Anti-Muslim Group Wants to Run FFRF-Like Ad in New York Times; NYT Says No March 18, 2012

Anti-Muslim Group Wants to Run FFRF-Like Ad in New York Times; NYT Says No

Last week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation ran this ad in the New York Times, encouraging people to leave the Catholic Church:

It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs? Whose side are you on? In light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ war again women’s right to contraception…

  • Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly engaged in a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization, to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or not, to decide whether and when to become mothers?
  • Think of the acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, overpopulation, social evils and deaths that can be laid directly at the door of your church’s pernicious doctrine that birth control is a sin and must be outlawed.
  • If you think you can change the church from within — get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research — you’re deluding yourself. By remaining a “good Catholic,” you are going “bad” to women’s rights. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.
  • It’s a disgrace that U.S. health care reform is being held hostage to your church’s irrational opposition to medically prescribed contraception. No political candidate should have to genuflect before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. President Obama has compromised, but the Church never budges. Instead it is launching a ruthless political Inquisition in your name.
  • Your church hysterically claims the secular medical policy is “an assault against religious liberty.” The louder the Church cries “offense against religious liberty” te harder it works to take away women’s liberty. Now your church has introduced into Congress a double-speak bill, the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act,” to allow dogma to trump the civil rights and private consciences of employees.
  • The Church that hasn’t persuaded you to shun contraception now wants to use the force of secular law to deny birth control to non-Catholics.
  • You’re better than your church, so why stay? Wy put up with an institution that discriminates against half of humanity? Why send your children to parochial schools to be indoctrinated into the next generation of obedient donors and voters? Can’t you see how misplaced your loyalty is after two decades of sex scandals involving preying priests, church complicity, collusion and coverup going all the way to the top? Apparently, you’re like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go.

There is a more welcoming home for you.

Join those of us who put humanity above dogma. As Thomas Paine observed: “My own mind is my own church.” We invite you to free yourself from incense-fogged ritual, from ideas uttered long ago by ignorant men, from blind obedience to an illusory religious authority.

As a member of the “flock” of an avowedly antidemocratic Old Boys Club, isn’t it time you vote with your feet?

Please, exit en Mass.

Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker
Freedom From Religion Foundation

That made Pamela Geller (an anti-Muslim zealot whose idiotic rantings are highlighted by the Southern Poverty Law center) to ask whether the same ad could’ve been run if it asked people to leave Islam.

So she created this ad and asked the Times to run it at the same cost:

Will it be religious freedom, freedom of speech, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or imams and their wrongs? Whose side are you on?

In light of the ongoing, ruthless, international jihad against non-Muslims, the 1,400-year record of institutionalized oppression of women, the 18,560 Islamic attacks across the world since 9/11, and the endangering of free peoples across the world, if you’re part of the Islamic jihad, you’re part of the problem.

Why are you aiding and abetting Islamic leaders who have repeatedly and publicly announced a jihad to subjugate Christians, Jews, Hindus, and all non-Muslims, and to deny the rights of all women everywhere, Muslim or not?

Think of the acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, social evils and deaths that can be laid directly at the door of the Islam’s antiquated doctrine that commands jihad and genocide.

If you imagine you can change the mosque from within — get it to lighten up on Jew-hatred, hatred of women, hatred of non-Muslims, hatred of gays — you are deluding yourself. If you remain a “good Muslim,” you are doing “bad” to the rights of women and non-Muslims everywhere. You’re kidding yourself if you think the mosque is ever going to expunge the Qur’an of its violent texts that inspire jihad, or interpret them out of existence.

Your mosque hysterically claims that freedom of speech and the truth about jihad and Islamic supremacism are “an assault against Islam.” You are savvy enough to realize that the real assault is by the mosque against human rights. A captured internal document of the Muslim Brotherhood declares that its goal in the U.S. is “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” Is that an agenda you endorse?

Obama has compromised, but Islam never budges. Instead, it is fully embarked upon a stealth jihad, using the Justice Department to force businesses and educational institutions to accommodate Islamic law — the same Islamic law that denies the freedom of speech, mandates death for apostates, and oppresses women and non-Muslims.

Why put up with an institution that dehumanizes women and non-Muslims — fully 9/10ths of humanity? Ask your imam: Does he support Hamas? Hizb’Allah? The destruction of Israel? Does he condemn the slaughter of Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq, etc. Does he vocally denounce Islamic honor killings, FGM, forced marriages, child marriage, polygamy? As a “moderate” Muslim, you tell yourself and the world that you have chucked out the violent doctrine and hateful, oppressive decrees of your religion, and yet you keep identifying with the ideology that threatens liberty for women and menaces freedom by slaughtering, oppressing and subjugating non-Muslims.

