USA Today: “‘Islamic Jew-hatred’ bus ads featuring Hitler roll out on D.C. streets”

Notice that while USA Today gives the exact quote of the AMP spokesman, they just paraphrase what I say. Here is my actual interview with the USA Today reporter Jolie Lee:

What is the goal of the most recent ad now running on D.C. buses?

I hope the ad will help people start to become aware of Islamic history and the role of Muslim world during the Holocaust, particularly the Mufti of Jerusalem and his support for Hitler. I hope they will begin to understand and explore Islamic history and the terrible toll that ignorance of that bloody history exacts. Once this is understood, the Islamic/Israeli conflict makes complete sense, the Hamas charter (citing Allah and predicting that Islam would destroy Israel) makes complete sense, and the jihad against the Jews makes complete sense.

Why choose bus ads as a format to spread your message?

We were responding to the AMP bus ad that ran on that same bus line.

What are your thoughts on the American Muslims for Palestine ads that ran a couple months ago?

It is a vicious and ugly libel against the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

An AMP spokesperson told the Washington Post: ““We typically don’t react to Pamela Geller, because this is the kind of thing she does, countering political speech with racist, Islamophobic speech.” How would you respond to this comment?

This is how Islamic supremacists and anti-Semites always try to frame the narrative: their libel is “political speech,” while our truthful ad is “racist” and “Islamophobic.” What race is jihad terror against innocent civilians? They are fronting for genocidal jihad groups that celebrate the murders of Israeli families in their beds and on buses and restaurants, and they’re trying to claim the moral high ground?

They won’t debate because they can’t, so they call names instead.

Southern Poverty Law Center calls AFDI a hate group. What’s your response?

Who appointed them the judge of what a hate group is? Southern Poverty Law Center is the real hate group, defaming and smearing every group that dissents from its hard-Left agenda.

Their members have targeted family group leaders for assassination. SPLC presents a very real danger to our freedoms.

What kind of personal feedback have you gotten about the ad?

I have been inundated with messages of gratitude from people who are so happy that the truth is finally being told. I have received hundreds of emails in support, and a wave of additional donations to take the campaign nationwide.

People want the truth.

Do you plan on putting out more ads, bus ads or otherwise?

Yes. We are taking this campaign nationwide.

“‘Islamic Jew-hatred’ bus ads featuring Hitler roll out on D.C. streets,” Jolie Lee, USA Today, May 22, 2014

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(Photo: Karen Bleier, AFP/Getty Images)

A bus ad declaring “Islamic Jew-hatred” and showing a photo of Adolf Hitler hit the streets of Washington, D.C., this week.

The ads are running on 20 D.C. Metro buses for four weeks.

The ads were paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). The organization has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The AFDI ads feature a photo of Adolf Hitler with Muslim leader Haj Amin al-Husseini. The full text reads: “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.” It also features a disclaimer from the city’s Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Although many citizens might find AFDI’s message offensive, such speech is protected under the First Amendment.

A spokeswoman for WMATA said it does not take a position on any third-party advertising.

“We may not decline ads based on their political content,” said Morgan Dye, WMATA spokeswoman, in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.

AFDI said it launched the ads in response to “Jew-hating” bus ads paid for by the group American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

The AMP ads, which ran for four weeks starting in March, had stated, “We’re sweating April 15 so Israelis don’t have to. Stop U.S. aid to Israel’s occupation!”

Osama Abu Irshaid, board member with AMP, told USA TODAY Network that his organization’s ad was a political message only.

AMPAmerican Muslims for Palestine bus ad that ran on D.C. buses in March and April 2014.(Photo: Courtesy of American Muslims for Palestine)

“It never was a bigoted message. It was to educate the Americans about foreign policy, but we never went after Jews or Christians or any group,” Abu Irshaid said.

Abu Irshaid said AFDI’s ad, on the other hand, targets a specific group of people, Muslims.

Pamela Geller, head of AFDI, said she takes issue with the characterization of her organization as a hate group. She added that she plans to roll out the ads nationwide, according to an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.

It’s not the first time AFDI has put up anti-Islam ads. In 2012, a federal judge ruled that AFDI was allowed to post ads that compared Muslim radicals to “savages.” Those ads appeared in D.C. and New York City.

In the USA, free speech offers broad protections. Only a few, narrow exceptions would apply to censoring speech, such as a message that would incite immediate, unlawful conduct, said Leslie Kendrick, a law professor specializing in the First Amendment at the University of Virginia Law School.

“Our doctrine on this says that we are more worried about the risk that the government will censor messages that it doesn’t like than we are worried about civility and crackpot ideas,” Kendrick said.

Europe tends to have free speech laws that are “more understanding of the civility side,” Kendrick added. For example, Holocaust denial is banned in Germany and Austria.

Last year, Geller and her ADFI partner Robert Spencer were banned from entering the United Kingdom to attend a far-right rally. A British government official said the two individuals’ presence at the rally was “not conducive to the public good.”

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