Image From: Reddit
The banner shown in the image above was spotted at Port Authority, but it isn’t the only one.
According to The Observer, the controversial anti-Muslim blogger and Executive Director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative Pamela Geller has purchased new advertising spaces in several subway stations and Metro-North platforms in the New York area so she can display her newest anti-Islam message campaign.
She has used a quote from the Quran that reads‘Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.’
This is not the first time though that she has taken such a step.
However, this time, a disclaimer by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been placed along with the message taking up 25% of the ad space will be presented in conjunction with Ms. Geller’s message for the first time.
“This is a paid advertisement sponsored by American Freedom Defense Initiative. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed,” it reads.
A few months ago, similar paid ads were placed on New York City public buses equating jihadists with savages.
American Freedom Defense Initiative sued the MTA in September 2011 after the transit agency denied its proposed ad.
The ad said: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad." The ad would have been posted on 318 city buses for four weeks, at a cost of about $25,000.
A judge however ruled in 2012, that they must be allowed to place the advertisements.
Following the incident, Ms. Geller has been busy with the new advertisements for her campaign (Pictured above) that began on December 17th 2012.
“I refuse to abridge my free speech so as to appease savages,” Ms. Geller told The Observer. “Thousands of anti-Israel ads have run across the city and not one has been defaced. My ads, 10 went up in New York City, and they were destroyed in hours. You don’t agree with me, fine, run an ad. I have no problem with other people’s ideas.”
This way of using quotes and verses for religious texts and using them to portray a certain point is not new, but its authenticity is highly questionable. Picking and choosing verses from the Quran outside of their context, and using them to stoke anti-Muslim sentiments cannot be deemed fair.
Just like all Muslims cannot be deemed terrorists.
The verse on the banner for instance is from the Quran and comes from Surat(Chapeter)-ul-Imran but refers to the historic Battle of Badr where the Prophet Muhammad had to defeat back attacking pagan Arab idolaters.
Twisting the context and references of holy text to use for propaganda’s sake is a shoddy way of proving a point.
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” reads Matthew 10:34. What does it mean? That Christianity is a religion of terror? All religions profess peace and harmony. It is the deviants among the followers who take the path of bringing hurt and destruction. Every religion values human life, freedom and truth.
But statements like these are put on public display in the name of freedom of expression, making one wonder what exactly does the term entail?