Support Israel.  Defeat Jihad.”

The ads are already running on the sides of San Francisco buses, they began running today, September 24th, in New York City, and they were scheduled to begin appearing in the Washington, D.C. metro system.  However, the DC system balked, citing the violent rioting by Muslims allegedly inflamed by a YouTube video which presents an unflattering view of Mohammad, so Geller initiated an emergency court action at the end of last week to enforce her First Amendment rights.

Because there is so much misinformation both about Geller and her ad, The Jewish Press asked her to explain what her ad means, why it is scheduled to run this week, what the responses to it have been and, most importantly, why she continues to express her views so publicly, when she is repeatedly condemned by virtually the entire spectrum of mainstream media and even by other Jewish and pro-Israel groups.

First, let’s get the chronology and the geography straight.

2010, Seattle

In late 2010, in Seattle, Washington, anti-Israel groups sought to run advertisements on the side of municipal buses reading: “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work. Stop30billion-Seattle.org.”  Just before the anti-Israel ads were about to go up, the county executive crafted a new policy banning all non-commercial advertisements.  The new policy enabled the municipality to reject not only the anti-Israel ad, but also two counter-ads that had been submitted, one of which was one proposed by Geller, the other one offered by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

September, 2011, New York

Last September, another series of anti-Israel ads went up in various transit systems including the one in New York City.  This ad shows two smiling dads – one Israeli, one “Palestinian,” with their young daughters.  The ad copy: “Be on our side.  We’re on the side of peace and Justice.  End U.S. military aid to Israel.” In other words, American tax dollars is being used to support Israeli militancy and injustice.  These ads ran in 18 NYC subway stops for a month, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

That same month, Geller’s organization, AFDI, submitted the anti-Jihad ad.  The MTA refused to run it, claiming the ad violated its advertising standards because it “demeans[s] an individual or group of individuals.”  AFDI claimed that rejection violated the U.S. Constitution. On September 227, 2011, AFDI, Pamela Geller, and AFDI’s  associate director, Robert Spencer, filed suit against the MTA claiming that the transit agency’s no-demeaning standard constitutes “viewpoint discrimination” and is unconstitutional and therefore the MTA’s rejection of AFDI’s ad unlawfully restricted their free speech.

September 2012, New York

On July 20, 2012, Judge Englemayer, the federal district court judge in New York before whom the matter was heard, ruled that the MTA’s  prohibition on “demeaning” language is unconstitutional and the ad must run.  Significantly, the court ruled that

the AFDI Ad is not only protected speech—it is core political speech. The Ad expresses AFDI’s pro-Israel perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, and implicitly calls for a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy with regard to that conflict. The AFDI Ad is, further, a form of response to political ads on the same subject that have appeared in the same space.   As such, the AFDI Ad is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.

While AFDI was the victor in the case, Judge Engelmayer threw more than a few crumbs to the ad’s opponents.

For example, there was a fundamental disagreement over the use of the term “savage” – Geller claims it refers only to those committing acts of barbarism against innocent victims in the name of Islam.  Judge Englemayer, however, held that a reasonable person could conclude the term referred simply to Muslims.

What’s more, the judge practically wrote a recipe for the MTA to follow for rewriting its advertising policy so that a ban on an ad like AFDI’s could, in the future be upheld by a court.

Pamela Geller Cancelled by Federation in Los Angeles

Monday, June 25th, 2012

An event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles featuring controversial anti-Islamist Pamela Geller was cancelled on Sunday, just hours before it was to take place.

Geller was to present her assessment of the “motive behind Islam’s war on the Jews, the war against Israel and the 1,400-year-old hatred of Jews living in Muslim lands” to a local chapter of the Zionist Organization of American (ZOA).

However, according to an interview given to the Los Angeles Times, Geller said the Jewish Federation “cravenly submitted to Islamic supremacists who wanted to suppress free speech” and cancelled her event.  However, according to the LA Times, an interfaith coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians issued a statement expressing its concern over the Federation’s invitation of “one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes” to speak.

After a short and heated interchange with Geller opponents who had come to confront her with questions during the event, Geller and remaining attendees moved to a hall a few miles away, where she gave her presentation.

Geller became a fierce activist against what she calls the “Islamization of America” following the jihadist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2011.  She has been a vocal opponent of plans to build a Muslim community center and mosque as part of a World Trade Center memorial.

While Geller has developed an ardent following, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have classified her organization, Stop Islamization of America, as a hate group.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pamela-geller-cancelled-by-federation-in-los-angeles/2012/06/25/

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