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Americas

Anti-jihad 'savage' ads to appear in NYC subway

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-09-24

The New York transport authority said its “hands are tied” after a court ruled in favour of a conservative blogger who sued for the right to display a pro-Israel ad campaign calling Islamic radicals "savage". The signs go on display starting Monday.

Poster advertisements likening Muslim radicals to savages are set to appear on the New York subway system on Monday after a conservative blogger won a court order allowing them to be displayed.

The provocative ad reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The poster that is set to be displayed in New York

Rightwing writer Pamela Geller, who once led a campaign against an Islamic centre near the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, won the court order in August.

The posters will appear in 10 city subway stations from Monday.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) had initially refused to allow Geller's advertisements to be displayed, calling the message “demeaning”.

But a US District Court Judge ruled last month that she was protected under the First Amendment, which provides freedom of religion and of expression.

“Our hands are tied,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donavan told the Associated Press. “Under our existing ad standards as modified by the injunction, the MTA is required to run the ad.”

The poster campaign will run for one month, at a cost of 6,000 dollars. The same posters have also appeared in recent weeks on buses in San Francisco, where many were defaced with words such as “Defeat Racism” plastered over the word “Jihad”, which means Muslim Holy War.

Geller’s group Stop Islamization of America, has also run ad campaigns in New York with the words: “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism.”

Geller said she was due to file a suit against transport authorities in the US capital Washington, which has said it will not put the posters up because of the uproar in the Middle East over the amateur US film “Innocence of the Muslims” which insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

Geller, who is head of the ultra-conservative American Freedom Defense Initiative, said she was not worried that her advertisements might cause a repeat of the violence that has killed some 30 people, including the US Ambassador to Libya. 

“I will not sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages,” she said.

Date created : 2012-09-23

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