The internationally notable Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy last week took a can of spray paint and began spray-painting over an ad in the Times Square subway station that she didn’t like. Eltahawy painted the ad until a supporter of the ad got in between her and it; shortly thereafter, Eltahawy was arrested, charged with criminal mischief, and spent the night in jail. That a prominent journalist would stoop to this crude act of vandalism is noteworthy in itself, but even more striking is the fact that so many on the Left are applauding her for it.
The ad read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” It was created by my colleague Pamela Geller and sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), of which I am associate director. The mainstream media has widely circulated the claim that this ad is somehow referring to and demeaning of all Muslims, even though the words “Muslim” and “Islam” never appear in it, and it is quite clearly referring to those jihad terrorists who commit acts of savagery against Israeli civilians and then celebrate those acts.
Nonetheless, whether as part of their ongoing efforts to demonize and marginalize all those who speak out against jihad, or out of visceral hatred for Israel, or both, Leftist and putatively “moderate” Muslim writers have enthusiastically praised Eltahawy’s vandalism and called for more ads to be defaced. Cyrus McGoldrick of the New York chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) exulted about Eltahawy’s vandalism: “THIS is GOLD.”
Christina Abraham, the “civil rights director” of Hamas-linked CAIR’s Chicago chapter, went even farther, tweeting that “what some might call hate ads,” Eltahawy “sees as a blank canvas. everyone should do the same.” Ironically, Abraham describes herself in her Twitter profile as a “human rights enthusiast.”
Likewise the Islamic supremacist writer Reza Aslan, who enjoys a widespread reputation as a “moderate Muslim” despite being a Board member of the National Iranian American Council, which has recently been established to be a mouthpiece of the Iranian mullahcracy, was enthusiastic about the vandalism and wanted more. “Hey New York!,” he tweeted: “How many racist ads are left unscathed? Get busy.”