Commuters walk by an advertisement that reads "Support Israel/Defeat Jihad" in the Times Square subway station in New York, September 24, 2012
Credits: REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Mona Eltahawy has made a name for herself in the past year as a critic of the so-called Arab Spring — the violent trend towards militant jihad in the Middle East. In fact, she was arrested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and assaulted by Egyptian police in jail. She’s a U.S. citizen now, and is a regular commentator on CNN and MSNBC.
Like many Arab intellectuals, she’s a socialist. But she was a critic of Islamic fascism.
But this week she flipped sides — and turned into a bit of an Islamic fascist herself.
Fellow critics of Islamic fascists had bought ads in New York subway stations with a very simple and blunt message: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” And then the ad ends by saying simply, “Support Israel defeat jihad.”
It’s pretty clear who the ad is calling savages: Extremists who use uncivilized means like terrorism to promote their agenda. By using the word jihad, it clearly means Muslim terrorists like al-Qaida, the PLO and others.
The woman behind those ads, Pamela Geller, was forced to go to court to get the New York Metro Transit Authority to run those ads, because they refused on political reasons.
Geller won her suit and the ads finally went up — but not for long. Eltahawy went out into the subways, with a can of spray paint and began vandalizing the posters. This so-called pro-freedom, anti-fascist Muslim became an anti-freedom, pro-fascist Muslim.
A so-called journalist, a so-called American was bringing Muslim Brotherhood-style censorship to America. There’s no other way to describe defacing ads you disagree with. And she went further — spray-painting and pushing around someone who supported the ads and stood in front of them.
Eltahawy was charged with assault. But she hasn’t expressed regret or called it a lapse in judgment or professionalism or even sanity. She has embraced her darker, violent side.
In an Orwellian twist, she has rechristened her censorship free speech, calling her vandalism “protected speech” and her assault “non-violent disobedience.” Nope.
She boasts she’d do it again. Here is a privileged journalist with access to CNN and MSNBC to make her case to argue, to put her ideas forward. But she would rather stop other people from buying a little poster on a wall.
The poster didn’t call all Muslims savages. It didn’t even use the world Muslim. It didn’t even say who the savages were — other than jihadists against Israel. Eltahawy was outraged that Geller’s posters called terrorists “savages.” Why would that bother Eltahawy? Are al-Qaida not savages?
Mona Eltahawy of CNN and MSNBC is a censoring, assaulting apologist for savages. But instead of being fired, it’s a certainty she’ll get even more TV airtime as a reward.