The ongoing debate surrounding conservative blogger Pamela Geller’s anti-Jihad New York City subway ads has not yet simmered.
While The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) initially attempted to ban the ads, a judge ruled in Geller’s favor, leading to a decision to post them at numerous subway stops last month. But as TheBlaze reported on Friday, the transit group later decided to revise its advertising standards as a result of the incident, claiming that it now reserves the right to ban ads that “would incite or provoke violence.”
On Sunday, Geller went on WABC-TV’s “Up Close With Diana Williams” to discuss the ongoing furor surrounding the ads. Her on-air opponent for the segment was none other than progressive Pastor Jim Wallis, whom TheBlaze has covered extensively in the past. Wallis stands firmly opposed to the blogger’s ad campaign — a sentiment he made known in their dialogue on the program.
The segment opened with Geller defending the ads and claiming that, contrary to critique, they are anything but anti-Islam. She took the time to differentiate between radical and mainstream Islam, stating that the ads take aim at the former cohort.
“This is not against Muslims,” she explained of the ad, which reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” “I don’t believe that all Muslims sanction jihad.”
Geller also defended moderate and secular Muslims who she contended have experienced more death and destruction in Islamic nations than anyone else.
On the free-speech front, Geller proclaimed that it is paramount to protect free expression and she defended her ad and its placement on those grounds. After she made her statements about the matter, Wallis was asked to provide his analysis, during which he heavily criticized Geller over her comments.
“This conversation’s very sad,” he opened. “In situations of conflict like we’re in now — words have consequences. So, words of anger and hatred lead to violence.”
This theme of “hatred” was advanced throughout Wallis’ statements on the matter, as he dismissed Geller’s words as incendiary and claimed that her efforts were making the situation surrounding radical Islam much worse. Contrary to Geller’s approach, Wallis encouraged Christians and others to “remind people of their religious obligations to each other.”
“This hate language brings up what is worst in people,” the progressive faith leader continued. “Fundamentalism is a problem in all of our religious traditions. You don’t defeat fundamentalism with hatred.”
To combat Geller’s message, Wallis is raising money through his group, Sojourners, to put up a NYC subway billboard of his own. It will read, “Love your Muslim neighbors.”
Perhaps the most uncomfortable portion of the WABC-TV dialogue was when Wallis implored Geller “to stop talking” and said that he was speaking on behalf of “Christians all over the world.”
“I want to say to Miss Geller that Christians all over the world are going to pay for this kind of hateful language,” Wallis said. “And I speak on their behalf, begging you to stop talking.”
And he wasn’t done there.
“Please stop talking, because so many people are going to suffer from this kind of hate language,” Wallis continued. “If you want to save lives, Miss Geller, please stop talking this way.”
Geller challenged Wallis’ contentions and responded by calling out his request that she “stop talking.”
Watch the debate, below:
- Legal Scholar Alan Dershowitz Calls MTA‘s New Advertising Rules ’Plain Dumb’ & ‘Unconstitutional’
- Conservative’s Anti-Jihad Subway Ad Leads to New Policies: NYC Authority Can Now Ban Ads That Could ‘Incite or Provoke Violence’
- Did the NYC Subway Authority Just Pass a Type of Anti-Blasphemy Ban? TheBlaze Explores (Update: Agency Confirms New Language)
- Activist Gets in Physical Altercation While Trying to Spray Paint Over Anti-Jihad Subway Poster