Target: American Freedom Defense Initiative
Goal: Remove the anti-Islamic ads on San Francisco buses
Recently, buses in San Francisco have been displaying anti-Islamic advertisements created by the American Freedom Defensive Initiative. The advertisements include a photo of Osama Bin Laden, as well as other terrorist leaders next to quotations said by Islamic fundamentalists. One of the quotations specifically reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Although the American Freedom Defense Initiative is exercising their right to free speech, they must acknowledge that their advertisements are extremely racists and offensive to the Muslim community in the United States. Their approach in expressing their support for Israel is insensitive and misleading, which is why they must pull their advertisements off these buses.
These advertisements were paid for by the initiative and will run for the rest of the month on 10 city’s Muni buses. One of the bus advertisements reads, “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?” A picture of Bin-laden is placed conveniently next to the quotation. The images and quotations that the initiative selected purposely induce hate and promote public racism against an entire religion. They are associating the word Jihad with terrorism, which is extremely misleading. The initiative is taking the words of extremists and stretching them to encompass the entire Muslim-population. This outward act of racism is unacceptable.
The District Attorney George Gascon told the ABC News affiliate in San Francisco: “These offensive ads serve no purpose than to denigrate out city’s Arab and Muslim communities.” Despite public outcry over these advertisements, they continue to run on buses because the advertisement spots were paid and the city cannot censor freedom of speech.
New York City recently attempted to ban the advertisements from showing up in the banners of public transportation but was unsuccessful due to a court ruling. These advertisements might show up in other cities as well. It is important that the initiative realizes the consequences of the advertisements and takes them down themselves. They cannot be that naive to believe that their advertisements will have no detrimental effects on the Muslim community in the United States. Sign the petition to ask the initiative to remove these advertisements immediately or at least replace them with informative ones that will not mislead people.
Dear American Freedom Defense Initiative,
Although I respect your right to freedom of speech, I believe that your anti-Islamic advertisements are highly offensive because they are extremely misleading. By using quotations from extremists and pictures of terrorists along with the free use of the word Jihad, you are suggesting that Muslim people and terrorism are related. Even if you do not outwardly say it, people might assume that since the advertisements provide no other information. Although there may be Muslim terrorists, you have to be sensitive to the fact that a lot of U.S. citizens, where these advertisements are seen, are Muslims and are not terrorists.
Your advertisements on San Francisco buses are outwardly racist. The quotations and pictures you chose can also induce blind hate. If you want to educate people about Islamic attacks, you can do so without misleading people. Use appropriate information and examples to present your case. Do not just throw around quotations without any context whatsoever.
Please remove your offensive advertisements.
[Your Name Here]