There is a more welcoming home for you!

Join those of us who put humanity above the vengeful, hateful and violent teachings of Islam’s “prophet.”

As a member of the “umma,” of an avowedly hateful, supremacist, and antidemocratic club, isn’t it time you vote with your feet? Please, exit en mosque.

Very truly,
Pamela Geller
President, Stop Islamization of Nations, American Freedom Defense Initiative
Robert Spencer
Vice-President, Stop Islamization of Nations, American Freedom Defense Initiative

The Times said no to that ad. Not now. Because it would put our troops in danger.

Bob Christie, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the New York Times, just called me to advise me that they would be accepting my ad, but considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, now would not be a good time, as they did not want to enflame an already hot situation. They will be reconsidering it for publication in “a few months.”

So I said to Mr. Christie, “Isn’t this the very point of the ad? If you feared the Catholics were going to attack the New York Times building, would you have run that ad?”

Mr. Christie said, “I’m not here to discuss the anti-Catholic ad.”

I said, “But I am, it’s the exact same ad.”

He said, “No, it’s not.”

To be sure, Geller is crazy and bigoted. I’m not defending her views. But her Islamic version of the ad is almost a line-by-line copy of FFRF’s ad. (Though FFRF’s ad asks “good” Catholics to break away from the awful Church, while Geller’s ad paints all of Islam with a broader brush when it should really be reserved for the extremists.)

So what happened here? Are the ads really different? Is there a double standard at play here? Is the NYT really worried about the troops? Or does it just not want to be in the crossfire of Islamic militants? If it’s the latter, is that a good reason to not run the ad?

***Edit***: To those pointing out the more extremist or untruthful language in the anti-Muslim ad, keep in mind the NYT did not reject the ad for any of those reasons. They focused solely on the issue of timing.

I’m all for protecting our troops — and indeed, this was a pretty tough week in Afghanistan in terms of America/Muslim relations — but the NYT has run articles in the past that could have jeopardized military efforts. In this case, they should’ve run both ads or none. Law Professor Jonathan Turley has it exactly right:

I am not sure that we should start to restrict speech on the basis of content in fear of a response of extremists in other countries. That would appear to reward the violence and anti-speech conduct of such extremists. It is precisely what occurred after 2005 when a Danish newspaper published cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. The result were worldwide protests in which Muslims reportedly killed more than 100 people — a curious way to demonstrate religious tolerance. However, while newspapers swore allegiance to free press values, there was an obvious level of self-censorship to avoid pictures and cartoons of Muhammad and Islam in general.

Side note: Why is the asking price for Geller’s ad $39,000 when the FFRF said they had to raise/pay $52,000 for theirs?

(via Get Religion)

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  • While I have nothing against someone running an ad almost exactly like that anti-Islam one, they need to correct the factual errors in it first.  Stealth jihad?  Didn’t they just say they keep calling out jihad?  Using the Justice Department?  


    Time to get a little less crazy.  Stick to the subjugation of women as your main push.  That’s bad enough.  Add in some about marrying off children and genital mutilation, if you like.  But conspiratorial jihad using the US government to spread Sharia law?  Pull your head out of your butt, please.

  • Anonymous

    So what happened here? Are the ads really different?

    They are somewhat different. The FFRF ad is targetting one concrete organization, the Catholic Church. The Geller ad tries to target Islam in the same fashion, but Islam is not one unified organization. Like Judaism, you can find all sorts of schools of Islam, often with extremely different views. Referring to Islam as an “institution” is false. Also I’d like to see the notes on those 18,560 post-9/11 attacks.  Having said that, it cannot be denied that a large proportion of Muslims live under a form of Islam that is indeed extremely hostile to women, gays, non-Muslims etc. I don’t see the differences rising to the level of the two ads being fundamentally different.

    Is there a double standard at play here?

    Ya’ think? Let’s go ask Trey Parker and Matt Stone from South Park…

    Is the NYT really worried about the troops?

    Quite possibly. It wouldn’t be the first time lunatics in Afghansitan raise the ante on the violence in response to some insult coming from the US. Besides a possible sincere wish to not increase harm to the troops, the NYT knows it would be a gigantic fuck-up if the death of a US soldier could be traced back to an ad they chose to run. Yes of course the fault of the death would actually  be of the insane trantrum throwing Islamist, but we all know that the NYT would get massive blow-back.


