Pamela Geller and her anti-Muslim organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), has taken its hateful anti-Muslim message once again to the public in the form of paid advertisements on public transportation.
The latest controversy is just one of many inflammatory advertising campaigns sponsored by Geller and her organization in a bid to influence public discourse on the difficult issues of religion and the Middle East conflict.
Geller’s newest ad campaign, which began appearing on buses in the Washington D.C. Metro area, states, “Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran.” The ad also includes a 1941 photo of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, having a conversation with Adolf Hitler.
Geller has a long history of promoting her bigoted anti-Muslim views through inflammatory messages in public spaces, stretching back at least to 2010. These ad campaigns are designed to expose Americans to what Geller and her organization consider the biggest threats posed by Islam.
Some notable examples include:
- July 2012: Geller submitted an ad that ran on 75 Metro North train stations stating, “19,250 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11/01 and counting. It’s not Islamophobia. It’s Islamorealism.”
- September 2012: After a New York federal district court ruled that the New York City MTA violated Geller’s First Amendment right, AFDI’s “Savage” ad appeared in subway stations. The inflammatory ad read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
- 2010 “Honor Killing Awareness Campaign”: A series of ads were placed on buses and taxi cab tops purportedly to address young Muslim women facing threats from their family for rejecting Muslim values or becoming “too Americanized.” The campaigns appeared under several names, including “Refuge From Islam” and “Leave Islam Safely.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has criticized Geller and AFDI for “consistently vilifying the Islamic faith under the guise of fighting radical Islam;” however, acknowledges that the ads are protected political speech under the First Amendment. ADL is also on the record stating that “Pro-Israel doesn’t mean anti-Muslim. And support for Israel is not built on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes.”
Geller’s latest ad campaign is in response to an April 2014 anti-Israel ad by the virulently anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). AMP also has a history of promoting extreme anti-Israel views through inflammatory ads on public transportation aimed at demonizing and delegitimizing Israel. In March 2013, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, AMP unveiled an ad on several New York City Metro North stations falsely accusing Israel of “apartheid.”