Anti-jihad ads going up in New York City

2012-09-21 12:00

New York - A provocative ad that equates some Muslim radicals with savages is set to go up next week in the New York City subway system, just as violent protests in the Middle East are subsiding over an anti-Islamic film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad.

A conservative blogger who once headed a campaign against an Islamic centre near the 11 September 2001 terror attack site won a court order to post the ad in 10 subway stations on Monday.

It reads, "In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

The ad was plastered on San Francisco city buses in recent weeks — prompting some artists to deface the ads and remove some of the words, including "Jihad".

The blogger, Pamela Geller, said she filed suit on Thursday in the US capital to post the ad in Washington's transit system, after officials declined to put up the ad in light of the uproar in the Middle East over the anti-Islam film.

Abdul Yasar, a New York subway rider who considers himself an observant Muslim, said Geller's ad was insensitive in an unsettling climate for Muslims.

'Victory for First Amendment'

"If you don't want to see what happened in Libya and Egypt after the video — maybe not so strong here in America — you shouldn't put this up," Yasar said.

But "if this is a free country, they have the right to do this", he said. "And then Muslims have the right to put up their own ad."

Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defence Initiative and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, called a New York judge's order allowing the ads "a victory for the First Amendment" and said she wasn't concerned that her ad could spark protests like the ones protesting the depiction of Muslims in the video Innocence of Muslims.

Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya.

"If it's not a film it's a cartoon, if it's not a cartoon it's a teddy bear," she said. "What are you going to do? Are you going to reward Islamic extremism? I will not sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages."

New York City police aren't anticipating adding any security to subways when the ads go up and have received no threats or reports of violence relating to them, chief spokesperson Paul Browne said.

Censorship 'offensive'

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York initially refused to run Geller's ad, saying it was "demeaning". But US District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled last month that it is protected speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

"Our hands are tied," MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan said. "Under our existing ad standards as modified by the injunction, the MTA is required to run the ad."

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, backed publication of the "patently offensive" ads. "More offensive would be their censorship because that would violate the guarantee of free expression of all ideas regardless of how distasteful they are," she said.

Geller said the subway ads cost about $6 000. Donovan said they will be up for a month.

Opponents say the ads imply that Muslims are savages.

"We recognise the freedom of speech issues and her right to be a bigot and a racist," said Muneer Awad, the executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But he said he hopes the MTA and elected officials "take on a leadership role in denouncing hate speech".


Geller, as head of a group called Stop Islamisation of America, helped spur a monthslong campaign two years ago to remove a planned Islamic community centre blocks from the World Trade Centre site, which she called the "ground zero mosque". Plans to build a larger centre are still pending, although Muslims still have regular prayer services at a mosque in the building.

When the ad ran in San Francisco from 13 August to 4 September, transit officials took the unusual step of running disclaimers on the sides of the buses, while some artists painted over "Jihad" or photoshopped pictures that said instead, "Defeat Racism".

Geller's group has also placed ads in Metro-North Railroad stations north of New York City that read: "It's not Islamophobia, it's Islamorealism."

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority hadn't seen Geller's lawsuit on Thursday, spokesperson Dan Stessel said. The agency told Geller the ad would be "deferred" because of the ongoing violence in the Middle East, he said.

"To be clear, we have not rejected the ad," Stessel said, but "merely asked the advertiser to be sensitive to the timing of the placement out of a concern for public safety, given current world events."

  • Barefoot - 2012-09-21 12:16

    Rub salt into a wound, and then wonder why!

      robbie.crouch - 2012-09-21 12:31

      Who's rubbing the salt?

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-09-21 13:11

      War of the religions *pop corn*

      justin.leshaun - 2012-09-21 13:11

      Whose wouund? We cannot all bow down to extremists!

      omo.naija.750 - 2012-09-21 13:31

      The same Israel that kicked out Africans like dogs??? These fools have got some nerve.No thanks ,fight your own damn wars yourself and leave the rest of the world out of it.Mel Gibson spoke against you people and he was right after all.Bloody war mongers!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:16

      Nice. Omonaija agrees with Mel Gibson's extreme racism and bigotry. He is the least popular actor on the planet and seen as a bigoted crazy. Omonaija is of the same ilk, worse in fact because at least Gibson apologized,

      Roelof.Richter - 2012-09-21 14:33

      priyal.pillay - 2012-09-21 14:43

      "There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages."

