Recently the owner of the blog Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller, and the rest of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), probably better known as Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), succeeded in having a banner on buses in Washington DC:
The advertisement, which is described with the following sentence “[t]ruth is beauty, and these ads are truly beautiful”, is a reaction to an earlier bus ad by American Muslims for Palestine had running, attempting to attack American support for Israel.
I find both ads repugnant, but Geller’s description of AFDI’s ad as being “truth” seems to claim too much.
It is well known that Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Hussaini had connections to the Nazis (though he never was “the leader of the Muslim World”), and even sympathized with them, but the following statement “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran” too it that extra step, merely using the acts of the Grand Mufti to paint a picture of all Muslims. Of course, the AFDI “only” made the connection to the Quran, they didn’t as such claim that all Muslims hate Jews, but somehow it’s hard not to be left with the impression, considering their normal attack on Islam and lack of nuances in their campaigns.
Calling this “truth”, seems dishonest. Why relate to only the Grand Mufti, known for his hatred for Jews, when there are several examples on Muslims who helped Jews during World War II – based on their religious devotion and understanding of the same Islamic texts Geller and AFDI claims to be the source for “Islamic Jew-Hatred”?
Think about the Turkish, Bosnian, and Albanian Muslims, who risked their lives to save those of the Jews, or the King of Morocco’s prevention of allowing Jews being transferred to the Nazis.
Of some reason we do not see AFDI promoting this truth, which leads me to suspect that they only are interested in convenient truths. Such “truths”, unfortunately, is worse than lies, since lies at least can be proven as such, but half truths mislead and confuses the observer, leaving him – basically – with less than the truth, that while some Muslims did support the Nazis, others indeed worked against them, not only in an attempt to be freed, but to save those Jews, which AFDI claims they should hate, based on the Quran. The observer is thus left with only one understanding of Muslims, namely of being people of hatred.
These kinds of advertisements help nothing than promote mutual hatred and ignorance. The world is not black and white, however much Pamela Geller and her likes might wish it to be, and we cannot put each other in comfortable boxes, helping us to judging whole groups of people, who might disagree on crucial matters among themselves.
Of course bad coincidences and attitudes shouldn’t be ignored, but neither should the positive ones, and there are enough of positive Muslim actions and peoples, to show that the one-sided biased approach chosen by Pamela Geller and AFDI is a dishonest approach.