Anti-Jihad Ads In NYC Subway Call Islamists ‘Savages’

A new ad campaign is set to go up in New York City’s subway system as violent protest sweep over much of the Muslim world. Blogger Pamela Gellar headed the ad campaign. She began the protests after September 11 against the Islamic mosque that was to be built near Ground Zero. This new campaign takes aim at Islamic Jihad at subways and train stations.

The ad reads,

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

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One Muslim subway rider, Abdul Yasar, thinks the ads are unsettling and may potentially spark more animosity by Muslims in here in the U.S.

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“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. “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.”

The Associated Press reports,

Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, called an order by a federal judge in New York allowing the ads “a victory for the First Amendment” and said she wasn’t concerned that her ad could spark protests like the ones against 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 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 spokesman Paul Browne said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York initially refused to run Geller’s ad, saying it was “demeaning.” But U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled last month that it is protected speech under the First Amendment.

The ads cost around $6,000 for the month.

While the New York Civil Liberties Union said “More offensive would be their censorship because that would violate the guarantee of free expression of all ideas regardless of how distasteful they are,” a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muneer Awad said, “We recognize the freedom of speech issues and her right to be a bigot and a racist.”

Gellar and her group, The American Freedom Defense Initiative, also placed ads in the Metro-North Railroad stations that read: “It’s not Islmaophobia, it’s Islamorealism.”

In Washington, Gellar’s ad was “deferred”, citing the ongoing violence in the Middle East. Dan Stessel, spokesman for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said, “To be clear, we have not rejected the ad,” 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.”

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