    Or does it just not want to be in the crossfire of Islamic militants? If it’s the latter, is that a good reason to not run the ad?

    I don’t see this as an “or” but an “and”. No one likes death threats, and they are even less appreciated when they come from people with a history of following through on those threats. The folks at the NYT know full well what has happened to European journalists who were openly disdainful of Islam, how they must live as hunted people. Even as I decry the double standard and the self-censorship, compassion compells me to understand where they’re coming from. I wouldn’t want to die or have my family put at risk because of an ad. Is that a “good reason” not to run the ad? No. In doing these things we just encourage more bad behavior from Islamists. They either need to get used to freedom of speech, with it’s accompanying unpleasantness, or they need to fuck off and stop reading our press, because we sure as hell aren’t changing that principle.

  • The “islamization of nations” is worthy of a raised eyebrow, because that’s frequently a code phrase of racist nationalism. Are they attacking Islam for its anti-humanist doctrines or its opposition to a Christian theocracy?

  • Except that we obviously have.  Islam gets a free pass often in mainstream media.  We only let the crazies talk about it, it seems, which is a problem.  

  • Is there a copyright issues with the cartoon?

    Also, the original started with the clear premise: “In light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ war against women’s right to contraception…”  This one starts a rant: “In light of the ongoing, ruthless, international jihad against non-Muslims, [undocumented facts], if you’re part of the Islamic jihad, you’re part of the problem.”  So, they are saying that moderate Muslims are part of Islamic jihad.  I hope they don’t run it, not only for the sake of our troops, but also because of this and many other logical fallacies.

    I also found it humorous that couldn’t bear to use the term “liberal” and instead changed it “moderate”.  My guess is that liberal is not an acceptable term in their vocabulary.

  • to me the difference is that no-one is dying from not burning korans while there are people (women) dying from not getting birth control.
    I would want both adds to run but there is a clear difference between the 2

  • Hibernia86

    We should be supporting free speech in general. That alone should push the NYT to publish the ad. I know that they worry about the effect on the troops as well as their own lives, and I sympathize with that, but we can not let extemists control what we publish. Also, many of Islamic writings and teachings have lead to horrible atrocities in recent times. While it is obviously wrong to say that all Muslims are extremist, we should agree that none of these atrocities would have happened if people didn’t follow invisible beings.

  • Hibernia86

    Except people are dying from Islamic acts of terrorism, so we should be speaking out against the belief in invisible beings that allows that to happen

  • “Obama has compromised,” – killing Osama bin Laden, amping up the drone attacks in Pakistan, cranking up the sanctions against Iran – that is an interesting definition of the word compromised. 

  • Marguerite

    If I were the NYT, my first concern with this would be “copyright violations.” I don’t pretend to know anything about copyright law, but the second ad is so clearly derived from the first that it makes the second group appear to be affiliated with FFRF to a casual reader.  Couldn’t that put the NYT at risk of being sued by FFRF?  Shouldn’t they be concerned that FFRF would be rightly offended by the appearance of endorsing the second group somehow? Admittedly this is not their stated reason for declining the ad, but it *should* be one of their main concerns.

    I’m all in favor of freedom of speech (and I agree that refusing to print something for fear of retribution is a terrible precedent), but overt copying is not okay, because it creates an illusion of a relationship between these groups. AFDI needs to create its own ad, not copy someone else’s.


  • Kingasaurus


    The difference in price for the two ads may be related to which page of the paper they wanted to place the ad. Back page or incrementally closer to the front page is more expensive than elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    The writer of the second piece really likes the word “jihad.”

    Regardless, I think the primary difference between the two ad is the FFRF ad knows who it is addressing: American Catholics.  The second is not addressing American Muslims as much as it is addressing all Muslims.  The FFRF ad would have made little sense if it attempted to address child witch killings and hindu hate that occurs overseas.

    American Muslims and its leaders by and large are not participating in jihads, terrorist attacks, and jew-hatred.  I would argue that when the 9-11 attacks occurred American Muslims were very vocal about how wrong the attacks were.  Even now, I have not heard any Americam imams attempting to enforce their law on NON-believers.

    The ad does have it right, that proponents of Islam will likely never cleanse the Qu’ran.  Eventually, they will simply ignore or explain away the parts they don’t like. Only the extreme factions will adhere to those parts and they will be called Not-Real-Muslims.  Much like how American Christianity feels about the WBC.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it is time to step up critical ads and comments questioning Islam. It’s harder to target thousands instead of a brave few. Other voices need to be heard.

