By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/14/2013 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Anti-Islamic advertisements that will appear on 10 buses next month in San Francisco have been denounced by civic officials, Arab and Muslim leaders as offensive and racist. Paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the ads feature Osama bin Laden, the Times Square car bomber and the alleged gunman in the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings with quotes that the group links to Islam.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah," reads one such advertisement.
"These offensive ads serve no purpose than to denigrate our city's Arab and Muslim communities," District Attorney George Gascon says.
"San Francisco is a city that celebrates its diversity and hateful speech and discrimination against our Arab and Muslim communities will never be tolerated," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee added.
Board of Supervisors president David Chiu was expected to introduce a resolution condemning the ads.
Similar ads have appeared on transit systems in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Portland, Oregon. The American Freedom Defense Initiative also ran similar ads in San Francisco last August and has also posted ads in New York City, including one in September that called enemies of Israel "savages."
Officials with San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Authority believe a First Amendment court decision protecting freedom of speech means it must accept the advertising.
The transit agency plans to give the $5,000 paid for the ads to the city's Human Rights Commission to study the impact of discrimination on San Francisco's Islamic communities and run its own ads against discrimination. The action was similar to what they did last summer.
Executive Director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative Pamela Geller says that the purpose of the campaign is to show the "reality of jihad and root causes of terrorism, from the words of jihadists themselves.
"City officials denounce our ads, but not the actual quotes from high-profile jihadists calling for holy war and genocide," she said in an email. "Our new campaign focuses on how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism."
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