I missed posting my column this week -- if you missed it, go here.
DEFENDING THE WEST
I'm offending 'savages'? Guilty as charged
Exclusive: Pamela Geller fights latest effort to censor her organization's anti-jihad ads
After my organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), won a historic victory in our First Amendment lawsuit against the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, after it refused to run our pro-Israel ads, we moved forward with our counter-jihad offensive to run our ads across the country, in every city that ran the anti-Israel campaign. We did not expect any further restrictions on our First Amendment rights. We had won. But once again we ran afoul of dhimmi officials anxious to comply with Shariah restrictions on free speech.
Our ad said: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Defeat jihad. Support Israel.” We submitted this ad to run on New York subway platforms and in Washington, D.C., Metro train dioramas. The contracts were signed and the ads were paid for up front. They were scheduled to run this week, and that was particularly apt; in light of the cold-blooded murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as that of two former Navy SEALs and another American in Libya, what else would you call jihadists but “savages”? Why is this controversial? The ads should be papered across America. Also, it’s funny how the word “savage” entered the vernacular after the latest jihadist blowups across the world.
Nonetheless, on Rosh Hashanah, the D.C. Transit Authority canceled (“postponed”) our pro-Israel ads. D.C. Transit said, “Due to the situations happening around the world at this time, we are postponing the start of this program.” They claimed that “the reason for this decision is one of security and safety for the commuters using the D.C. Metro rail system.”
This is exactly the reason why our pro-freedom ads should run.
It is precisely because of the current political situation that it is important that I be able to express my message now, and I consider any delay to be government censorship of my political speech.
Clearly, D.C. Transit is kowtowing to the threat of jihad terrorism. Their cowardice does not make commuters or Americans safer. On the contrary, it puts us in more peril to the whims of violent Islamic supremacists.
And dhimmi D.C. Transit is not alone. Others have criticized the use of the word “savage.” But it is entirely apt. They claim that the ad refers to all Muslims, or all opponents of Israel. It doesn’t. It refers to those who rejoice in the murders of innocent civilians. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians. The targeting of civilians is savage. The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens was savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage. The list is endless.
D.C. Transit’s excuse was that if the ads ran, passengers would be unsafe. But that is kowtowing to violent intimidation. People have been writing to me, blaming me for the violence they think could happen if my ads ran. Yet if any violence ensues, it is the responsibility of the ones who commit it, and no one else’s. The responsibility for one’s actions lies with the one who acts and no one else. Islamic supremacists and their allies in the mainstream media are trying to get us to accept the idea that we are responsible if Muslims riot and kill and blame what we say. Yet there is nothing you could say to me that would make me riot and kill. The responsibility is theirs, and they are the only ones who deserve condemnation – if the media were doing their job. There will always be an ad, a movie, a cartoon, a teddy bear – something that makes Muslims fly into violent rages and demand restrictions on the freedom of speech. This is a war on freedom. I refuse to sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages.
Dhimmitude at the D.C. Transit Authority. The message they are sending is that terrorism works. But we are not going to cower before violent intimidation. My ace legal team, David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), filed suit against D.C. Transit to reclaim our free-speech rights.
Yet the enemedia coverage supported the pro-Shariah message. New York Magazine snarked at the “timing,” as if there were a good or better time to “blaspheme” and say something Muslims dislike. When, then? After the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, when there were no “provocations”? After the USS Cole bombing? After the 7/7 bombings in London? After the 3/11 bombings in Madrid? After the Fort Hood jihad murders? After the Times Square attempted jihad bombing? After a teacher inadvertently named a classroom teddy bear Muhammad (at the students’ request) and became a target for death and the object of rioting across the Muslim world? After the brutal jihad murders of the Fogel family in Israel? After Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. diplomats were murdered? After a YouTube video that insults Muhammad? After cartoons of Muhammad?
When is it OK to blaspheme under the Shariah? Any time. I will never self-censor before violent thugs. I will speak out more loudly than ever.