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SoMa Billboard Put Up As Counterpoint to Anti-Islam Muni Ads

| August 6, 2013
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A billboard is now installed on 10th Street just south of Howard Street in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. It's intended as a counterpoint to anti-Islam ads that ran earlier this year on the sides of Muni buses. (Vinnee Tong/KQED)

A billboard on 10th Street just south of Howard Street in San Francisco, intended as a counterpoint to anti-Islam ads that ran earlier this year on Muni buses. (Vinnee Tong/KQED)

By Vinnee Tong

Earlier this year, ten San Francisco Muni buses featured Islamophobic ads that upset a lot of people.

Now a San Francisco resident has used a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to put up a billboard intended as a counterpoint to those ads.

The billboard went up on Monday on 10th Street in the city’s South of Market neighborhood. It reads: “Hate Has No Place in Our City: San Francisco Embraces Diversity and Acceptance, Not Hate and Bigotry.”

The billboard is nearly 50 feet wide and was funded by $3,000 raised from roughly 100 people across the country and overseas.

Christie George is a co-founder of the crowdfunding startup Louder. She started the campaign to fund the billboard and says it’s intended to answer the hate in the Muni ads with something positive.

“Our hope is that people are reminded of how much opportunity there is to celebrate the diversity of their neighbors and their friends,” George says.

The Muni ads were funded by the controversial group American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is backed by conservative blogger Pamela Geller.

Geller told KQED News by email that she thinks the Louder billboard actually echoes her ads. “We are a human rights organization dedicated to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and equality for all before the law,” she wrote.

The ads, which appeared in March, were denounced by local politicians including Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascon and seven city supervisors.

A lawsuit in New York seems to have established the ads are protected as free speech, so city officials say they felt they had no choice but to run them. UPI has reported that Muni will give the $5,000 in revenue to the city’s Human Rights Commission.

The new billboard is scheduled to stay up for a month. It’s estimated it’ll get more than 200,000 views a week.

 

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Category: Human Rights, Religion

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  • Guest

    That is SO UGLY and we fight to reduce tacky signs and you try to justify another tacky, ugly sign. SHAME ON YOU. REMOVE all signs. What a waste.

  • The Facts Don’t Change

    It is not HATE to post facts on ISLAM and to help warn AMERICA of the trouble we have coming our way…HATE is what moslems have toward all non moslems…but you would have to pull your heads out of your political correct asses to see that WE ARE UNDER A TERROR WATCH RIGHT NOW due to islam….the ANTI ISLAM ads are FACTUALLY CORRECT not hate…get a clue dumbed down Americans…

    • neni

      get a clue dumbass..You have no “facts” on Islam, just prejudice. My family is multi lingual and multi faith…Sorry you are so provincial and hatemongering. Be ashamed of yourself.

      • youandme2

        So you support jihad? Or not?

        • DiamondAnaconda

          So you support Modern ongoing Crusades or not?

          • youandme2

            Seriously. That was centuries ago. But this is today.

          • DiamondAnaconda

            Today they have taken on the cloak of democracy. the clear intent is to have ‘Our man’ running the middle east and other Muslim lands. Iraq was a big oil prize. Oh yes the crusades are alive, that’s the driving point for supporting Israel. Watched the 700 club lately.

            Muslims have seen this before when the colonialists took over for 300 years, “We will advance you they said, but all they did was send in the preachers and the thieves to make us poor”.

          • youandme2

            Who colonized the middle east for over 300 years? Who Where when?You mean the Turkish Islamic Caliphate?! There are many people who are so imprinted with the morality play of bad Western civ colonizing eastern(etc) “others,” that they apply this simplistically to virtually everything. Being quick to be “moral.” If you do this, you have a lot of company – this was truly the only song I knew when I finished college long ago.

            Anyway, Jihad is resurgent for the Third time. The 3rd phase of a very old war. Among the coinciding trigger conditions are petrodollars (money changes everything), new technology of destructiveness (enabling a few to be much more destructive), new technology of communication (for dawa and spreading ideology) and the West’s moral hangover from ruling many other peoples against their will for 3+ centuries.This last has made us dangerously undiscriminating about real threats, real warlike ideologies swelling across more places and people. I recommend, if I may, one book.
            http://www.amazon.com/Politically-Incorrect-Guide-Islam-Crusades/dp/0895260131/

        • eclipse42

          If you mean the gop or tea party, no.

      • Dan Jensen

        My. How hateful.

