ANTI-ISLAMIC ADS IN NEW YORK SPARKS CONTROVERSY AND CONDEMNED BY MAYOR

One of the ad made by American Freedom Defense Initiative
This is one of the anti-Islam ads made by American Freedom Defense Initiative. (Image: The Telegraph)

New York, 27 Dzulqa’dah 1435/22 September 2014 (MINA) – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned anti-Islamic adverts that are to appear on New York buses starting this week, describing them as “outrageous, inflammatory and wrong”.

Anti-Islamic adverts are to appear on New York buses this week, funded by a pro-Israel group with a history of provocative campaigns.

One features an image of James Foley, the American journalist, flanked by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist taken from the video of his murder and the slogan: “Yesterday’s moderate is today’s headline.”

Alongside is a photograph of the London rapper suspected by some of being “Jihadi John”, the masked man in the video, according to The Telegraph report monitored by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

The American Freedom Defense Initiative has run similar advertisements before, heading off criticism that they enflame public feelings towards Muslims by citing the first amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

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Its president, Pam Geller, defended the ads saying they were designed to put pressure on Muslim communities to root out extremists in the midst. She added that a previous campaign – condemned for depicting a war between civilised men and “savages” – was vindicated by the rapid rise of Isil 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 Islamic State,” she said. “As numerous political leaders, including Barack Obama, call the Isis jihadis “savages” or “barbarians.”

The ads are due to appear on 100 buses and two subway entrances.

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The group has even launched a crowd funding appeal to raise $20,000 (£12,000) to extend the campaign.

The ads have been condemned by New York Mayor

However, the ads have been condemned by Bill de Blasio, New York mayor, who described them as “outrageous, inflammatory and wrong”.

“These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatise when we should be coming together as one city,” he told The New York Daily News on Friday.

One advert featured a photograph of Adolf Hitler, meeting a Muslim leader.

However, one was rejected by New York’s transport authority, for fear it would be seen as a call to violence against Jews.

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It included the quote: “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” with an attribution to Hamas MTV, beside a masked figure before featuring the tag line: “That’s his jihad. What’s yours?”

Last year Ms Geller was barred from entering the UK to join a far-right English Defence League rally in Woolwich. The decision was taken personally by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, on the grounds that her statements may foster hatred and provoke violence. (T/R04/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)