There’s a new campaign to fight back against a series of anti-Muslim subway ads in New York City.
Akiva Freidlin has launched a project, currently raising funds on indiegogo, to buy subway ad space that will counter those of Pamela Geller.
The ads are paid for by American Freedom Defense Initiative, the umbrella organization for the Stop Islamization of America, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.
Freidlin, like many other New Yorkers, wasn’t too keen on Geller’s latest ad, which features a photo of the World Trade Center exploding in flames next to a quote from the Quran that reads, “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.”
These ads attack our most basic communal values: they try to exploit the city’s grief and anger over 9/11, and they demonize and intimidate members of a particular religious group. That’s not how we roll. Everyone has a right to feel at home in this city, and that includes our Muslim neighbors.
Freidlin, who describes himself as a “thirty-year-old white guy who lives in Manhattan,” says he’s the “grandchild of Holocaust survivors who came to the United States looking for freedom, tolerance, and prosperity—and found it in New York.”
The “Talk Back To Hate” campaign hopes to raise $7,500 to design and buy 10 subway ads. Contributors are invited to submit ideas for the ads, and will be able to vote on the message.
And now we have an email crusade aimed at pressuring the US postal service to stop including Islamic holidays in their holiday stamp group. The email crusade is replete with the general conspiracy nonsense we are used to from Islamophobes, that it was issued by President Obama (secret Muslim), linking the stamp to Muslim terrorists, etc. Take a quick read at the following news piece and then consider our little idea of how to push back against this rabid hate with just a few cents.
St. Petersburg, Florida – It’s the holiday season and people are busy mailing out packages and greeting cards.
The Arabic says "Happy Festival."
The United States Postal Service offers a variety of holiday stamps including ones marking Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. But there’s one stamp that some people aren’t giving the stamp of approval.
It’s the Eid Greetings stamp, which honors two Muslim holidays. There’s an e-mail going around calling on “patriotic Americans” to boycott it.
Ahmed Bedier, President of the Tampa Human Rights Council and a Muslim, has seen the e-mail and he finds it troubling. “This is a form of hate mail. Hate speech,” says Bedier. “It can be very dangerous and it’s full of basically a lot of misinformation.”
The e-mail sent to 10 Connects does contain some factual errors. It says the stamp is new and that President Obama had it issued. However, the stamp is far from new. It’s eight years old and was created when George W. Bush was president.
Besides talking about the stamp, the e-mail also lists a string of terrorist bombings linked to Muslim extremists. The e-mail says that using the stamp would be a slap in the face to Americans who died.
For Bedier, that message amounts to cyber hate. “That would be similar to sending out messages like it was a Catholic who committed the Oklahoma City bombing; it was a Catholic who did this, it was a Catholic who did that. Let’s get rid of the Catholics.”
But one thing Bedier would like to get rid of is this e-mail. Just like the mobs at the post office, variations of it seem to surface every year. And that’s one holiday tradition Bedier wishes more people would help extinguish.
“I would recommend just hitting the delete button.”
The U.S. Postal Service and several rumor-debunking websites like Snopes offer information about the Eid stamp and the e-mail.
Here’s the news report with the full story:
Of course, the US Postal Service is not carrying stamps for other religious holidays and traditions celebrated in America, it’s just Islam, because Islam you see is taking over:
So what do we do about it? Well, how about we heed the example of the Swiss Businessman who took a stance against hate? LoonWatch is asking everyone who opposes Islamophobia and all forms of hate – whether you are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, or something else – to make it a point to purchase and use Eid stamps for all your mailings in 2010. With just 42 cents, that you will spend anyway, you can turn a mundane daily task into a powerful statement against hate. We would call for the same if say Hanukkah or Kwanzaa was being targeted in this way. Join in the campaign and pass it on!