The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority has placed ads on its buses condemning the racist Savage ads placed last week by Islamophobe Pamela Geller.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Muni has taken the unprecedented step of condemning one of the paid advertisements on several of its buses. It all started with a controversial ad in support of Israel that included some hot-button words like “jihad’ and “savages.” Friday, the transit agency got involved with its own counter-ad.
The dueling ads appear almost side-by-side on 10 Muni buses. The original ad popped up last week reading “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
“Obviously we think the ads in place right now are repulsive and they definitely cross the line,” Muni spokesperson Paul Rose said. “So there’s not a lot we can do in light of the First Amendment.”
Pamela Geller of New York heads the group and she says she’s now planning another Muni bus ad.
“Those ads will be calling out the institutionalized and systemic anti-Semitism of the government of San Francisco,” she said. “They’re clearly picking sides. They should be running disclaimers on every ad, not just mine.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomes Muni’s counter-ad as a step in the right direction.
“A lot of the damage has already been done; we have heard from many community members both at our organization and other organizations across the Bay Area who say they don’t feel comfortable boarding the buses that carry these ads,” CAIR spokesperson Zahra Billoo said.
“We have seen an increase in fundraising, absolutely, absolutely,” Geller said. “What do you think has paid for my counter ads to the discrimination ads that are running counter to my ads?”
“This is someone who’s thriving on creating fear of millions, if not billions, of Arabs and Muslims across the world,” Billoo said.
Geller says her Muni ad campaign cost about $5,000 and is her First Amendment right. Friday, CAIR sent a letter to Muni asking that the money be used to study the impact of what it calls “hate speech” on Muslim residents of San Francisco.
Geller says donations are flowing in and will pay for her new ad.
Those ads will be calling out the institutionalized and systematic anti semitism of the government of San Francisco.
CAIR’s Zahra Billoo is right on the money pointing out Geller is “thriving on creating fear.”
The new ads were placed as a result of pressure brought to bear by a coalition of organizations lead by the American Muslims for Palestine, the Council of American Islamic Relations, the Asian Law Caucus and Jewish Voices for Peace. Letters to Muni with specific demands for further work to combat anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias in San Francisco were signed by at least 75 organizations and community leaders.
“We consider this to be a major victory,” said AMP Chairman Dr. Hatem Bazian. “But more work obviously needs to be done. We are continuing our talks with the transportation authority. This comes at a time when at least eight or nine attacks against Muslims have occurred recently throughout the country, the most recent being the descretation of the gravesight of an Arab American community leader in the Chicago this weekend.”
This August 17th video report documents several attacks on Muslims in the US during only one week of Ramadan. I urge everyone to watch it.