News

You can promote Islam on the side of US buses, but you can’t oppose it

AN American group established to help Muslims escape the tyranny of Islam have been told that ads they put on Miami buses are to be pulled as they may be “offensive” to members of the Religion of Peace.

The ads, placed by the  Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group asks:

Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you?

The suggested answer is a visit to a website called “Leave Islam.”

SOIA, according to this report, is led by Jihad Watch director and author Robert Spencer. The ads had been purchased for one month and were “offered in defence of religious liberty.”

Said a commentary at the SIOA website:

Still think this is a free country? At least three of the bus companies that ran the dawah (invitation to Islam) bus ads turned down our ad. And Miami tore the ads down in less than 48 hours.

One of the Miami bus ads promoting Islam

The SIOA ads were a reponse to a series of ads posted earlier by a Muslim group, claiming Islam was “submission to God” and:

The way of life of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, & Muhammad.

Karla Damian, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Transit agency, said the ads would be censored immediately after complaints had been raised by Muhammed Malik of the South Florida chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

In a statement to the Miami Herald, he said Muslims reject :

Any extremist interpretation that sanctions the killing of anyone leaving Islam.

But Spencer hit back, citing reports of a specific threat against American teen-ager Rifqa Bary, who fled her Muslim family in fear for her life after she converted to Christianity.

A translation of the fatwa against the girl indicated that death:

Is a very normal part of Islamic law for apostasy and for every muslim its (sic) at honor to CLEAN the umma if Rifqa is dead.

Spencer added:

Muslims can run bus ads all across America inviting the clueless to convert to Islam, but we cannot make information available to Muslims who want to leave Islam.

On his Jihad Watch website, Spencer responded to a comment that the ads be “toned down”:

What is offensive about our ad? What is wrong with its tone? Apostates are threatened and killed all over the world. We offered them help. What would you suggest we tone down? What would you suggest we not say in order to please them? Why must we always play this game, instead of speaking the truth without fear? There is nothing objectively wrong or offensive about our ad. You’re falling into their trap, allowing them to define what is offensive and what isn’t. I refuse to do so.

He added:

And even if our ad were offensive to someone, so what? I am offended by all sorts of things. I wouldn’t dream of trying to get them suppressed because they offend me, and no one would take me seriously if I did. But Muslims are already a de facto privileged class, even in America – if I’m offended, no one gives two hoots and no one should, but if Muslims are offended, watch out! Heaven and earth will move!

The group that is allowed to suppress speech with which it disagrees, or which it finds offensive, is a group that can suppress dissent and carry out its will unchallenged. That is the road to tyranny.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

27 responses to “You can promote Islam on the side of US buses, but you can’t oppose it”

  1. NeoWolfe says:

    The threadhead said:

    “Muslims are already a de facto privileged class, even in America”

    I don’t think so!!! Yes, there are additional penalties if it can be demonstated in court that someone is guilty of a “hate crime”. Yes, that law does protect muslims, but it also protects gays. It protects blacks, jews, and Fred Phelps. The idea that muslims are some pampered group in America is ridiculous. Those people are walking around on eggshells since 9/11. Even Sikhs who look muslim but aren’t. I worked with a kid who changed his name from Muhammed to Hammed to hide his heritage (the little bastard spoke fluent Spanish, go figure). Muslims are being suspiciously tolerated in the States, but that’s all.

    NeoWolfe

  2. William Harwood says:

    A cult that can place ads on the sides of buses inviting converts to join the cult, but can intimidate the bus company into refusing to carry ads inviting members to convert from the cult, is a privileged class by definition, whether it is Muslim, Catholic, or Scientologist. If secular organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation cannot stop bus lines from carrying ads endorsing a religion, but the religion can stop the bus line from carrying ads endorsing secularism, the religions clearly consitute a privileged class.

  3. Brian Jordan says:

    A proper test would be if the ad matched the Muslim one and just said something like “Leaving Islam? We’ll help you out” and gave the url/phone number. There’s no way a complaint about that could be justified.

  4. rog says:

    excuse my quick research – but the organiser of that site wrote http://www.amazon.com/dp/1439189307 The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, and is one of the leaders of ‘Stop the Islamization of America’ and is linked to http://freedomdefense.typepad.com/fdi/

    It’s possible that they might not be nice people.

