Thank you for condemning violence but more is needed
  • Petitioned SFMTA

This petition was delivered to:

Commissioner
SFMTA

Thank you for condemning violence but more is needed

    1. Gabriel Haaland
    2. Petition by

      Gabriel Haaland

      SF, CA

The MUNI ads use language that is hate speech. By framing it as civilized man vs savage man, the ads draw upon racism and fear. This hate speech will incite hatred and violence, and it should not be on our buses.

Thank you for condemning MUNI ads that are hate speech and promote violence. Much more needed.

Greetings,

Dear Members of the MTA Board: Thank you for reading this letter. It has recently come to my attention that several MUNI buses are now running advertisements from the American Freedom Defense Initiative which describe people as "savages." Here is a little history about the sponsor of the ad, the American Freedom Defense Initiative: * The American Freedom Defense Initiative is run by Pam Geller and Robert Spencer. Among the projects of the AFDI is one that has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate group," and has been labeled "extremist" by the Anti-Defamation League—the latter of which is a Jewish organization which fights anti-Semitism. * Geller has described the label of "hate group" as a "badge of honor." Geller's classier quotes include, "Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords." and "Islam… is the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth." Geller also believes that Black South African are engaged in the "genocide" of white South Africans. * Anders Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 mass murder in Norway, cites both Geller and Spencer in his 1,500-page manifesto against Islam. I am very grateful that you have condemned the Islamophobic and implicitly racist messages on the buses and are giving the proceeds to the Human Rights Commission, a local agency that monitors and promotes human rights. With recent events such as the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting and the Missouri Mosque burning we need to stop hate in it's tracks. We need to stop the politics of fear and show people that we are all the same. We Are All Muslims. In this month of Ramadan—the holiest of months for our fellow San Franciscans who adhere to Islam—I ask that you go farther. The condemnation of the ads is a partial victory. We believe much more is needed. Many had heard that the SFMTA planned to put up ads next to those ads condemning them. I would have considered that more of a victory. Much as I support the Human Rights Commission, putting money into HRC doesn't come close to mitigating the damage these ads can do, and I believe there needs to be a more direct, ongoing condemnation in the form of ads on the buses denouncing hate speech and violence against Muslims as it is clear that the ads were designed to intimidate the Muslim Community. While I respect the importance of free expression even for offensive speech, during the last two weeks there have been more than eight attacks on mosques and Islamic institutions, We need a response that directly address Islamophobia and not merely diversity generally. Thank you.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Condemnation of Ads by MUNI is a partial victory. Much more needed.

      Gabriel Haaland
      Petition Organizer

      The SFMTA Commissioners have disavowed the ads and are giving the proceeds to the Human Rights Commission, a local agency that monitors and promotes human rights in San Francisco. That said, many had heard that the SFMTA planned to put up ads next to those ads condemning them. I would have considered that more of a victory. Much as I love HRC, putting money into HRC doesn't come close to mitigating the damage these ads can do, and I believe there needs to be a more direct, ongoing condemnation in the form of ads on the buses denouncing hate speech and violence against Muslims as it is clear that the ads were designed to intimidate the Muslim Community.
      While I respect the importance of free expression even for offensive speech, during the last two week there have been more than eight attacks on mosques and Islamic institutions, We need a response that directly address Islamophobia and not merely diversity generally.
      I will be changing the letter to reflect this perspective,

    2. Muni Not Taking Down Racist Ads On SF Buses

      Gabriel Haaland
      Petition Organizer

      SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco’s Municipal Railway said it won’t be removing controversial ads from its buses, but will instead give ad revenue to the Human Rights Commission.

      Muni officials spoke on Wednesday, addressing the ads purchased by the American Freedom Defense Initiative that contains a message that has been called “anti-Islam” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

      The organization, called a hate group by the ADL is run by Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer who purchased the ads that say, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, defeat Jihad.”

      Tom Nolan, the president of the Transportation Board finds the ads offensive but said removing them could cause other problems.

