For some weird reason, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wasn’t keen on running ads which read “Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah.” But thanks to a judge’s decision on Tuesday, these catchy anti-Semitic-seeming-but-actually-Islamophobic posters will be coming soon to a bus near you (if you live in New York)!
The ad in question was paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), a so called “Pro-Israel” organization, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labels a hate group, lead by Pamela Geller, whom the SPLC calls, “the anti-Muslim movement’s most flamboyant figurehead.” You may remember Geller from her previous tasteless and hateful campaigns like the San Francisco bus signs which compared Muslims to Nazis and said “Stop the hate… End all U.S. aid to Islamic countries.” Or the Washington DC-based billboards which read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
The poster designed for the New York state of mind features a man wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh who is quoted as saying, “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah.” The ad attributes the quote to “Hamas MTV” and follows up with the killer (pun intended) tagline, “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?”
The campaign attempts to parody the “MyJihad” campaign sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which sought to reclaim Islam from “Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists.” Ironically, the MyJihad campaign itself was a response to the “savage” AFDI campaign.
The MTA declined to run the MyJihad ads, which is part of the reason they didn’t want to run these ads and had asked for an injunction against AFDI. Not only are the ads Islamophobic but, ironically, they could easily function as anti-Semitic, since the otherwise powerful and stinging satire will be lost on all commuters who don’t follow the hot and heavy AFDI vs CAIR transit-based-ad-campaign rivalry.
But Judge John Koeltl disagreed, determining that the MTA could not prove the ads would lead to violence that would outweigh the AFDI’s freedom of speech. And, in one of my favorite sentences ever, Justice Koeltl wrote “the defendants have not presented any objective evidence that the Killing Jews advertisement would be likely to incite imminent violence.”
It was a major victory for not just bigotry but for bigotry which is poorly expressed through confusing, obscure, inner-baseball advertising campaigns. (They are pretty meta, though. I’ll give them that.) Not surprisingly, Geller praised the decision as a “triumph for liberty and truth.” Her lawyer, David Yerushalmi, who the Anti-Defamation League denounced for his “record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry,” was equally thrilled:
Judge Koeltl’s well-written and considered opinion sends a loud and clear message to Islamic terrorists around the globe as well as to those government bureaucrats who believe that Sharia’s blasphemy laws are an exception to the First Amendment. And that message is this: America’s liberties will not give way to Islamic terror threats nor to government bureaucrats who are quick to cast aside our liberties for fear of offending Muslims.
One thing is for sure. That message comes through loud and clear to
any New Yorker Geller and Yerushalmi.
Trump aides scrambling to hide his ‘dumpster fire’ poll numbers to keep him from ‘flying into a rage’: report
According to a report from the Daily Beast, aides to Donald Trump are doing their best to keep him in the dark about his terrible poll numbers prior to November's election out of fear of his wrath.
With the president's poll numbers plummeting in a match-up with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, White House staffers and campaign officials are trying to keep the president calm while at the same time working to turn around a re-election campaign that is floundering.
‘I have a son and I want you to meet him’: Anderson Cooper chokes up welcoming his baby to the world
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper announced on Thursday that he is now a father.
"It has been a difficult time in all of our lives and there are certainly many hard days ahead. It is, I think, especially important in these times of trouble to try to hold on to moments of joy and moments of happiness," Cooper said. "As we mourn the loss of loved ones, we're also blessed with new life and new love."
"On Monday, I became a father," Cooper revealed. "I am a dad, I have a son, and I want you to meet him.
He introduced Wyatt Morgan Cooper to CNN's viewers.
"He is sweet and soft and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I am so grateful for all those who paved the way and for the doctors and nurses and all those involved in my son's birth."
Trump’s decision to turn on Brian Kemp is a warning to other GOP governors: Columnist
On Thursday, writing for The Washington Post, Paul Waldman wrote that President Donald Trump's decision to throw Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) under the bus should serve as a warning to other Republican governors: Stop trying to govern the way you think Trump wants you to, and govern the way public health needs you to.