  • JManAtheoi - 2012-09-21 12:17


  • Desilusionada - 2012-09-21 12:20

    If you support: 1) Killing people with explosives strapped on your body 2) Demeaning women 3) Opposition to freedom of speech 4) Refusing young girls to study 5) Allowing and encouraging young children to throw stones 6) Burning tyre in streets 7) Intolerance of other religions 8) Beheading people because of race, colour or religion 9) Non-peaceful organisations 10) General mayhem, rioting, civil disobedience and following people who support these, based on hearsay, you make your choice what you are. But you certainly do not appear to be civilized, do you......

      JuliusYouPrick - 2012-09-21 12:45

      Great comment, sir.

      sean.stretch.3 - 2012-09-21 12:46

      two wrongs don't make a right.

      daniel.w.gie - 2012-09-21 13:38

      well said ....let's see who tries to explain that away .

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-09-21 14:16

      America don`t worry...Israel is behind you.

      Shaakeer Adam Seedat - 2012-09-21 15:23

      delusionada just got whacked for a six by the savage gary.lyon!

      adam.hannath - 2012-09-21 15:48

      Are you talking about Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Russians, Indians, Communists, Nazi's or Fascists? I'm confused because every single point you made can be associated with multiple groups. Perhaps people like you, of the same mentality, on both sides should look at situations with more objectivity and open mindedness. It might just resolve to remove genocide from the the multitude of negative human characteristics.

      Desilusionada - 2012-09-21 16:25

      @Shaakeer Adam Seedat So by your reasoning, people that support the 10 points I made are not savages? These splinter fundamentalists that do Islam no good are the epitome of good citizenship, by your standards? Now this Gary Lyon is from the USA and he wants to hold all kinds of examples forth as to why Israel is a supposedly savage, warmongering nation, but unfortunately whatever he says will never make a person who subscribes to my 10 points a civilized person. You called him a savage, by what reasoning? @adam.hannath And your point in your opening paragraph is?? Please stay confused. "Perhaps people like you, of the same mentality, on both sides should look at situations with more objectivity and open mindedness." Pray what mentality are you talking about? The one that would OK the subscription to my 10 points? Does it look as if I do? How objective and open minded must a person be when every day Syria is being subjected to a civil war?

  • nicholas.breakey - 2012-09-21 12:21

    This is not against muslims it is against extremists and fools Israel has my support.

  • jaba.kov - 2012-09-21 12:25

    Jihad is by definition violent and murderous. To say you are against Jihad is to say you are against violence. Where is the offence in that? It does not say Islam is savage, it says jihadists are savages. Remember that Jihadists murdered over 3000 New Yorkers in one act of brutal mayhem... however, I must admit that I would not support this type of advert as it divides people rather than bring them together. Nevertheless I must stress that even though this might not be politically correct, its reality.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:19

      3,000 people from 90 different countries

  • rohin.jadin - 2012-09-21 12:26

    well now that's not smart is it? You know you're dealing with a splinter group of super sensitive zealots and yet you provoke them more - and cry foul when bombs explode all over the place.

  • lance.hurly - 2012-09-21 12:45

    "All that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke.

  • JuliusYouPrick - 2012-09-21 12:46

    Just don't go fly planes into buildings again FFS! I don't wanna lose my job!

  • bevan.carpenter.1 - 2012-09-21 12:55

    lets p1ss the extremists off!?!?

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-21 14:02

      I agree! That a small bunch are telling the rest of the world what they are allowed to say is insane!

  • robert.krumm - 2012-09-21 12:58

    Imagine: if you worked your way back 30 years and replaced "Israel" with "South Africa" and "Jihad" with "Communism"... The fact is that this woman's campaign is implicitly racist and insensitive and I would say hate speech. This kind of language is generally reserved for the likes of people like Hitler who also claimed he was fighting for his people's rights. It is interesting how the tables have turned.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 17:48

      Racist? Clearly not. There isn't a racist word in it.

  • steele.oyle - 2012-09-21 13:04

    They lost me at the support israel part

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 17:48

      Which shows how far from true reality you are.

  • andy.t.mcdermott - 2012-09-21 13:16

    spare a thought for us poor atheists. All this fuss is the equivalent to grown men fighting over the tooth fairies existence. pathetic.

