This isn’t the first time that the American Freedom Defense Initiative has bought ads on San Francisco buses. On January 9, 50 of them appeared on Muni buses, stating, “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran,” with pictures of Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini.
They’re protected by free speech, so Muni can’t refuse to run the ads, but in the past it has donated all the proceeds to San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com.
This time, the ads have gotten a response – protest in the form of art.
As reported later in the SFGate blog, the ads have been altered by the addition of a Marvel super hero, Kamala Kahn, a teenaged Muslim character introduced by Marvel in 2013, with messages such as “Calling all Bigotry Busters” and “Stamp out Racism.” Red hearts have been added to cover the words “End all aid” in the statement “End all aid to Iran.”
Street Cred – Advertising for the People has been posting the altered ads and links to coverage on its Facebook page.
Pamela Geller, the blogger who runs the American Freedom Defense Iniative, has called the artists “supremacist criminals,” according to NBC’s coverage of the protest, “Comic Heroine Ms. Marvel Saves San Francisco from Anti-Islam Ads”:
Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) and Street Cred told NBC News that they “took action because Pamela Geller’s repeated hate speech campaigns have normalized Islamophobia and verbal violence in the community we love. We appreciate what Marvel has done in introducing Kamala Kahn, who gives young Muslims a positive image of themselves and their power.”
Posted by Cara Modisett