By Courtney Trenwith
Advert featuring James Foley removed after family complaints, but five alternative ads, one featuring Hitler, are still due to run for 4 wks
Anti-Islam ads due to run on New York City buses showing
images of American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by ISIL, have been
pulled after complaints from his family, according to local media.
However, five other ads created by a pro-Israeli group
and approved by New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority were released on
Monday and are scheduled to run on 100 city buses and at two subway stations
for four weeks.
American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) paid $100,000
to run the ads, Al Jazeera America said.
One of the ads equates the Washington-based advocacy
group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with the Palestinian
political and military group Hamas, which the US government considers a
Another features a photograph of Adolf Hitler meeting a
In response to questions about why the five ads will be
permitted to appear within the public bus system, spokesman Kevin Ortiz told Al
Jazeera: “We review every viewpoint ad under the standards, but a series of
court rulings have made clear that our hands are largely tied”.
The MTA has attempted to oppose previous anti-Islam ad
campaigns sponsored by Geller and the AFDI, but the group’s president Pamela
Geller won a lawsuit in July 2012 on the grounds of her constitutional right to
CAIR board member Zeyad Ramadan told Al Jazeera America
his organisation did not plan to launch a counter campaign because it did not
want to draw additional attention to the messages.
However, he said all the ads were offensive and should
not be displayed within the public bus system.
“I don’t think anybody’s making a good enough effort, a
valiant enough effort, to make sure that these nasty ads don’t get put up,”
Geller has defended the ads, denying they would incite
hate of Muslims and declaring it was her right to run them according to free speech.
Geller reportedly said the ads were designed to pressure
Muslim communities to remove extremists and that campaign was vindicated by the
rapid rise of IS in Iraq and Syria this year.
“Controversial during its first run for calling jihadis
‘savages’, now this ad has been abundantly vindicated by the savagery of the
IS,” she was quoted by The Telegraph as
The ads also have been condemned by New York Mayor Bill
de Blasio, who described them as “outrageous, inflammatory and wrong”, but he
has not moved to stop them from running.
170another despicable activity by American Pro Israeli activists using so called freedom of speech to create further hatred and distrust among the general populace. Hopefully most people will recognise the hypocrisy and not stoop to the same level as this group.