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-21 13:28

    Religions *facepalm.... As much as I think all religion to be moronic... I'm for their freedom to it. But if you start threatening and killing people because they don't agree with yours...then sir and madam you are threatening my freedom of speech as well as tolerance of free societies...

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-21 13:57

      I would like to see one epic final battle to the end (last man standing)between Isreal and Palestine without intervention by anyone. Cause seriously... I'm sure I speak for quite a few folks when I say "We are sick of your 1000 year old BS! Man-up! Throw that punch and get it over with! You're like little barking dogs keeping up your global neighbours!" Urgh

  • gary.lyon.509 - 2012-09-21 13:51

    If you support: 1) Cluster bombing Lebanese civilians. 2) Bombing Palestinian schools with white phosphorous bombs. 3) Stealing the land, property, literature, bank accounts and other wealth of Palestinians. 4) Building a wall to imprison Palestinians. 5) Bombing the USS Liberty (an ally) and blaming it on the Egyptians almost causing a US nuclear retaliation. 6) Beating, shooting and raping Palestinian women, men and children. 7) Stealing a country from its people (Palestine was stolen twice by the Hebrews, once in the old testament and again when Israel was created). 8) Assassination of foreign nationals in a foreign land and using passports stolen from other countries to do the dirty work. 9) Use other countries to fight your battles by proxy. 10) Starve Palestinians, submit them to humiliating treatment, refuse them suffrage in their own land and refuse the results of their general elections, among other crimes and atrocities, then you are a savage nation and a warmonger.

      Shaakeer Adam Seedat - 2012-09-21 14:16

      gary.lyon U SAVAGE BEAST!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 14:18

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

      nicholas.breakey - 2012-09-21 16:47

      Gary you are talking crap

      Shaakeer Adam Seedat - 2012-09-21 17:09

      u need to be EDUCATED. anything anti-semitic is SAVAGE! say sorry!

      Shaakeer Adam Seedat - 2012-09-21 17:11

      gary. AND u upset nicholas flammel. say sorry

  • jojo.balela.1 - 2012-09-21 14:10

    OMG I just saw a news report that an earthquake ripped right through a cinema that was due to show the movie Innocence of Muslims - with pics of the aftermath!! Can anyone verify if this is true?

  • joshua.j.heeley - 2012-09-21 14:12

    Ah flip America is opening big can of worms!

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-09-21 15:20

    all this scientific progress, and what do we have? a bunch of religionuts keeping us in the dark ages, and making life hard for everybody. The purpose of free speech is not to offend at random. any muslim or christian that vows extremism, is not a muslim or a christian.

  • michelle.fick.3 - 2012-09-21 15:22

    Who are you to judge who is civilised and who is not?

      arne.verhoef - 2012-09-21 15:25

      "When we are talking about moral judgement, we are merely talking about the landscape of our own taboos"

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-09-21 15:23

    also, clearly she is a zealot, not caring about other peoples possible deaths from the repercussions, safe behind her little computer. May you be hung along with all the other extremists, from al-shabaab, through to the west-boro baptist church and the APK

  • mnmwale - 2012-09-21 15:48

    This is a victory of justice and freedom against religious bigotry and intimidation.

  • Arif.Akbar87 - 2012-09-21 16:12

    I think the biggest joke here is that sum ppl can 1. invade other ppls lands 2. use their ppl to grow drugs 3. destroy entire counries 4. attack their holy prophets and beliefs 5. tell them how to live their lives 8. try to drive them out of thier own lands for political gain 6. kill hundreds of innocent women and children every day 7. Create hate speech against all muslims 8. etc, etc, etc and then call them extremists and opposes of free speech when they fight back. Very clever

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-21 17:50

      I recommend informing yourself more about what is really going on. Your community is being decimated by Jihadists and unelected dictators. Are you even aware of this? You haven't said anything about it. Have you done anything?

  • albert.m.burger - 2012-09-21 17:37

    The rest of the world should leave these bunch of hairy sand rats to finish their 3000 year old squabble like a after school fight! Fight Fight Fight!!!!

  • bounca363 - 2012-09-22 10:56

    By posting this up around New York, she just put a billboard up above her that reads "I'm an ass, kill me!"....Where people should unite and support one another and try to mend the past this twat is looking for a fight. LOL

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