By Ehlayna NapolitanoStaff Writer
Beside all 240 clocks in the MTA subway system, the same ad greets passengers boarding trains across all of New York. It is the startling scene of the Twin Towers on fire, with a quote from the Quran, “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers” (Quran 3:151) plastered across the image. The work of former Hofstra student Pamela Geller (although not a graduate), the ad is running with a very specific goal in mind.
“I thought quoting the Quran would be an excellent way to educate Americans about what that book is and about the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us,” Geller said in regards to the ad.
Geller, an editor at Atlas Shrugs, is also a published author who is known for her work with organizations such as the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA). She is also infamously recognized for an ad run in Washington, DC to the same effect.
“Our now-famous ad reads, ‘In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, Defeat jihad,’” Geller said.
This ad campaign landed them a win in court over freedom of speech, which then allowed them to run their ads free of any legal action from companies hoping to reject the ads. This is why they were able to run the ads in the MTA system in New York.
“I submitted the ads to the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority,” Geller said. “We [had] already won a free speech case against the MTA when they refused to run one of our earlier ads. So they knew that legally they had to run these.”
Geller notably views the Quran as a wholly negative document, and cites it as evidence of the threat Islam poses to Americans.
“Council on American-Islamic Relations’ ‘counter’ ads featured a verse from the Quran enjoining forgiveness—a verse that many Islamic authorities say is abrogated by verses calling for violence,” Geller said. “The CAIR ad was creepy, featuring a little girl wearing a head covering—why? Was she considered a sexual object?”
The anti-Islam and anti-Hamas ads are, however, upsetting to some people, which was the point, according to Geller is the point.
“We always meet with resistance and hesitation from the dhimmi [sic] cowards and complicit Leftists of the MTA, but they know they have no case on First Amendment grounds,” Geller said. “People are grateful that someone is finally telling the truth about the reality of jihad violence and its root causes.”
That’s not how everyone sees it, however. Alex Pirrone, a junior business and TV/video production major, is a regular user of the New York City MTA subways and hasn’t seen the ads in person, but fails to see the ads as a positive influence.
“I do believe everyone has the right to free speech, but in my opinion there is an ethical line to be drawn with printed advertisements in public, especially something with heavy population,” Pirrone said. “The campaign proves that anyone and everyone will take advantage or rulings to aid their own beliefs. The significance of the campaign is that it’s obviously gaining coverage, and that’s exactly what they want.”
Pirrone also said the ads have not negatively impacted his own experience with using the subway and feels that, as a subway user, he understands the impact it could have.
“It makes everyone think about the subject, which is all the advertisers want. As for influence, many children ride the subways and are very susceptible to advertisements so much that there are regulations on advertisements during children’s programming,” Pirrone said.
Geller is the author of several books, including “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance” and “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America.” She and her organizations work to counter the PR campaigns of the Hamas-CAIR. Currently, Geller is working against a new set of ads that she sees as threatening to the American way of life.
“Hamas-CAIR has stepped up its deceptions with its cynical and misleading “My Jihad” ad campaign, which attempts to fool Americans into thinking that jihad is about getting in your exercise and making friends,” Geller said. “I have countered with a new series of ads depicting the actual words of actual jihad terrorists about jihad and Islam.”
According to an article done by Patch.com, the ads are to remain up until the end of February. As for Geller, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. When asked for her plans for the future, she said that she would, “keep speaking out for freedom and human rights.”