    Also an excellent movie, Five Minutes of Heaven, it has some great dialog in it which I think could relate well to the Koran book burnings and subsequent killing of troops.

    Dialog from about the middle of the movie, an interview with a reformed killer.

    What I want to tell people, what society must do, is to stop people getting to the
    point where they join the group. Because when you get to that point, it’s too late. No-one’s going to stop you. No-one’s going to change your mind. And once you’re in, you will do anything. You will kill anyone on the other side because it’s right to do it. Once your man has joined the group, society has lost him. And what he needs to hear are voices on his own side stopping him before he goes in. There were no voices on my side. Not on my side of the town. Not on my estate. No-one was telling me anything other than that killing is right. It was only in prison when I heard that other voice.

    And the Muslims now, you know, the kids now are like I was then. They need to hear those voices now, stopping them from thinking that killing is good.
    They need their own people to say no. That’s where they need to hear it. That’s where I would put my money, on making those voices heard in every mosque in the country.

  • Anonymous

    The whole design is probably covered under copyright.  Changing the words and drawing a new comic doesn’t protect the AFDI.

    There are plenty of key differences.  FFDF version didn’t have burning books in the second frame is the easiest to spot difference.

  • Erp

    I would say that accuracy might be a question.  Islam is not an organization.   It would be a bit like the FFRF putting up an ad about Christianity and lumping together all the denominations even when they detest each other (I note for instance that in Pakistan most victims of religious violence are Muslims belonging to minority sects).

    Also things like female genital mutilation have been denounced by many senior Muslim authorities (and also Christian authorities as in countries like Egypt it is a common practice across religious lines).  One such is Ali Goma’a, Grand Mufti of Egypt and as such widely respected, who declared the practice ‘haram’ or forbidden.  It is a bit like denouncing Christianity for supporting the death penalty (which many Christians support [but also non-Christians in the same countries] but the leaders of the major Christian denominations such as the Catholics oppose).

  • TCC

    “Please, exit en mosque”? The initial wordplay was clever; the rewrite is derivative and not at all witty.

    Personally, I think the “enabler” argument is very weak in general, but it is far stronger for the Catholic Church than it is for Islam (or any religion) broadly because at least there are ways in which active Catholics who give to and directly support the RCC locally (and thus globally) are in fact giving cover for an immoral organization. But simply being a Muslim doesn’t “enable” other Muslims who may incidentally agree with you on some matters of religion, so I think there is certainly a significant dissimilarity. Not that it should be enough to deny them the ad: I say let them pay to have it printed, so that it can be widely laughed at. Geller and Spencer are bigots – not for this, but for other things they have said or done.

  • Anonymous

    One qustion of effectiveness is one is an argument to leave a specific organization, the other is to get American Muslims to leave their religion.  Weakening the RCC (a specific organization) within the US through an exodus is plausible.  Weakening Islam (a religion) outside the US borders through an abandonment of religion from within US borders is a more tenuous hypothesis.

  • Philbert

    I just wish we didn’t have to deal with the supposed equivalence of all religions at every turn. You can’t mention any negative aspect of the Catholic church without getting jihad envy, “you wouldn’t dare criticize Islam!” Similarly you can’t mention any negative aspect of Islam without having to debate how the the Catholic church or Christianity in general is just as bad or worse. These are both deflections, we should be able to criticize murder in the 21st century without having to apologize for the Crusades, and we should be able to call out the rampant sexism in Catholic policy without having to talk about Al Qaeda.

  • There is one difference between these ads: the latter takes some liberties with the facts. For instance, it says, “Obama has compromised, but Islam never budges. Instead, it is fully embarked upon a stealth jihad, using the Justice Department to force businesses and educational institutions to accommodate Islamic law — the same Islamic law that denies the freedom of speech, mandates death for apostates, and oppresses women and non-Muslims.” The trouble is, I don’t know of any occasion when “Islamic Law” was ever forced upon someone against their will in the US, much less having it happen due to Justice Dept. intervention.

    My guess is that the Neocrusaders who wrote this screed, added this tidbit as a way of getting Obama’s name into it. Because we all know he’s not only a Kenyan communist, he’s a secret Muslim too.