      • K. Hanta

        What utter nonsense. Have you been asleep for years now? Islam is FULL of hatred. You are extremely ignorant, and your ignorance endangers us all. But thanks for the proof of how HATEFUL the defense of Islam makes people. SHAME ON YOU!

        “Allah’s curse be upon the infidels! Evil is that for which they have
        bartered away their souls. To deny God’s own revelation, grudging that He should reveal His bounty to whom He chooses from among His servants! They have incurred God’s most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits the unbelievers.” Quran 2:89-2:90

      • Eagle59

        Uh, I have read the qur’an. In it, your god says that the faithful have the RIGHT to KILL the infidels. Not just the right, but that it is their responsibility to do so. That is FACT, right out of your holy book. That is NOT peaceful. I am not hateful, nor a so-called islamophobe. The word phobe comes from fear. I have no fear of islam. Only liberals have come to start using the suffix of phobe for many words to support their agenda. Your holy book also states that you have the RIGHT to take the property of any non-believer, without any just compensation. Your holy book states that any woman who is unfaithful, where willingly, or even if she is raped, you may stone her unto death. These are FACTS straight out of YOUR holy book.

      • eclipse42

        “My family is multi lingual and multi faith..” and probably thoroughly confused. Does the multi confusion mean anything btw?

      • The Facts Don’t Change

        MULTICULTURAL :) Guess you have no moslems in your family :) They do not allow other religions unless you pay JIZYAH aka TAX to exist..or you can CONVERT to islam or you could die..that is the way ISLAM treats non moslems…learn the FACTS :) NOTHING HATE MONGERING ABOUT TELLING PEOPLE TO LEARN THE FACTS ON ISLAM…you are what is known as an IDIOT…to me..but to moslems..a DHIMMI :)

        • neni

          sorry, wrong on all counts, I am Muslim, my family is Muslim, 2 of my nieces and nephews converted to Lutherinism and Evangelism, the rest are, Jews, Orthodox Christians, and Bahaii’s..some are even Zoroastrians. Terms you use are silly, I grew up in temples, mosques and different churches, they were all, as seen by my family, as the House of God. I still attend Easter services in the Orthodox church, because I love the high Slavonic services.I also attend the Hindu services for The Festival of Lights. BTW, my boyfriend is Buddhist.

    • Deuce Prez

      The first part of your first sentence all before the conjunction “and” is a factual statement. Those who know about Islam should present the truth about Islam, as with every other religion.

      However, from that point forward, your post delves into the Islamaphobic and you transform into another simple-minded parrot, spewing the hate, lies and rhetoric of the paid Islamaphobes.

      While the facts may not change, you’re screen name in inapplicable as you, obviously, cannot discern the truth from the falsehood as you call the truth a lie and the lie, the truth.

      Change your screen name to something more appropriate like, “Polly the Parrot“.

      • The Facts Don’t Change

        I know the facts on ISLAM…I was married to a REAL MOSLEM from a REAL ISLAMIC country…until you have lived with SHARIA in your life..STFU and go back to keeping your stupid heads in a hole…because ISLAM is marching at AMERICA hard and instead of FIGHTING it you are giving in to it…you will regret that in the end…that is a fact :) FACTS ARE NOT HATE…it is not the fault of anyone who gives FACTS that they tend to be ugly about ISLAM :) BLAME ISLAM not the TRUTH TELLERS :) The only PARROT is the one who fails to SEE REALITY of ISLAM around the world..it is nothing but evil…ask CHRISTIANS JEWS BUDDHISTS HINDU right now…in 2013 in KASHMIR the HINDU are at war with islam…In Myanmar the BUDDHISTS are at war with ISLAM…it is ISLAM who is the problem…but you idiots keep thinking kissing moslems ass will save you..you are all DHIMMIS….and that is a word MOSLEMS use to describe you NOT me :) I call you dumbed down AMERICANS who are too stupid to see reality…

    • MeriemDZ

      We are under a terror watch because of bad people! Not Islam.

      • The Facts Don’t Change

        You are clueless…they follow ISLAM which makes them EVIL..get a clue…

    • http://sulayman.hadithuna.com Sulayman

      The thousands of patriotic American Muslims in the armed forces don’t agree with you. They’re risking their lives for your freedom to be ignorant and a bigot.

