Gone are the days when waiting for the bus, one was exposed to billboards and posters inviting them to try the best tissue, soft drink or candy bar. Advertising is as much a part of 21st century consumerism as it ever was, but the rules are changing. At least they are in San Francisco!
Last week, a series of ads started to appear on the side of municipal buses in San Francisco.
The ads, as shown above, were paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization led by very vocal pro-Israel and anti-Islamist, Pamela Geller.
When I label Ms. Geller as an anti-Islamist–a position I actually take as well– I am very specific with my terminology.We must understand the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist before we use the words interchangeably, as they are far from being synonymous. While all professed Muslims follow the religion of Islam within boundaries more our less dictated by their holy book the Qur’an, not all Muslims are Islamists. The term Islamist usually refers to a militant Muslim whose life is entirely ruled by the Qur’an and the Hadiths (commentaries on the Qur’an). As a result, Islamists are more passionate about their beliefs, less tolerant about others (even within Islam) and potentially more violent. I do believe that Muslims who adhere to the Qur’an and promote Sharia have no choice but to follow it’s teachings and as a result become vastly intolerant regarding the “infidels” (ie: all non-Muslim). This being established, I feel that the ad campaign deserves our attention for several reasons.
While I do not support some of the verbiage used in the actual copy of the ad, I support truth, justice and real peace.
I do not believe that the use of the word “savage” was the most appropriate in such a short ad where ambiguity might easily lead to confusion. According to the dictionary, the word savage can mean “uncivilized”, “barbaric”, “vicious” and/or “brutal”. What is implied in the ad as it pertains to the middle-east conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, is that Israelis are the civilized party while the Palestinians are the savages. It this true?
Anyone who is interested in the facts about the middle-east conflict and who is honest enough to search for the truth, will discover that the Palestinian Authority (Hamas and Fatah) are far from honest.
Additionally, Palestinians have been deconstructed and rebuilt by political correctness from perpetrator to victims and, Israelis have been deconstructed and rebuilt by political correctness from victims to perpetrators. A complete role reversal has been taking place under the eyes of a mostly uneducated world whose bias is so flagrant that it could almost be comedic if it was not tragically anti-Semitic.
Have Islamists acted like savages over the last few decades? You tell me?
Of all the terrorist bombings perpetrated in Israel and worldwide over the last six decades, were any done by non-Muslim? NO!
Are civilians (including children) ever used as human shield? ABSOLUTELY YES
We cannot deny that the methods used by radical Muslims (Islamists) are often barbaric. After all, if any culture or belief system values death more than Western civilization values life, “savage” actions will undoubtedly follow, and they have! Yet we must be careful to not label all Muslims as Islamists, something I am not convinced that the ad conveys clearly.
The ad also seems to imply that we will defeat Jihad simply by supporting Israel. I think that that statement also needs clarification.
Many Muslims will tell you, and rightfully so, that jihad simply means “struggle”. They will often insist on the fact that it can mean many kinds of struggles and not necessarily violence and savage killings. In the broader sense, I agree with the definition of the word jihad, but it is rarely if ever used that way within Islam and NEVER used that way by Islamic fundamentalists (Islamists).
In his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, documents the importance of Jihad for the Muslim world at large:
The unpleasant fact is that violent jihad warfare against unbelievers is not a heretical doctrine held by a tiny minority of extremists, but a constant element of mainstream Islamic theology…This is true of all four principal schools of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence, the Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Shafi’i, to which the great majority of Muslims worldwide belong.1.
So let us call jihad what it is for most of the Muslim world: A struggle to establish Sharia law by force if necessary (why would one want to submit to Sharia by choice continues to be very puzzling to me and most Westerners). The Qur’an is clear: “Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are harsh to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” (Surah 48:29).
In the process, infidels either accept Islam and convert, pay the jizya (tax) to the Muslim leadership as second-class citizens (dhimmis) or simply fight the Muslims. There is never an option to peacefully coexist and accept each other’s differences. Multiculturalism and tolerance as promoted by a 21st century postmodern world is only used by Islamists to further infiltrate our world and gain further control (as slowly as necessary, yet as fast possible) , but it is never accepted as an alternative approach to existence.
