New York Trend Online
Serving New York City, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties
0

Anti-Islam Ad Campaign Coming to MTA Buses & Subway Stations

The MTA has faced the harsh reality that the First Amendment is not limited to popular opinion, now that an anti-Islam ad campaign has been approved to run by the organization.

Starting next week, 100 MTA buses and two subway stations in New York City will display advertisements sponsored by Pamela Geller, blogger and head of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The ads take an anti-Islamic (or “Islamorealist,” according to one ad) stance, featuring slogans such as “Yesterday’s moderate is today’s headline,” with a screenshot from the video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

The ads can be seen below:

Proposed ad by Pamela Geller. Via AFDI.us.

Proposed ad by Pamela Geller. Via AFDI.us.

Proposed ad by Pamela Geller. Via AFDI.us.

Proposed ad by Pamela Geller. Via AFDI.us.

Proposed ad by Pamela Geller. Via AFDI.us.

Proposed ad by Pamela Geller. Via AFDI.us.

Even Mayor de Blasio has spoken out against the campaign, calling the ads “outrageous, inflammatory and wrong,” in a statement made to the Daily News. “These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city,” he said.

The MTA’s hands are tied as far as blocking the potentially harmful ads from running, given that a judge ruled in favor of Geller’s First Amendment rights in a previous dispute: In 2011, the MTA prevented Geller from buying advertising space for ads that used defamatory language, a move that was ruled unconstitutional in court a year later because of the political nature of the ads and Geller’s right to free speech.

Since then, the MTA has revised its advertising standards to require a disclaimer on political advertisements that states that the views expressed in the ad do not reflect those of the MTA. Additionally, the MTA is allowed to overrule freedom of speech for cases in which the language used in proposed ads could potentially incite or provoke violence.

This latter rule became the grounds for the rejection of one of Geller’s advertisements that included the phrase “killing Jews,” according to a statement released by the MTA. The statement went on to say that the proposed ad would “lead reasonable observers to interpret it as urging direct, violent attacks on Jews, given turmoil in Gaza, Syria and Iraq and New York City’s heightened security concerns.”

The ads are scheduled to run on Sept. 29. They will be displayed on buses and at the entrances of the 59th Street and Columbus Circle stations on the E line.

About the Author

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.