Battling bus ads revisited

[ by Charles Cameron — today’s “shout it from the rooftops” is “advertise it on the bus” — the wars of sound-bite religion, plus special extra, the perils of dehumanization ]

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I am pretty sure that when Sojourners puts up an ad saying Love your Muslim neighbors” (above, right) it’s a religiously motivated act with political implications, but not quite so sure when Pamela Geller puts up an ad that’s certainly anti-Hamas and likely anti-Muslim (below), whether to consider it religiously or politically motivated: the two things aren’t always easily untangled.

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But hey, at least in Portland according to this AP article, the Pamela Geller ads were posted in response to this one, which I’d tend to characterize as politically motivated, with a plausible religious undercurrent:

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Of course, there are other maps.. including this one, from American Trial Attorneys in Defense of Israel:

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Okay, I’ve been on about ads as a medium for religious dispute for a while now [1, 2], and frankly I don’t know why we need seminaries in Oxford, Qom or Dharamsala if all you need to know about a religion can be found on the side of a bus…

But it does get confusing, eh?

For instance, when Mona Eltahawy defaces one of Pamela Geller’s ads, is she erasing freedom of speech, or hate speech — or freedom of hate speech?

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Look, here are a series of ads that CAIR has just put out, using the term “jihad” in a way that’s both a legitimate meaning of the term within Islam and compatible with western democratic ideals:

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