|This advertisement is stupid. And so are you if you give a damn.|
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
New York City’s subway stations have, this week, become mildly less pleasant than they were before. And that’s saying something.
This is, of course, only the latest chapter in the unfolding drama that erupted, violently, in the wake of the short film, Innocence of Muslims, being translated into Arabic and uploaded to YouTube. More than two dozen people have died in protests that stretched across the Ummah, the Muslim world, from Egypt to Indonesia.
The protests proved to those already convinced that Muslims are an angry group. And indeed, there is much to be said about the very real clash of civilizations we are experiencing between the Ummah and the West. The freedom of speech and the immunity of the Prophet Mohammed from satire are mutually exclusive. Pick one or the other.
Even now some American commentators are decrying the freedom of speech as a flawed approach to interaction within the global village. Because whenever we are confronted with a difficult situation, the solution is caving.
And then there is Pamela Geller of the ‘American Freedom Defense Initiative.’ This is the group behind the “Defeat Jihad” advertisements that now populate the already depressing and disgusting NYC subway stations. It was hard to feel civilized there even before these ads.
Pamela is not, as so many people say, ‘Islamophobic.’ David Duke is not ‘Blackaphobic.’ Pamela is just a hater. She hates Islam, Muslims, Palestinians, Liberals and people who haven’t read Ayn Rand.
She points to protests in the Ummah as a sign of Muslim savagery. More specifically she believes Palestinians are, literally, savages.
Yes, there is a serious cultural difference between the Ummah and West. No, we should not bend to the whim of the mob on the issue of free speech.
But while I would defend (maybe not to the death) the right of Pamela and others like her to speak freely, I detest what she says. The posters are both pointlessly inflammatory (especially because most Americans already side with Israel) and absolutely wrong. Palestinians are surely capable of behaving savagely, as is any group or individual. But they are not savages.
Yet the responses to Pamela’s posters have ranged from apathetic to violently passionate. Even now the Egyptian-American ‘activist’ (reactionary) Mona Eltahawy is being championed as some sort of hero for her acts of vandalism against the posters. She was arrested on Tuesday for trying to spray paint over one of the signs.
Apparently Mona felt the posters were so inflammatory as to require a physical response. Words, remember, can only be as powerful as you allow them to be. Mona is not a champion of the rights of Palestinians, or Liberals, or whatever. She is just another person who let her emotions get the best of her.
People like Mona make people like Pamela feel justified.
The appropriate reaction to the hateful message of the American Freedom Defense Initiative is a steady cold shoulder. Just ignore it. Stop fanning the flames.
In other words: show Pamela who the civilized one is.