The Wolf, the lamb, and Pamela Geller: AFDI step up the anti-Muslim hate
This statement rings true for the actions by narrow-minded commentator Pamela Geller and the organization that she heads, AFDI (American Freedom Defense Initiative), and the new unveiling of ads that depict the tragedy of 9/11.
The ads display the unforgettable instance of when the first commercial plane hit the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2011. The ads show the smoke and flames mushrooming from the building, which is the moment where thousand of individuals lost their lives.
This also accompanied with text from the Quran that reads, “Slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them. (The Quran, 9:5)” and directly below it another citation that reads, “Those who disbelieve Our revelations. We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed. We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. (The Quran, 4:56).”
For someone who may not have read the Quran or know its teachings, these may come across as harsh and shocking. The text that Geller cherry-picks out of the Quran is portrayed wildly out of context – with no factual context whatsoever.
However, if Geller relied on facts and shrewdness there would be no AFDI in the first place.
These citations are not a general command that ordinary Muslims follow. They were written into the Quran in the context of Muslims being under attack by pagans almost 2,000 years ago. The Quran teaches its followers that only God can judge who goes to hell, however the ad is expressing the exact opposite; and that is when it becomes misinformation.
Furthermore, the “unbelievers” were not referring to Christians or Jews, as Geller would like people to believe, but the pagans at the time. Additionally, The Bible and the Torah are also religious texts that have similar citations such as:
“Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own.” Deuteronomy 17:2-7
“Shun those who disagree with your religious views.” Romans 16:17
These again are not commands; many of the citations in religious texts are, in contemporary times, obsolete, such as the examples above and the ones in which Geller display on the ads. The citations where written at the time when many unique circumstances presented themselves.
Clearly, if these citations were placed alongside the images of terroristic acts of any Christian or Jewish extremists, the message would be one that demonizes an entire faith. Geller claims she’s not trying to attack all Muslims, however, whether this is truthful or not, the entire Muslim community is going to feel the effects.
Creating these ads was mainly an up-the-ante attempt from Geller in response to the ads from Christian-based and Jewish-based organizations that countered AFDI’s first set of ‘savage’ ads. Moreover, CAIR has also launched its own ads countering what AFDI started. Instead of admitting defeat or continuing with the ads already in place by AFDI, Geller raised the stakes. However, raising the stakes may or may not prove to be detrimental to what Geller is trying to accomplish.
Imagine if a person who lost a loved one, co-worker, or friend on that tragic day, took the NYC subway and happen to look up at that ad by the AFDI. The emotions, memory, and frustration would overwhelm that person and it may turn into anger. In addition, that anger could be for the blatant disrespect on Geller’s part or even worse, prompting that person to incite prejudice or violence toward Muslims.
The only way to comprehend what Geller has done, by introducing these ads, is trying to rev-up some of the American populous and have them revert back to the damaging sentiment that occurred when 9/11 happened, such as thinking ‘Muslims are violent martyrs of Islam’ or just outright ‘terrorists who attacked and hate America.’
Citing the Quran out of context with the shocking imagery of the attacks combined with ignorance with sensationalism, shows that Geller is trying to sell an outdated and emotionally sensitive rhetoric.
This is not only insulting to the Islamic faith, but also a derogatory attempt to spew hate against all Muslims. The ads simply reek of desperation, are unequivocally insulting, and blatantly exploit an American tragedy, because AFDI is simply an institution of hate. Geller herself commented on the creation as ads by stating on her blog, “Yes, this will go on for years.”
This campaign needs to end.
It is not okay to misquote a religious doctrine because your message of hate was trumped by competence and understanding. It is not okay to exploit an American tragedy to try to win an invisible war of cultures. If the mainstream media can do anything, it is to not buy into Geller and the AFDI as heroes in trying to “expose” the ordinary Muslim, but to expose Geller and AFDI as an organization of hate and intolerance.