San Francisco’s Jewish leaders have denounced anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller’s latest ad campaign on San Francisco Muni buses this October.
“These ads imply that Islam itself is evil and that to be a devout follower of the faith is to be violent,” reads the statement from the local Jewish Community Relations Council. “This inflammatory message is not welcome on our buses, in our City or anywhere else.”
Geller has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for similar messages on public transit around the United States — and, given First Amendment protections, efforts to squelch the ad campaigns have routinely failed.
In San Francisco, what Geller’s previous campaigns have provoked is public response.
This includes unauthorized, graffiti-style modifications of her ads by guerrilla artists, as well as a competing campaign by San Francisco’s public-transit agency itself.
The JCRC press release describes Geller’s current campaign as “an affront to our community’s and our City’s values and do nothing to address the very serious threat that ISIS poses in the Middle East and beyond.”
The organization’s public opposition to Geller comes on the heels of its support for the San Francisco Interfaith Council’s September 17 denunciation of religious persecution by the Islamic State in the Middle East.
Sources for this news roundup:
Pamela Geller profile
Southern Poverty Law Center
“Muni Anti-Islamic Bus Graffiti: Queer Art Group Vandalizes Controversial Ads (PHOTOS)”
Huffington Post, March 27, 2013
“SF Public Transit Runs Ads Denouncing Anti-Muslim Blogger’s Ad Campaign”
Mother Jones, August 20, 2012
“San Francisco Interfaith Council and Religious Leaders Speak Out Against ISIS Religious Persecution”
San Francisco Interfaith Council, September 17, 2014