(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/08/ad.png)Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, the founder, editor, and publisher of AtlasShrugs.com. She is the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), and is a regular columnist for World Net Daily, the American Thinker, and other publications. She is the author of Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.
FP: Pamela Geller, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Geller: Thank you, Jamie.
FP: I would like to talk about your new ad campaign and all the controversy it is causing. Tell us what is going on.
Geller: Jamie, two counter-jihad ads that my organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), began running last week in New York and San Francisco are causing quite a stir – not among the public, but among the mainstream media and craven politicians. Dhimmi public officials and the media are falling all over themselves in furious efforts to enforce the restrictions on free speech that the Sharia prescribes.
FP: What do the ads say?
Geller: In New York, the ads are running in Metro-North stations just north of New York City, as well as in the Bronx. They say, “*19,250 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11/01. *And counting. It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism.” In San Francisco, our ads say, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
FP: And what has been the reaction?
Geller: Greenburgh, New York Town Supervisor Paul Feiner announced that he wanted Metro-North to warn passengers that the ads could be upsetting and don’t represent Metro-North’s views or that of the community. Feiner said, “[Muslims] should not be discriminated against. The posters encourage hatred, discrimination and do not help the efforts to fight hate crimes.”
Feiner implies that all Muslims support jihad. Sounds as if he is painting all Muslims with the same brush. How “Islamophobic.” It is “Islamophobic” and a real attempt to paint all Muslims as jihadists to suggest that all Muslims would oppose attempts to rein in the jihadists. Our ads are statements of fact. There have been, as of this writing, over 19,460 deadly Islamic attacks since 911. How is it “Islamophobic” to point that out?
And Peter Swiderski, the mayor of Hastings-on-Hudson, emailed me about the ads, saying: “I wanted to share with you what our Board of Trustees sent to the entire village tonight.”
FP: What did he want to “share”?
Geller: He wanted to “share” the letter that the village Board sent out.
FP: What did the letter say?
Geller: They wrote: “While the Board respects everyone’s right to free speech, we categorically condemn the bigotry and innuendo expressed by this billboard message. To tar a faith and its followers because of the actions of a few is deplorable, hateful and morally repugnant.”
FP: Right, and nothing in your ad condemns Islam and all Muslims because of jihad attacks.
Geller: That’s right, Jamie. The Board is reading the idea that “all Muslims” support jihad terror attacks into my ad. That is nowhere in my message. They are the Islamophobes and racists, not I. Do these politicians really believe that all Muslims support jihad? And if they believe it, why surrender so swiftly?
FP: Good point. What else did the letter say?
Geller: The Board also asked residents of Hastings-on-Hudson to write to the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) expressing their “dismay” that our ads were not deemed “hate speech.” Yet the Mayor and this Board of spineless wonders maintained their neutrality about the anti-Semitic ads that the MTA previously ran; they were silent about them. Notice how these clowns at one government entity have “complained” to another about private citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
FP: Did you respond to Swiderski?
Geller: Yes. I wrote to him, asking “why no such mailing went out concerning the vicious anti-Semitic ads. The anti-Israel ads were twice the buy (100 kiosks.) This speaks to a systemic, institutionalized anti-Semitism prevalent in your administration and among the Board. Care to comment?” Why didn’t he react as viscerally when the same kiosks had vicious blood libels posted about Israel? He is apparently OK with anti-Jewish ads. His bias is showing.
FP: Did you get an answer?
FP: How has the media reacted?
Geller: NBC News reporter Jonathan Vigliotti actually told me that the fact that the ad mentioned 9⁄11 was “hateful.” I said, what could be more hateful than the largest and bloodiest attack on American soil in US history? We are supposed to scrub that from our history books now? We can’t say “9/11” because that offends Muslims, too? Needless to say, that exchange didn’t make it on the air. As a matter of fact, as is characteristic of mainstream media reporting, little of what I said made it into his report.
The Wall Street Journal wrote that our ad “associates Islam with 19,250 terrorist attacks carried out by extremists since the 9⁄11.” Uh, no. I didn’t associate Islam with those terror attacks. The jihadists screaming “Allahu akbar” citing Quran chapter and verse were associating Islam with those terror attacks. How knuckleheaded can the WSJ be?
It’s also interesting that the media went to the Anti-Defamation League for comment on my ads. No one takes them seriously. Abe Foxman is an embarrassment to our community (he still refuses to call the millions murdered in the Armenian genocide a “genocide”). The ADL’s mission is now to attack Jews and run interference for antisemites. I equate the media going to the ADL comment with the media going to Hamas-linked AIR for comment. Neither represents the people they claim to represent.
After all, why was there no comparable brouhaha when two vicious anti-Israel ads ran – nothing like the reaction there has been over a statement of real fact? There was no concern in the media about “hate speech” and incitement to violence against Jews by those dishonest messages. The actual story here is the systemic and institutionalized bias in the media.
FP: And what is happening in San Francisco?
Geller: In an unprecedented move, the city of San Francisco is placing ads right next to every one of our pro-Israel ads on San Francisco Muni buses, saying (according to ABC 7 San Francisco): “Muni condemns statements that describe any group as savages.”
FP: I have never heard of that happening before. Is it common for an advertiser to place counter-ads next to an ad it has accepted?
Geller: No, Jamie, this is unprecedented in the history of outdoor advertising. This is the manifestation of Sharia in Western society. Any war on innocent civilians is savage. Here again, they are reading the idea that “all Muslims” or “all Arabs” want to destroy Israel into my ad. That is nowhere in my message. They are the Islamophobes and racists.
The rush to assure the world that the “Palestinian” jihadists are not savages amazes me. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians. The targeting of civilians is savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage. The list is endless.
But what galls me here again are the scores of anti-Israel ads that ran in San Francisco without a disclaimer. Why didn’t they have a problem with the anti-Jewish ads? Why did they not run this disclaimer next to those ads? That silence is sanction and tacit approval. Institutionalized anti-Semitism. Who cares if MUNI approves the message or not? It is not their job to agree or disagree.
The truth is not offensive. The millions slaughtered in jihad – that is offensive to free men.
FP: Do you think Islamic supremacist groups are behind this?
Geller: Maybe, Jamie, but probably not. The Muslim Brotherhood groups don’t even have to agitate anymore. They can just sit back and watch these useful idiots and dhimmis do their work for them.
FP: So what is your plan now?
Geller: I am going to run new ads in San Francisco. Those ads will be calling out the institutionalized and systemic anti-Semitism of the government of San Francisco. They’re clearly picking sides. They should be running disclaimers on every ad, not just mine.
And so I am going to keep fighting for the freedom of speech. The destroyers must not win this battle. If they do, it will have repercussions far beyond these two ad campaigns.
FP: Pamela Geller, thank you for joining FrontPage interview.