      “What could happen here if we take them all down [is] we could be taken to court and [there] would be a big cost associated with that and we could be

    3. Reached 3,000 signatures
    4. Great news! 1496 signers! Please post and get others to sign!

      Gabriel Haaland
      Petition Organizer

      Great news! Nearly 1500 people have signed up to condemn the racist ads on MUNI and to stand up for their Muslim sisters and brothers. Please share and post so that we reach 2000! Additionally, SEIU 1021 MUNI Chapter, the SF Labor Council came out against the ads, and I am thrilled to report that the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Raoul Wallenburg Democratic Club, and members of the Bay Area’s organized Jewish community all have issued a statement indicating that they take great offense to the ad’s inflammatory and anti-Muslim language! If you haven't signed already, please do. We are all Muslims, we are all Jews. Shanti. gabriel

    5. Reached 1,000 signatures
    6. We Are All Muslims

      Gabriel Haaland
      Petition Organizer

      Good morning San Francisco!
      Thanks for showing everyone that We Are All Muslims!
      We are now close to 500 signatures condemning the racist MUNI ads within 22 hours! You all are amazing! It is so impressive to see SF stand up for our Muslim Sisters and Brothers in the face of hatred and those that would incite violence against them. Since I posted this petition, I have received countless messages from people who identified themselves as Muslims privately thanking us for our public support of them. It is so moving, and yet given the context of all the recent violence, it makes so much sense. It is so easy to go about our every day lives, and not see how challenging the lives of others are around us. I ask you to do what you can to see that challenge and reach out. On a tangible immediate level, I also ask you to post the petition and urge others to sign. Together we can show the Muslim Community in the Bay Area how much we support them. Shanti. gabriel

    7. Great news!

      Gabriel Haaland
      Petition Organizer

      Great news everyone! Over 330 hundred people have signed the petition in less than 16 hours condemning the racist ads on the MUNI buses and showing that we are willing to stand up for our Muslim Brothers and Sisters! Let's use this opportunity to turn hatred into support for Muslims in the Bay Area. Since I posted this petition, I have received countless messages from people who identified themselves as Muslims privately thanking us for our public support of them. It is so moving, and yet given the context of all the recent violence, it makes so much sense. It is so easy to go about our every day lives, and not see how challenging the lives of others are around us. I ask you to do what you can to see that challenge and reach out and support those around you. On a tangible immediate level, I also ask you to post the petition and urge others to sign. Together we can show the Muslim Community in the Bay Area how much we support them. Shanti. gabriel

    8. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jewelle Khan WOODLAND HILLS, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is disgusting. Historically we already know the story of the Civilized Man and the Savage. Columbus was considered the Civilized Man when he massacred millions of "Savages." The white slave owner was the Civilized Man, boss to all his Savages. In any situation check to see if there is an Oppressor and an Oppressed. You will see the Oppressor is the true Savage. Support the Oppressed.

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    • Nawal Hassouneh SACRAMENTO, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Literary fallacies:

      Appeal to ignorance

      Hyperbole

      non sequitur

      just sayin'

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Saeeda McMullin SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      In a place where anti-semitism is illegal, as well it should be, the idea that horrific hate speech against Islam falls under "freedom of speech" constitutes discrimination. I came to San Francisco from Salt Lake City, UT hoping to find more tolerance and mutual respect, only to have ads posted on the buses I ride calling me a "savage." I'm getting a degree in biology, I've studied all the major religions, my friends are from all over the globe and all walks of life, and I'm called a savage. Many of my fellow Muslims are scholars and human rights activists and give to the poor and they're calling us savages. That sort of speech is intolerably insulting and should never be allowed in public.

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    • Judith Murphy HIGHLAND MILLS, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      Violent words lead to violent actions. I've been on the receiving end.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gypsy Taub BERKELEY, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Because I hate to see innocent people getting slaughtered. Israely government is nothing short of fascist and so is anyone who supports genocide against Palestinians

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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