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Anti-Muslim Ads Return to NYC Subways
by Rebecca Nelson
The new year has brought new anti-Islam attack ads to New York City's subway system.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, a conservative organization infamous for its controversial take against the Islamic faith, has purchased ad space in 39 subway stations across New York City. When passengers look up to check the time on 228 of the subway system's clocks, they'll also see a photo of flames engulfing the World Trade Center accompanied by a quote, attributed to the Quran: "Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers."
The group is well-known for its inflammatory ads. Last September, the AFDI ran ads implying Muslim radicals were "savages," declaring: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man." Though the Metropolitan Transportation Authority initially rejected the ads, the AFDI sued, citing their right to free speech. The court ruled in favor of the organization and its outspoken executive director, Pamela Geller, and the ads went up in 10 subway stations. But New Yorkers didn't take well to the posters — Geller told New York City's WCBS 880 that "all 10 were defaced or destroyed within an hour." An Egyptian-American activist and journalist was arrested after publicly spray-painting one of the ads.
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