  5. rog says:

    also, an amazon reference to a blog post from Pamela Geller:
    http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Geller/e/B003815P0S/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

    Now, ruling America is a black man from our continent, an African from Arab descent, from Muslim descent, and this is something we never imagined – that from Reagan we would get to Barakeh Obama.” Qaddafi

    It’s something most Americans never imagined either. Stealth coup.

    They call Obama Muhammad in the Arab/Muslim world. You can’t make this stuff up. America still under the dentist gas ………. yuk it up while you can.

  6. Jen says:

    The US is in so much trouble. Part of the problem is, the insane neo-con Fox News types whipped up the hysteria so much that now, criticizing Islam is conflated with frothing racism. The right wingers think anyone who is brown should come under suspicion, and that atmosphere makes intelligent discussion very tenuous.

    Thank you South Park for breaking this taboo loose a little bit.
    http://www.southparkstudios.com/news/3872

  7. Liberty says:

    i don’t think the muslims ad campagin would be very effective. the words ‘ISLAM – SUBMISSION TO GOD’ dont immediatly strike me as the most persuasive of words. in fact, they could easily be used against islam, indicating that one has no free will!

  8. NeoWolfe says:

    Dr. Harwood,

    I would base on your spelling if it weren’t for the fact that I spell like a kindergartner. 🙂

    You said:

    “If secular organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation cannot stop bus lines from carrying ads endorsing a religion, but the religion can stop the bus line from carrying ads endorsing secularism, the religions clearly consitute a privileged class.”

    That makes perfect sense. But, I wonder, are there laws preventing advertisers from discriminating? In the States there are laws that require networks to grant equal time to political candidates. Nasty bust if they fail to comply.

    I’m just a little hazy on why we need to win the side of a fucking bus? There are billboards, park benches, marquis, junk mail, unsolicited email, windshield flyers, telemarketing, and junkies wearing picket signs. Until there is a law that requires ad companies to be politically correct, I assume we will need to chill out and realize those dicks are about turning a profit and not about leading the world out of it’s blindness. Sad but true.

    NeoWolfe

  9. barriejohn says:

    More on the Rifqa Bary case here:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/08/muslim-father-threatens-to-kill-daughter-for-leaving-islam-muslims-claim-victim-status.html

    “Muslims fear runaway girl’s case will fuel religious hatred”!

  10. Stonyground says:

    Converts to Islam should be aware that “Submission to God” actually means submission to God’s self appointed spokestwats.

  11. Broadsword says:

    NeoWolfe & William Harwood

    Sorry to see this happening in North America.
    If it isn’t nipped in the bud you’ll end up like spineless Europe, pandering to the sensitivities of “groups”, religious or otherwise.

    Wouldn’t want to upset anyone now, would we?

  12. hmason says:

    @ rog — “It’s something most Americans never imagined either. Stealth coup.

    They call Obama Muhammad in the Arab/Muslim world. You can’t make this stuff up.”

    Yet your sort manages to make this stuff up all the time.

  13. William Harwood says:

    Just because an advertiser has other available outlets and therefore does not need buses, that does not change the reality that, when a busline allows advertiser A to buy spots while denying equal treatment to advertiser B, that makes advertiser A a privileged class.
    Assuming that a busline is not publicly funded, it has the legal right to discriminate as it chooses, just as Faux News has the legal right to discriminate against the sane, intelligent and educated on programs that are as “fair and balanced” as Mein Kampf.
    A commercial enterprise has the legal and moral right to base policies on economic factors. That is not what the busline did, except in the larger sense that caving in to terrorists reduced the likelihood of having to buy more buses to replace those that the terrorists blew up.

  14. William Harwood says:

    I just learned that the busline’s web address is Miami-Dade.gov. So apparently it IS publicly funded. That makes its discriminatory policy a criminal violation of the First Amendment.

  15. rog says:

    For my money, these pair are nasty right-wing Xians trying to provoke some controversy, in the hope that they can stir up a bit of hatred and fear.

