[News] Artists alter Islamophobic ads on SF buses, MUNI adds disclaimers

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 20 10:31:53 EDT 2012

  Artists alter Islamophobic ads on SF buses, MUNI adds disclaimers

Submitted by nora on Sat, 08/18/2012 - 16:15

The original ad. (Photographer unknown)

After artists altered the ad. (Photographer unknown)

Days after shockingly racist and Islamophobic ads 
started appearing on city buses in San Francisco --- paid for by a 
notorious anti-Muslim group led by notorious racist Pamela Geller 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/pamela-geller> --- anonymous artists 
wheatpasted over the ads with an image of a hand and a stamp with the 
words "HATE SPEECH."

Additionally, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) 
posted full-sized disclaimer placards on MUNI buses that carry the 
Islamophobic ads. The disclaimer says that "SFMTA policy prohibits 
discrimination based on national origin, religion, and other 
characteristics, and condemns any statements that describe any group as 

MUNI's disclaimer, which is placed next to the racist ads.

(ABClocal.go.com <http://electronicintifada.net/people/abclocalgocom>)

As Zahra Billoo <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/zahra-billoo>, the 
executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council 
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said on The Electronic Intifada 
podcast this week 
MUNI made it clear "that they would not be removing the ads," because as 
vile as the message was, "it was likely protected by the First 
Amendment." However, the community has mobilized and was in talks with 
MUNI and the SF Human Rights Commission to determine the impact of the 
ads and how to move forward. Earlier in the week, the SFMTA announced 
that the revenue from the ads would be directed to the Human Rights 

Pamela Geller and her group "thrives on lawsuits," Billoo added. "She 
goes from city to city, waiting for someone to turn her down, so that 
she can sue them. She's using lawsuits to essentially blackmail other 
cities into submission." After New York City's transit agency rejected 
the same ads, Geller filed a lawsuit and won a temporary injunction last 
month when a federal judge ruled that Geller's ads were protected by the 
First Amendment.

"San Francisco said, ok, we're not going to touch that with a ten-foot 
pole," Billoo said. "We'll give her the ad space. And so they caved 
because of the fear [of a lawsuit]."

To hear more of our important interview with Zahra Billoo, listen to our 

In other news, The Gothamist reported on a new ad 
<http://gothamist.com/2012/08/16/islamophobic_billboard_at_metro-nor.php> from 
Pamela Geller and her Islamophobic hate group that turned up at the 
Hartsdale Metro-North station in Hartsdale, New York. The poster reads, 
"19,250 Deadly Islamic Attacks Since 9/11/01* (*And Counting)" and "It's 
Not Islamophobia, It's Islamorealism."

Geller's new ad in New York.

(supertrampnyc <http://electronicintifada.net/people/supertrampnyc> / 
The Gothamist <http://electronicintifada.net/people/gothamist>)

The Gothamist reported:

    Naturally, this upsets a local Westchester politician.

    Paul Feiner, the Greenburgh Town Supervisor, tells the Daily
    Politics that he wants the MTA "to warn passengers that the ads
    could be upsetting and don't represent Metro-North's views or that
    of the community," noting, "There are many Muslims residing in
    Greenburgh and in our villages. They should not be discriminated
    against. the posters encourage hatred, discrimination and do not
    help the efforts to fight hate crimes."

    Feiner added that he wants the MTA to donate the ad profits to an
    anti-discrimination campaign, "I feel it's not a violation of free
    speech for Metro North to put up a competing sign and it's also not
    a violation of free speech if they donate the profits to an
    anti-defamation league or an organization that objects to hate
    crimes. I feel that it should be clear that the people of Metro
    North and the town do not support this message."

    The poster is from the American Freedom Defense
    Initiative (from Pamela Geller), which complained about some Jewish
    organizations criticizing the ads, "Look how tough these Jews are
    when it comes to going after their own who are brave enough not to
    hide behind the genocidal rhetoric of the annihilators. Are we to
    understand that these liberal Jews sanction the jihad war on
    innocent civilians in Israel?

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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