Looking back at the ad, it will take much more than supporting Israel to fight and defeat jihad simply because it takes a lot more than “helping a friend” to be able to defeat their enemy.
I am a fervent supporter of Israel, her biblical right to the Land and her right to exist. This doesn’t mean that I take a blinded approach to Zionism. I do not agree with every single decision made within the Knesset walls. One can genuinely disagree with a government’s policies without being blatantly against that government or its people. A fair assessment is always within reach as long as the disagreement is based on FACTS and NOT FICTION. Of course, this is hardly ever the case when it comes to the middle-East conflict.
Jihad can stop, but first people have to care and decide that they want to educate themselves about the root of radical Islam.
Jihad can stop if people actually do not allow sharia to taint the fabric of Western civilization.
Jihad will stop when real peace from Yeshua (Jesus) the Prince of Peace is established and not a Muslim caliphate ruling the world (Isaiah 9:6-7).
I guess what even bothers me the most, is the fact that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) decided to run a series of ads to counter the message of Ms. Geller’s campaign ON THE VERY SAME BUSES where the original ads are (see below). This is a first in advertising, when ads to counter a campaign were not ran by the people who felt targeted, in this case, the Muslim community, but by the organization used as the platform for the ads.
I am outraged because this is such a case of double standard and willful blindness. Multiple ad campaigns have appeared all across America that deface and demonize Israel but you NEVER see the people behind the medium used (such as MUNI) run counter ads to defend Israel. Of course not!
A precedent was set in San Francisco and based on the history of my people and the parallel timeline of anti-Semitism through the ages, I am certain that we will see more of the same in the months if not weeks to come. The scapegoat of humanity has ALWAYS been the Jew.
HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS CAN YOU SPELL ANTI-SEMITISM?
1. Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades (Regnery Publishing, Washington DC, 2005) Page 38.
The problem with the word ‘savage’ as opposed to the term ‘civilized man’ is that it objectifies the jihadist. Such people are flesh and blood as is the ‘civilized man’ and are just as worthwhile as human beings. Calling them savages turns them into an ‘it’ rather than a ‘thou’ as Buber would have put it (see Ich und Du).
Dave L. (not gonna give my email) says
While the description of jihad is accurate, and slight can be read in the word “savage”, it is also true that “civilized [humanity]” is not as good as one might ascribe to the term civilized. For while a lot of people can come together to agree on any set of “civil” acceptability, simply because they agree to it–the concept that any particular civility is necessarily good begs the question “by whose standard”. Muslim, or any other belief system, including Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Secular, Orthodox, or other classification really depends on the central origin of these beliefs. Unfortunately, given our propensities to believe what we will puts it up to us, and not to a seperate deity. When we agree to a deity, and then we propose that deity to any other who decides not to agree with it, and then decide to bring any form of force other than personal choice and reasoned decision making that choice, then we are placing ourselves in the place of deity or not, and in that is an inherent fallacy to forcing any conclusion upon any other, whether by soft cohersion of social pressures, or financial pressures. IF ANY DEITY POSED ANYTHING AT ALL TO US, IT WAS THE RULE OF CHOICE. I believe that was done for a very good reason. The Deity knew that what is, is. We have the choice to accept that or not. The outcome is entirely on each one of us, regardless. Now, I will go on record as a believer in the Judeo-Christian YHWH, and believe that a historically accurate raised (only one) Yeshuah HaMashiach (Jesus, The Christ) verifies that as fact. Until anyone else decides that for themselves, they have their choice for now. If I am wrong, OK. But, IF I’M RIGHT, well I’ll leave that for anyone to ponder for themselves. But, Creator G-d, means the rules of reality are set in the Creation, already. Condemnation only comes by our own hand, for we are already condemned when we deny the rules that govern the creation. You can’t remake an original master mold, without making a different mold. You can’t recreate a creation already made by its master. This argument can not be broken, even by an evolutionary model.