    Overall, though, the idea of calling out “moderate” members of a religion on that religion’s actions, is not inherently a bad thing. The more extreme members of a religion count on the silence of moderates … even if they’re vastly outnumbered by the moderates … in order to get their way. Unfortunately, moderates tend to comply with this wish, and in the end, their silence amounts to approval of the extremists. If either Islam or the R.C. Church — or any other religion for that matter — is to change for the better, it’s up to the moderate majority to collectively get up off its lazy rear-end and force it to change for the better. No one else can do it for them. Either they have the courage to coerce change, or they don’t. Sadly, most people don’t have that courage. More’s the pity.

  •  Well, he is compromising with the GOP. He has not been compromised, but he has compromised.
    But that’s politics. You can never please everyone all of the time.

  • In terms of tone, the original letter comes across as a rational political statement, while the second comes across as demagoguery. The pair make for interesting comparison, since (as stated) they are so fundamentally similar. What a difference the choice of words makes!

    That said, the more radical sects found in many Islamic states are where Catholicism was a few hundred years ago. When you speak against them, you assume a very real personal risk. How many rational men of conscience self-censored themselves over the centuries to preserve themselves from Catholic “jihads”? In today’s world, it requires a degree of courage to speak out against Islam (with the understanding that “Islam” is broader than “Catholicism”). I salute and respect those who show that courage, but am not willing to find fault in those that do not. The reticence of the NYT to publish a private anti-Islamic ad is unfortunate, but not altogether irrational.

  •  I agree with the similar appearance portion of this comment. No where in the page does it state they are not affiliated with the FFRF nor that this is a style satire.

    As for the NYT refusing to run it: It doesn’t matter why. They are a private institution not required to provide equal time to advertisers and they may refuse money from anyone that they wish to.

    I read their paper but I refuse to give them money for it (but that’s due to the exorbitant cost in MN for the paper)

  •  And for decades we did the same about the Catholic Church and sexual abuse… What’s your point, Stephan?

  • Wintermute

     If you think that a private institution can refuse to serve anyone they wish on any basis they like, then you would no doubt approve of a restaurant in the deep south refusing to serve black patrons, or a grocery store with a sign out front that says ‘No atheists allowed.’ There are restrictions to what basis you can use for refusing service in this country, precisely because of the potential for racial and religious discrimination that it presents.

  • Icaarus

    I believe businesses still have the individual right to “refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time” which can only be superseded or questioned when the reasons for refusal go against anti-bigotry/anti-hatred laws. So yes they have the right to refuse for any reason. If, later that reason is found to be bigotry, racism, or hatred, then, and only then, can they be challenged. 

    In this case, they are giving the most imotional reason so as to not see lawyers from either side. If they said “hey that’s a copyright infringing ad” then the authors could have a case to show it’s not. Not to say the case would stand, just that it would exist. So by doing it this way they avoid all lawyers. 

  • Anonymous-Sam

     It sounds like the insanity surrounding Obama’s supposed secret Muslim nature. O.o

  • Dan

    Extreme Muslims would bomb the fuck outta the NYT building if that ran. They have a history of doing so make the fear valid.

    New Yorks own “Revolution Muslim”  group ( may wanna do it.

    Younus Abdullah Mohammad ( may want to do it. He already tried to with the South Park creators. AND said “Absolutely there will be more attacks in New York”.

    People in New York trying to join “Al Shabab” ( may want to do it. 

    Plenty of psycho Muslim cunts would probably love to martyr themselves by bombing the NY Times building.

  • Anonymous-Sam


    Even now, I have not heard any Americam imams attempting to enforce their law on NON-believers.

    Not so much here that I’ve heard of, but I have heard of issues from followers of Islam in Great Britain and the Netherlands, mostly a lot of screaming objections over ownership of dogs (such as Islamic bus drivers refusing service to handicapped passengers with service dogs). The closest I’ve experienced in America was being required to cover my head when I visited a mosque. <.<

  • I wonder what the point of the anti-Islam ad is.  Do the authors think that Americans can do something about, for example, Muslims taking over streets in France for public prayer?

    The point of running the anti-Catholic ad here, in the US, right now, is that the Catholic Church is funding and driving the religious right agenda.  There is a lot of evidence that the Church is funding groups like the AFA and OMM.  The AFA’s fundamentalist Christian corps has the beliefs but no money, and the Church has the money while most of its congregation does not support its anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-birth control positions.  And it’s hardly new.  We had similar evidence, back in the 1980s, that the Church was funding groups like Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Action League.  

    All of this crap about defunding Planned Parenthood and allowing employers to prevent insurance from funding birth control is being driven and funded by the Catholic Church.  

