Sparking US Muslims’ outrage, a new ad campaign has hit Washington DC with a strong anti-Muslim message that falsely links Islam to Nazism.
Such “inflammatory” ads were clearly intended “to promote hatred of Islam and Muslims,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, May 20.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), spearheaded by Pamela Geller, launched an ad showing Adolf Hitler meeting with Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini.
At the meeting, Husseini sought Hitler’s support for an Arab and Muslim homeland at the then British occupied Palestine.
The photo dates back to a time before the Second World War
The 15-foot message is now displayed on 20 DC buses, The Washington Post reported, and will run for roughly a month.
“My intent is to leapfrog over a media that is not even-handed, that is advancing the propaganda against the Jewish state,” Geller told WJLA.
“Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism. End all aid to Islamic countries,” the ad states, over a finep-rint disclaimer from the Metro transit authority.
“We’re not able to refuse ads on the basis of content,” a spokeswoman for Metro told AFP, citing a 2012 court case that allowed another AFDI bus anti-Islam ad on the grounds that it was free speech.
According to AFDI, the inflammatory ads came in response to an anti-Israeli occupation ad by the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) that read, “We’re sweating April 15 so Israelis don’t have to – Stop U.S. aid to Israel’s occupation!”
AMP spokesperson Kristin Szremski told The Washington Post the group would not respond to AFDI’s ad.
“We typically don’t react to Pamela Geller, because this is the kind of thing she does, countering political speech with racist, Islamophobic speech.”
CAIR has also responded by offering free Qur’ans to anyone who wished to verify the inaccuracy of ADFI’s message.
Geller, who has bragged online that she uses a Qur’an as a doorstop, was the subject of a CAIR “Islamophobe profile” documenting the individuals and organizations involved in spreading anti-Muslim bias in the United States.
CAIR also listed her as a member of the “inner core” of those promoting anti-Muslim bigotry. Islam Online
A new anti-burqa bill presented by independent Queensland lawmaker has been voted down by the government of the north-east Australian state as contradicting with rights of Australian citizens to practice their religion freely.
“This government believes in a multicultural Queensland,” Jarryd Bleijie, the state attorney general was quoted by The Guardian on Thursday, May 22.
“This government respects the rights of its citizens and individuals to practice the religion that they so choose,” he said, adding he believed in “a free and democratic society”.
Nicknamed the ‘burqa bill’, independent MP for Nicklin Peter Wellington’s Identification Laws amendment bill was voted down by both Labor and Liberal National Party (LNP) government MPs in a rare show of accord overnight.
Wellington put the bill forward in August last year with the aim that a “police officer, a corrective services or similar officer, a lawyer, a justice of the peace or a commissioner for declaration” could “lawfully” demand a person remove any face coverings so they could be identified.
According the independent MP, the measure was especially necessary in light of the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane.
“It is not about religion; it is about doing the right thing, about making sure there is security in Queensland,” he claimed.
While the Legal Affairs parliamentary committee recommended against passing the proposed legislation, Wellington had the support of MPs from the Palmer United Party and Katter’s Australian Party on Wednesday night,
“This bill is about security in Queensland,” KAP’s leader in Queensland, Ray Hopper, said.
“When your face is covered up and you have a big overhanging coat or dress on, you do not know whether you are male or female. All you can see are the eyes of someone, and that is a very dangerous situation that the people of Queensland may be facing.”
Another KAP MP, Shane Knuth, has also supported the bill, using typical 9/11 discourse.
“Things have changed a lot since September 11 and, likewise, we don’t go anywhere else, you know, trying to change laws to suit everyone else over in other countries, but here in Queensland this is about security, this is about protection, this is about ensuring that if someone goes into a bank that their face is not covered up. I don’t think that is much to ask for,” he was quoted by Brisbane Times.
In a rare show of unity, Labor has supported Queensland LNP, voting against the bill.
While hijab is an obligatory code of dress for Muslim women, the majority of Muslim scholars agree that a woman is not obliged to wear the face veil, but believe that it is up to women to decide whether to cover her face.
In 2011, New South Wales passed legislation requiring the removal of face veils for the purposes of legal identification, but Queensland has not sought similar powers.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity.
In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned. Islam Online