      • The Facts Don’t Change

        Guess you missed MAJOR NADAL HASSAN who killed 13 people and injured many more at FT HOOD…. :) He calls it his JIHAD…pay attention you fools…you are defending the enemy to AMERICA :)

        • http://sulayman.hadithuna.com Sulayman

          So? All the Muslims in the armed forces spoke out against him. Don’t judge all Muslims based on one nut.

    • Kurt

      Do you even live in sf?

      • The Facts Don’t Change

        I live in AMERICA and am FREE to speak :)

        • MeriemDZ

          You are un American! You are free to speak, but you speak HATE! You call for the death of a certain group of people and you also threaten to kill them yourself. You are a terrorist!!!

  • Philafiily

    Brilliant!

  • Dan Jensen

    Hate is a hateful word. I’m sick of it being thrown around.

  • K. Hanta

    Islam is the MOST hateful ideology on Earth – so are you going to campaign against IT? Islam teaches to KILL homosexuals. How is that not hateful?

    “About sixty-one percent of the contents of the Koran are found to speak ill of the
    unbelievers or call for their violent conquest; at best only 2.6 percent of the verses of the Koran are noted to show goodwill toward humanity. About seventy-five percent of Muhammad’s biography (Sira) consists of jihad waged on unbelievers.” –Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy

    If hate has no place in your city, you’d better ban Islam, as it is FULL of hate.

    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Your tolerance of intolerance has made your brains fall out of your head.

    • MeriemDZ

      This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read!

    • jodo77

      christianity also calls for the death of homosexuals. if we’re going to start demonizing individuals based upon the outdated texts of their religions then we’ll only have stirred up a lot more conflict. i believe this is what the latest billboard is attempting to prevent.
      religious affiliation is a complex matter, involving cultural identity. As most people are born into their faiths i have no doubt that the majority of faithful adherents – christian or muslim – never “shop around” for a suitable theology, but rather adapt their religious practice to ever-changing norms. there is no single arbiter (no muslim “pope”) of correct, modern, islamic behavior. it is as diverse as christianity in its variety of beliefs and practices. there is a large contingent of modern muslims who share the same values as their communities, wherever they may be. the islamic extremists want to redefine the faith for all muslims, returning to the 8th century. by lumping all muslims together and not allowing for the peaceful coexistence of moderates, you are aiding the violent “jihadists” in their cause.
      it never ceases to amaze me how dedicated certain individuals are in their desire to categorize huge swaths of humanity as evil.

    • neni

      Actually, homosexuality was decriminalized under the Ottoman Empire (seat of the Caliphate), in 1857. Now why would they do that?

  • Barb_R

    Why doesn’t the story include a picture of the offending advertisement? That way your readers could judge for themselves.

    Does it portray “hate”? Absolutely. Hate directed towards gays. Yet for some reason this appeals to the city that prides itself on being so diverse and accepting. How odd.

    • jodo77

      barb, we should warn everyone about the hate directed toward gays by christians and jews, too. that would include mormons, of course. sikhs, hindus….wait, why are we singling out muslims again?

      • Barb_R

        When christians, jews, mormons, sikhs and hindus hang gays from bridges for the crime of being gay, then you will have a valid point. Until then, you are only kidding yourself.

        • jodo77

          have you heard of matthew shepard? how about any of these?

          http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Homophobic-attack-in-New-Delhi-gallery/25506

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Tel_Aviv_gay_centre_shooting

          c’mon, the gay issue is a red herring, simply used as an excuse to make your demonization of a group of people – in this case approximately 23% of the global population – seem excusable. wanna know who the majority of victims of the taliban are? other muslims. so you want to punish all muslims for the atrocities of the few, and pass it off as morally justifiable.

          • Barb_R

            I didn’t demonize anyone or any group. And of course I’ve heard of Matthew Shepard and of course I know that the majority of Taliban victims are Muslims, gays and schoolgirls included. What has that got to do with outing Sharia? You act like you are in favor of Sharia law. Are you?

          • jodo77

            in what way have i acted like i’m in favor of sharia law? what on earth have i stated that sounds like a defense of sharia law? even if i were, sharia law is interpreted differently among differing islamic communities so i wouldn’t even know where to begin to figure out what version of sharia law to refer to. no, i don’t support sharia law, but even if i did, how would that make any difference with regard to this conversation?

            perhaps we’re not having the same argument.

            i will concede your point that i’m unaware of any recently coordinated attempt by a religious sect to hang homosexuals from a bridge. will you concede that such actions undertaken by (i assume the taliban – you didn’t specify) an extremist muslim sect should not be used to define the whole faith when the fact is that a majority of muslims abhor the taliban? will you concede the fact that the sacred texts of every major religion demand violent punishment of homosexuals and therefore it is disingenuous to suggest that individual muslims be singled out as hatemongers for the same offense?

            or perhaps i misinterpreted your initial comment altogether. please clarify for me: whom are you suggesting portrays hate and is therefore undeserving of acceptance by the community of san francisco?

