Journo Mona Eltahawy defaces pro-Israel signs; Muslim Brotherhood cheers

CNN and MSNBC pundit Mona Eltahawy was released from a New York jail cell today after being booked on charges of criminal mischief and graffiti. The Egyptian-American columnist and blogger was arrested yesterday after spray-painting a pro-Israel poster in a New York subway station.


— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

Mona is out and about! #FreeMona straight from 100 Center. Now cameras all over.

— ILLYGIRL (@JonnyTurnover) September 26, 2012

A camera crew was on hand yesterday to capture Eltahawy’s vandalism in progress, as well as a confrontation with Pamela Hall, who tried to block Eltahawy. The poster, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and blogger Pamela Geller, reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Ten of the posters went up in the subway on Monday, after the Metropolitan Transit Authority lost its bid to block the posters on the grounds that they contained “demeaning language.” A federal judge ruled in July that the posters were protected speech.

Eltahawy had given notice of her plans on her Twitter feed.

Spray Can or stickers made at Kinkos for hit&run? Spray can sexier though… #ProudSavage #NYC

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 25, 2012

#ProudSavageTuesday My pink spray paint will match my pink raincoat but my Gaddafi-green fascist dress reveals my true intentions #FuckHate

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 25, 2012

I don't do peace & love when it comes to racist & bigoted shits like Pam Geller & co. There r some who do. Move on & look elsewhere.

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 25, 2012

I believe in the right to offend & the right to protest that offense peacefully. And I will call you a racist & bigoted shit as I protest.

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 25, 2012

Meetings done; pink spray paint time. #ProudSavage #FuckHate

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 25, 2012

As an US citizen I know that non-violent civil disobedience is one of many ways to fight racism. #FuckHate

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

After her release Eltahawy tweeted that she stands by her actions, saying that she “proudly” awaits her November court date and has “absolutely no regrets.”

A million thank for all love & wishes sent my way. Sending much love to you all. #ProudSavage #FuckHate #NYC

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

I return to court to face my charges – proudly – on Nov29. #ProudSavage #FuckHate #NYC

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

I spray painted that racist piece of shit poster out of principle,protected speech & non-violent disobedience.Proud & absolutely no regrets!

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

A former Reuters journalist, Eltahawy says the “whole point” of her act was that she only defaced the poster rather than tearing it down. As shown in the video, her argument is that spray-painting the poster was simply the application of her freedom of speech over the top of someone else’s freedom of speech.

I want to make v clear: never wanted 2 nor did I remove that racist piece of shit poster.I spray painted & u cld still see words.Whole point

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

4 hrs bef my action, man at other #NYC station ripped off half of that racist piece of shit poster saying "This is fucking New York City!"

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

Eltahawy’s arrest drew the attention of Arabic TV and spawned the #freemona hashtag, which was even tweeted by @IkhwanWeb, the verified Twitter account for the Muslim Brotherhood’s English language website.

#freemona MT@TheRobinMorgan tweets 4 @monaeltahawy: held overnght due in criminal crt this AM chrged Crim Mischief misdemeanor…

— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) September 26, 2012

That was a retweet of Robin Morgan. Evidently the Muslim Brotherhood keeps tabs on the feminist activist and former Ms. Magazine editor.

@monaeltahawy did u notice ikhwan tweeted #freemona goes to show even with differing views Egyptians stick together when it matters

— mousa musa (@thepeacemoss) September 26, 2012

My previous RT of @thepeacemoss informing @monaeltahawy that the Brotherhood/ikhwan tweeted #freemona was happily RTed by @monaeltahawy

— Petra Marquardt-B. (@WarpedMirrorPMB) September 26, 2012

@ThisNewWorld ikhwan disagree with mona alot but they supported her coz they respect her action. It's hard 2 do that as political opposites

— mousa musa (@thepeacemoss) September 26, 2012

One person offers a more likely explanation for the newfound common ground between Eltahawy and the Muslim Brotherhood.

@thepeacemoss @monaeltahawy no,it is not sticking with Egyptians,they despise free women,but they are so antisemitic that they swallowed it

— Primum non nocere (@Hragy) September 26, 2012

As the United Nations General Assembly meets this week, New York City is already a charged environment with regard to free speech, what with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation calling for “adequate protection” worldwide against hate speech which targets Islam, and President Obama himself declaring that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

Americans with a better understanding of freedom of speech than “journalist” Eltahawy step in to clarify the First Amendment.

Destruction of private property isn't "free speech." Shameful.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 26, 2012

No, @monaeltahawy you get arrested for destroying/defacing property:

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 26, 2012

@DLoesch surprised @monaeltahawy wasn't awarded a medal. #libsbendrules

— Wendy Herman (@TxSkirt) September 26, 2012

She can start her ad campaign for whatever cause. She doesnt hv to break the law, vandalize other ppl property @monaeltahawy #freemona

— Kylliki Tennemann (@KyllikiT) September 26, 2012

Forget that video which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others; this poster which drives cable pundits to commit vandalism is on the move.

5 people arrested in one night for exercising freedom to protest that racist piece of shit poster. The poster's going to need bodyguards!

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 26, 2012

@monaeltahawy The ad is making its way to Washington DC.. I guess we need to stock on spray dear..

— Shahrazad Kablan (@ShahrazadKablan) September 26, 2012

One Eltahawy supporter has a very American idea for a response.

@ShahrazadKablan @monaeltahawy We may have to buy space for similar but factual ads! Let's see if free speech covers our side of the story!

— Basim Aljazi (@crosstheredline) September 26, 2012

Keepin’ it classy.

#FuckRacism RT @ScottSellsFL: Fuck Mona the racist #arab bigot. HAPPY to see you spent time in jail. You'll be there again soon! Sharmuta

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 27, 2012

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