There was a post on my Facebook page yesterday from a very nice person asking what I thought about an article describing buses going around San Francisco with an advertisement that said: “Killing Jews is Worship of Allah.”

We had been discussing various laws being proposed around the country to protect American from being taken over by Sharia law. I said I thought the laws were intended to play off anti-Islamic prejudice. I challenged people who disagreed to name one state in the Union that was in any threat of falling into Islamic law.

Instead, when I opened my Facebook page, I saw an article claiming that Hamas or some other Islamic group was trying to trigger jihad against Jewish people by renting ad space buses, I was of course suspicious. There is certainly a deadly anti-Semitism in the world, and it is to be deplored wherever it raises its voice, but this had the feel of a “false flag” operation, where someone says or does something heinous and gives credit to their enemy.

One of the authorities sited in the article was Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. It so happened I had set aside an article on how she had been barred from speaking at CPAC, a conservative group. When I tried to find who had actually rented the ads, it was, of course, Geller’s own group.

Geller told the AP that they took out the ads to show the:

“Reality of jihad and root causes of terrorism, from the words of jihadists themselves.”

“City officials denounce our ads, but not the actual quotes from high-profile jihadists calling for holy war and genocide, our new campaign focuses on how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism.”

Okay, so I don’t know what supremacism is, and neither does Webster’s, but I groaned out loud as I thought of my poor trusting friend who takes the word of these groups to believe that America and Christianity are under constant attack from one villain or another.

An interesting note: Geller later accused that very conservative group of, “enforcing the Sharia.” She accused, of all people, Grover Norquist of having ties to radical Islam:

“This year I could not get an event, I was banned,” she said, though also noted that in the past, “I wasn’t warmly welcomed because of the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan (a Muslim who served under the Bush administration) and  Grover Norquist (his wife is Muslim).”

I grieve for my friends who fall prey to these kinds of fearful and hateful messages. They are often kind and intelligent, but have been taught not to test the messages of their group for veracity. They have been taught that fact checking intellectuals are “elites” or “illuminati,” and that anyone who debunks the message of their group is clearly a part of the conspiracy. What a small horizon and ominous sky under which which to live one’s life.