          • Barb_R

            I will concede that the Taliban can be considered an extremist organization, but I will not concede that capital punishment for homosexuality is undertaken only by the “extremist Muslim sect” named the Taliban.

            Of course you are aware that homosexual activity carries the death penalty in the Muslim-majority countries of Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Yemen? Other Islamic countries are far more benevolent – the punishments include everything from imprisonment all the way up to sodomy (that’s a tough one to figure out) and death.

            And just for the record, it is my opinion that all “sacred texts” were written by men for the benefit of men. I hold no delusions of the Bible being “the word of God” any more than the Qur’an being the word of Allah. Just my very humble opinion.

          • jodo77

            i appreciate that opinion and agree.

            Interestingly, Uganda, a Christian majority nation, criminalizes homosexuality and the Christian evangelical movement has been at the forefront of pushing a bill to impose the death penalty on homosexuals since 2009. Christian evangelicals are pushing the same legislation in Ethiopia. This suggests that, while these laws are politically justified through appeal to their respective religious majorities, the violent hostility to homosexuality may in fact simply be cultural in nature.

            Again, my point is simply that I disagree that Muslims be excluded from any civic notion of tolerance due to the actions of some others of their faith. Hostility toward homosexuality has been a hallmark of all Abrahamic religions and the distinction between their respective attitudes is only one of degree, and a historically fluid one at that.

          • Barb_R

            I agree that Muslims should not be excluded simply based on their religion. But I also feel that we shouldn’t be naive and assume that everyone holds our same high regard for personal liberty and justice.

          • The Facts Don’t Change

            The billboard this billboard is protesting was not HATE but FACTS on ISLAM….the people behind it are JEWS CHRISTIANS and just REGULAR AMERICANS of not faith…it is not about HATE it is about MAKING PEOPLE AWARE of TRUE ISLAM…

          • Barb_R

            I remembered the Shepard case as being horrific, but I hadn’t been aware that he was killed for religious reasons. I’ve done some preliminary looking without being able to find anything about that, but maybe you can shorten my search by citing you source?

            I was also interested in the story of the artist. Again, it appears the attack was based on the artist’s homosexuality, but I didn’t see anything about it being a religious crime. And by “religious”, I’m talking about the equivalent of “Allahu Akbar” or “Jesus is my Savior!” and not that the attacker was a member of a particular religious group.

          • Gil Batzri

            Three words for you “Westboro Baptist Church” three more “God Hates Fags”

            You just lost your little argument.

    • robthom

      I wanted to see the original ad also.

      You know,
      so that I can form my own opinion.

      But modern “journalism” only reports from a certain POV.

      I also enjoyed how they included “conservative blogger Pamela Geller”,
      but “Mayor Ed Lee” is just Mayor.

      ;)

    • Lena S

      my thought exactly… the entire article is predicated on something that the reader is not even made aware of… in response to something we won’t bother to tell you about, this is what happened….. this is journalism? I think not.

  • LanceThruster

    There’s clearly a difference between anyone’s ‘sacred text’ and the behavior of its adherents (otherwise mainstream xians would be stoning unruly children to death on a regular basis). Geller would bust a blood vessel if her chosenite documents were scrutinized in a similar manner.

    • Barb_R

      Are you accusing Pamela Geller of stoning unruly children because of the contents of her sacred text? Seriously?

      • LanceThruster

        No, Barb. I’m differentiating between what the texts say you can do, as opposed to what actions the people claiming to follow the texts actually take.

        Geller by her actions seems to support the view of this Rabbi in regards to Israel –

        According to [Yitzhak] Shapira, it is permissible to kill a non-Jew who threatens Israel even if the person is classified as a Righteous Gentile. His book says that any gentile who supports war against Israel can also be killed.

        Killing the children of a leader in order to pressure him, the rabbi continues, is also permissible. In general, according to the book, it is okay to kill children if they “stand in the way – children are often doing this.” “They stand in the way of rescue in their presence and they are doing this without wanting to,” he writes.

