Free speech for peace

Originally published in SFGate

As an American Muslim, I am saddened by the anti-Islamic bus ads in San Francisco by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Regarding similar ads on the New York City transit system, Pamela Geller, executive director of the initiative, last year described her campaign as a triumph of the First Amendment. And she gave a simple reason to embark on this campaign: “because I can.”

Following the same logic, what if every American group started promoting hateful speech against another group only because “they can”?

Geller should educate herself about the Muslims for Peace campaign by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that promotes love for all, hatred for none, and rejects the notion of violent extremism by the so-called jihadists.

Let’s use free speech to promote peace and harmony in our communities. Why? Because we can.

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