Subway ads: A right to hate speech, a duty to condemn

Source: CNN Blog.

By Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Editor’s note: Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster is director of North American Programs for Rabbis for Human Rights — North America, where she directs campaigns against torture, religious discrimination, slavery and human trafficking.
(CNN) — My daily trek to work is the last place I would expect to encounter a hateful message. But anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller is determined to make that happen to me and my fellow commuters.
This week, at 10 subway stations around New York, commuters will encounter ads from the virulently anti-Islam group headed by Geller, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Geller has been cited both by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center for her anti-Muslim activity.
The subway ads say, “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man.” Below that are the words: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” with a Star of David on either side of the phrases. The coded message makes clear who the savages are: those who support jihad, which in Geller’s mind includes all Muslims. She has called Islam “an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the Earth.”



5 replies

  1. I read this poster through RT news, displayed in NY subway, I thought myself I am in Pakistan, The whole world is going to be crazy. once it has started that means the generations will suffer. If it can be stopped please the MT should work hard to stop using all efforts. Please for the sake of human dignity. thanks

  2. How can ANY SANE and sensible person who is also MORAL promote discord in society instead of AMITY?

    This woman seems to be hell-bent on creating divisions instead of understanding, tolerance and the UNITY of MANKIND! She seems to be highly MYOPIC in her vision and should be careful that the fire and discord she’s trying to promote does not consume her, too.

  3. The Muslim Times is all for the basic human rights of our Jewish brethren and sisters and their watchful eye over antisemitism, prevents prejudice and hatred against them, which in the last 17 centuries since Emperor Constantine had lead to their periodic massacre and even holocaust.

    In a similar vein the Muslims should jealously guard any rise in anti-Islamism, hate speech. After all it was hate speech of Pope Urban II, which unleashed the monster of Crusades, which could not be managed for centuries, until the Church lost its influence on politics. Genuine criticism of Muslim extremists and their terror policies is well and good, but, when freedom of speech borders onto hate speech and promotes hatred against Islam and all Muslims and encourages stereotyping, the Muslims need to be vigilant.

    There is always a gap between rhetoric and practice of any politician and sometimes there are glaring double standards. We were taught the virtues of democracy for decades, until it become well known that UNO is completely undemocratic with 15 countries in the UN Security Council running the show and 5 of them having veto powers. Similarly, democracy is good for the Muslim countries until an anti-West government is elected and then the West is unsure about the virtues of democracy. Likewise, we are being taught the virtues of freedom of speech and its virtues without any exception. This is the rhetoric! The practice is that adult pornographic movies cannot be shown on national media during the prime time. There are similarly several other limitations on free speech, including laws against hate speech. If free speech is given free reign against minority religions then there is no reason to believe that freedoms of minorities can be maintained. Sooner or later xenophobia will take hold and mayhem, murder and holocaust will rule against the abhorred minorities. This is why the Muslims are requesting protections for themselves that have ample precedence in laws against hate speech and denial of holocaust.

  4. These Ads only increase hatred. Miss Geller, please feel the difference of hate speech and free speech. Whatever you say it should be benefited for humanity and not give the motive to kill innocent people. To promote hatred is not the mission of any religion. As a member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who believed in Messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, our Motto is “Love for All hatred for none”.

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