  16. rog says:

    While I’m thinking about it the advertised webiste refugefromislam.com isn’t exactly overflowing with advice for the potential apostate – a token reference to a womens refuge – a link to a book and links to some Xian sites & one or two links to sites created by exmuslims – IMHO not something worth paying to advertise, unless you have an ulterior motive….

  17. NeoWolfe says:

    Dr Harwood said:

    “So apparently it IS publicly funded. That makes its discriminatory policy a criminal violation of the First Amendment.”

    There may be some merit to that point. On the other hand, nearly every municipal mass transit system in American is contracted out to private companies. HOWEVER, ordinarily those companies are required to meet certain standards, such as in their hiring practices. But, I suspect, as well, that the transit contractor has subcontracted advertising to yet another company who markets ad space to any interested buyers. Perhaps a legal case could be made, but, it would sure get sticky.

    But, I still say, “fuck the busline and rent a billboard.”

    NeoWolfe

  18. barriejohn says:

    They are definitely right-wingers, Rog, but then why don’t they have the same right as others to run their ads? If they WERE attempting to stir up religious enmity the Muzzies have taken the bait all right!

  19. Jim says:

    Fuck Allah, and his little toady, Muhammed, too.

  20. rog says:

    @barriejohn

    The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, It’s just one lot of zealots fighting another, but it’s not going to help anyone, least of all secularists.

    Were I the bus company I wouldn’t want their business either, not because of the fuss that it would cause or that it might it hurt Islamic sensibilities, but because of who they are and their hateful intention.

    If they were a group of Muslim apostates, with the exact same poster, I would have a very different view.

  21. NeoWolfe says:

    rog said:

    “The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, It’s just one lot of zealots fighting another.”

    So very true. It’s like the pretend interest that police have when inner city rival gangs start killing each other off. The only time the police take an interest is when there is enough evidence to easily convict yet another gangster, and get his ass off the street, too. Otherwise, it’s “oh, well, street justice”.

    Read a book, and you know that interfaith and intersect violence is the story of the pathetic human race. Sitting by eating popcorn as your enemies destroy each other is a strategy as old as war.

    NeoWolfe

  22. Janstince says:

    I gotta agree with NeoWolfe on this one. As long as the collateral damage can be contained, no need to stick our noses in on this one. Let them deplete their resources, then we can run ads cheaper on the buses about leaving any religion with less competition. Plus, get in between two right wingnuts who want to murder each other, don’t be surprised to see your balls on the chopping block.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Well, I have to disagree fundamentally with you people on this. We supposedly live in the free world (a joke now, I know), and if an ad is not breaking the law I see no reason why someone should not be free to place it, whatever views it promotes, nor why it should be removed just because some religious lunatic is “offended” by it. Presumably, if the non-believers want to run their so-called “atheist ads” again you will all support these religiots in their demands that THEY be banned as well!

  24. kope says:

    Please read my blog read how islam will win the
    clash of civilization.

    http://www.xanga.com/hfghj23458654fgha

  25. NeoWolfe says:

    Bjohn said:

    “Presumably, if the non-believers want to run their so-called “atheist ads” again you will all support these religiots in their demands that THEY be banned as well!”

    You were doing so well, and now you’ve gone postal!!!! You have to know me better than that!!! The only points I was making is that no legislation exists in the States to force ad agencies to give equal time to opposing religious philosophies. And that legal options are limited because there are several layers of private companies involved that have no obligation to exclude religious influence. So, basically, we are talking about taking religion out of business, and vise versa. It can be done when freethinkers win the world, but, until then, business is run by the value of the currency. If muslims are willing to spend more money than atheists, under the law, we are fucked. Ad agencies will sell the space to the highest bidder, and they can legally sign exclusive agreements to bar the competition. Welcome to capitalism. Another human institution, and it doesn’t work either.

    NeoWolfe

  26. barriejohn says:

    But these ads had already been accepted, and were on display, in Miami. They were actually REMOVED when the muzzies complained about “being offended” yet again. I think that is the crucial point. I don’t know anything about the legal position on your side of the Atlantic regarding advertisements, but we do have anti-discrimination laws here now, covering race, sex, sexual orientation and religion.