        “Nonetheless, killing them is allowed because their presence supports murder. There is justification in harming infants if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us. Under such circumstances the blow can be directed at them and not only by targeting adults.”

        I would categorize the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as uncivilized.

        • Barb_R

          And of course you can cite recent examples of the deliberate killing of non-Jewish children, right?

          But I do agree with you that the Palestinians are treated poorly. Do you have any idea how long they have to wait for Kentucky Fried Chicken to be delivered? It takes about FIVE HOURS! That’s because it comes through a tunnel, but still, that is positively uncivilized.

          Oh, and speaking of uncivilized, do you know how much Palestinians have to pay for iPhones? $1,600. Outrageous.

          So yes, I agree that this is uncivilized.

          • LanceThruster

            A well-known children’s Hanukkah song with words by Haim Nahman Bialik provided the inspiration for the name of this operation, which began during the holiday in December 2008; the dreidel (cast from lead) spun on its axis. Under the inspiration of this children’s song, dozens of small children were killed, hundreds of innocents were killed. One can argue ad nauseam about the numbers, but even the official IDF records − 1,166 killed, including 709 “terrorists,” 89 children and 49 women − leave no room for doubt. Amnesty International, for instance, enumerated only 92 Palestinian fighters among the dead.

            No matter how you put it, it was a brutal, nearly unrestrained attack on a poor, helpless, besieged population that had nowhere to flee, save the sea, and on armed Palestinian groups, with meager equipment and primitive weaponry. In its cruelty, it was unlike any other in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

            Nor was there any parallel when it came to the Israeli public’s response: the sight of the dozens of families sitting on plastic chairs they’d brought from home, perched on the sandy hillocks around the Gaza Strip, full of young and old alike − who came to watch, be proud and maybe even rejoice as clouds of white phosphorous and black smoke rose from the world’s largest prison. The sight of applauding members of the media, and of Tel Aviv, which looked on with a dispassionate gaze as IDF attack helicopters passed overhead on their way south − all this left behind a sickening wake of apathy, and also, God help us, pride.

            Yes, there have been crueler military actions, more wicked army operations. But there was never anything like Cast Lead.

          • SFLaw

            You seem to believe that Operation Cast Lead appeared out of nowhere. However, it was in response to years of Israel’s southern communities being bombarded by missiles emanating from Gaza and numbering in the thousands. No one decried Gazan Arabs’ acts, much less spoke of Israel’s “besieged” population during those years. Since Operation Cast Lead, those communities have had some modicum of peace — although as recently as yesterday, missiles are *still* being fired from Gaza. Israel is waiting patiently for you to decry those attacks….but not holding its breath.

          • LanceThruster

            International law allows for a population to resist occupation.

            The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the surrounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science — this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

            Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

            Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts.

            The use the Nazis made of the International Jewish Conspiracy is better known: during all the years of atrocities defying belief, the Nazis considered themselves the victimized.

            It’s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill.

            ~ Fredy Perlman

  • scrypps

    We will love you and tolerate you as we kick you out of your now predominately white and expensive neighborhoods.

    • robthom

      Hey look,
      a lib race card.

      Awesome.

  • robthom

    NEW YORK decided that its legal to bash Muslims,
    so sf decided that it must be okay to do the same thing?

    I know you guys are neo-lib co-conspirators,
    but maybe you should consider that you dont have to do everything new york does next time.

    Sometimes I miss the original libs who used to do their own thinking.

  • Barb_R

    I did?
    How many homosexuals have been murdered by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church?

  • o0O0o0O0o0O0o

    Apparently “hate” is not the savagery inherent in the forced conversions and sexual discrimination of jihad, “hate” is just the intolerance of that savagery.

    When I use the word “savagery” to criticize another culture’s religious intolerance, does that make me more tolerant or less tolerant? I don’t want to break the tolerancy meter. I might get called a racist. Anything but that.

  • The Facts Don’t Change

    Sad you can not come up with a valid comeback…this is not about CHRISTIANS or any other faith than ISLAM. :) Posting FACTS on ISLAM pisses moslems off because if AMERICA was to be fully aware of ISLAM they would all stop it…but it is dhimmis like YOU who fail to get the facts…and try to turn the issue to christians…we are not under GLOBAL TERROR THREAT due to CHRISTIANITY…you can bet that…this is 2013..IN AMERICA…ISLAM is a problem…the facts prove that..if you were smart enough to learn some of them :) Look up AL TAQIYYA….that is the tactic that makes people on this thread think so sweet of islam :)