JVP Condemns New Wave of Islamophobic Ads
Jewish Voice for Peace condemns the latest round of Islamophobic ads from Pamela Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative on the San Francisco Municipal Transit Buses.
JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE CONDEMNS NEW WAVE OF ISLAMOPHOBIC ADS; CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 11, 2013
At Jewish Voice for Peace, we condemn the latest round of Islamophobic ads from Pamela Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative on the San Francisco Municipal Transit Buses. These ads seem to have no purpose other than to sow ill-will towards Islam in general and towards American Muslim members of our local community. While JVP is committed to free speech rights, we believe that with rights come responsibilities and that San Francisco officials must respond vehemently with words and deeds.
We welcome the press conference by the Mayor and the members of the Board of Supervisors on this matter, and we ask them to issue a loud and unequivocal response to the ads that goes beyond merely issuing condemnations and general calls for the promotion of diversity. Our Muslim brothers and sisters deserve--like any other member of our community--to feel welcome, safe, and secure in San Francisco.
And yet, words alone are not enough.
In August of last year, when Geller came out with a set of hateful ads targeting Arabs and Muslims, the city of San Francisco pledged not to profit from the ads and donated the proceeds it received to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. That money has not yet been allocated for the benefit of San Francisco’s Arabs and Muslims, who are singularly the targets of the ads' hateful message. Despite suggestions from the Arab and Muslim community to conduct an impact study on Islamophobia post-9/11, we are not aware of a commitment to this project nor is it clear there is a timeline for moving forward.
"As a queer Jew living in San Francisco, I believe that if ads displaying blatant misinformation against Jews or if ads denigrating LGBTQ couples were to be placed on the San Francisco Municipal Transit system, the City would treat this with the utmost urgency, vigorously affirm its solidarity with the targeted community, and implement strategies tailored to combat the particular harm done. We expect no less when Muslims and Islam are under attack," said Sydney Levy, Advocacy Director for Jewish Voice for Peace.
Let’s use this as an opportunity to show with our actions that Geller’s ideas are not welcome in San Francisco.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization, inspired by Jewish tradition to promoting a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East based on equality, human rights and respect for international law. JVP has offices in NY and CA, over 125,000 supporters, 35 chapters, a Rabbi's Council, a youth wing, and an Advisory Board that includes Judith Butler, Tony Kushner, Ed Asner, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Eve Ensler and others.