    I oppose suicide bombings and terrorism and honor killings as much as the next person, but the reality is that Muslim fundamentalists have no control over the American political process, and as such are really not a threat to the daily lives of Americans.

  • Yes, if they were to refer to a specific sect of Islam, it would make a lot more sense.  It also doesn’t work because there is a major power/money/infrastructure difference.

  • Zeggman

     Bullshit. The original anti-Catholic ad was pure demagoguery too.

    Catholics may be attempting to restrict access to birth control, and in areas where the hospitals are mostly Catholic controlled this can be a real problem. Worldwide, that problem pales in comparison to the anti-woman behavior of Islamist leader.

    I suspect you’re right that it’s pure cowardice which is at the heart of the NYT’s double standard. It’s sad to see how much courage has been drained from the organization which was willing to take on the United States government when it published the Pentagon Papers.

  • My point is that we, as atheists, need to be making these arguments and newspaper ads at Muslims, and not just leaving it to crackpots that spout lies as often as truths.

  • Anonymous

    It’s been a while since I read about the history of religious groups, but ”
    1,400-year record of institutionalized oppression of women” seems to be false if i remember correctly. near the beginning wasn’t islam pretty liberal and they were the ones that preserved the knowledge of ancient greece and rome during the dark ages? Wasn’t until the last 100 years or so that fundamentalism became a real problem. 

  • Ndonnan

    Hurts when somone puts your point of view into perspective dosent it.Crazy ,bigoted,mmm, seems quite commen round these parts.Billboards ,stop prayers,take down banners all under the guise of concern for the feelings of others.

  • Marguerite

    If billboards advocating atheism are crazy and bigoted, then is it equally crazy and bigoted when Christians put up billboards advocating Christianity?

    If trying to have religious banners in public buildings taken down makes atheists crazy and bigoted, is it equally crazy and bigoted for Christians to try to erect monuments listing the Ten Commandments on public land?

    I must admit I really can’t understand your argument, but maybe that’s just my crazy bigotry talking *shrugs*.

  • TCC

    Is there a point to this babble you’ve spewed? Because this isn’t a case of hypocrisy, nor can the criticisms pointed at Geller and Spencer be easily turned back around at atheist billboards in general. Nice try, though.

  • Not what I remember from my History of the Middle East class. Early islam was a way of promising military victory to poor desert-dwellers on the outskirts of larger cities. Strong social structures later allowed for many scientific advances, but this was still surrounded by a culture of subjugation. Fundamentalists, by their very nature, are throw-backs to the early warring tribalist societies of Muhammad. If you read something like What Went Wrong, fundamentalism is not treated so much like a problem as a symptom.

  •  “Pretty liberal” meant something different back then.

    There’s a fair case to be made that Islam was “liberal” and enlightened and interested in scientific enquiry – especially in comparison to Dark Age Chrisendom.

    But liberal in comparison to Dark Age Chrisendom is like saying a child is tall compared to an ant.

    They did preserve some ancient knowledge as well as discovering more of their own. But eventually they reached the point where what they were discovering started conflicting with the koran and faced a choice of which to cling to. They made the wrong choice.

  • In fairness, the ads are *too* similar. To the point of parody. I think they should be allowed to run their own ad, but they need to come up with their own content.

    The similarity in style would create the impression that the ads were part of a series from the same organisation.

  • chicago dyke, evolved outlaw

     you remind me of why i think typing, spelling and grammar classes should be mandatory. even in xtian skoolz. (you can at least understand that last, i hope; it’s in your language.)

  • Brian Macker

    Most Islamic countries are hell holes of oppression and death.  You aren’t paying enough attention to these “crazies”.   

  • Brian Macker

    That didn’t take much courage on the part of the NYT.  Despite the myth, the Pentagon Papers were about the prior administrations, not Nixon’s, and he had actually considered releasing them.   The only person in any danger was Ellsberg and Russo for releasing classified documents.

  • Brian Macker

    Hugo needs to visit some of those “crazy” web sites and get the news feeds on all the nasty stuff the followers of Islam are up to.   Stonings, beheadings, and the like.  Not just for terrorists either and it’s quite mainstream in many countries.

  • I think it’s fascinating that Geller’s first response to an attack from secularists would turn out to be a counter-strike on Muslims.

  • Judy2348

    If you can condemn the Catholic church it is only fair you can condemn all other religious groups in exactly the same fashion…or the Catholic church can sue the New York Times for millions….either way…we just need fairness…equality

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