April 8, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Philadelphia, PA — The ongoing wave of Islamophobia continues to leave its muddy footprints in American streets. Earlier in January, it was reported that 50 buses in San Francisco, CA had been plastered with anti-Islam ads from the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), a known anti-Muslim and pro-Israel group. They made their way to New York, Washington DC, and now, they’ve made their way to public transport in Philadelphia.
One particular ad features a message reading, “Islamic Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism, end all aid to Islamic countries.”
The photo beside the text features Adolf Hitler in 1941 talking with Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini, a well-known Palestinian Arab nationalist and a loud critic of Zionism. In other words, according to these ads, Muslims are the same as Nazis.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, otherwise known as SEPTA, reluctantly signed a $30,000 contract allowing the controversial ads to appear on 84 buses for a month under orders from a federal judge. As a result, SEPTA has changed their policy and now rejects any ads concerning political or public issues. Nonetheless, since the contract was signed before the change in policy, the ads must remain up for the remainder of the month.
However, days after the ads initially launched in Philly on April 1st, a counter billboard sponsored by the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia was put up to overlook I-76. The billboard features people of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds with an ad for DareToUnderstand.org.
One can’t help but find a sense of irony in these “Islamic Jew hatred” ads. Specifically since one of the major factors that lead up to the holocaust was hateful propaganda directed at a very broad group of people. Just like this. It seems odd that an ad comparing Muslims to Nazis can be so reminiscent of Nazi propaganda.
These Islamophobic ideas will continue to spread like the cancer they are if they’re not put in check. They’re gilded with messages of peaceful outcomes, while history tells us that bigotry and oppression directed at a single (yet large) group of people does not end in peace. Islam is made of approximately 1.6 billion people in the world, and these ideas condemn an entire people because of the actions of extremists; many of which arose after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Coincidence?
The leader behind this campaign is a conservative blogger by the name of Pamela Geller. If you’d wish to voice your opinions to her, she can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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