It has been less than 48 hours since anti-Islamic subway ads went up in 10 New York City subway stops, and — as we predicted/perhaps encouraged — several of them already have been vandalized.
In one case of alleged vandalism — which was caught on tape, and you can see below — a self-described Egyptian-American named Mona Elthaway spray paints not only one of the ads but also a woman who was trying to protect it.
The New York Post just happened to have a film crew on the scene for what is clearly a publicity stunt Elthaway’s courageous demonstration of civil disobedience.
On at least six of the other locations, the word “Racist” — as seen in the photo above — was posted over the ads, according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, which says it has nothing to do with the vandalism.
Islam, for the ignorant vandals out there, is a religion, not a race.
The campaign is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense, a pro-Israeli group that is apparently cool with pissing off the entire city.
Initially, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority declined to approve the ads due to the “demeaning” message it conveys. However, a federal judge ruled in July that not allowing the ads violated the First
Amendment rights of the AFD.
As we mentioned in prior posts, “making graffiti” — like spray painting over overtly offensive ads on New York City subways — is only a misdemeanor in New York. And that’s only if you get caught. Just sayin’.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 26, 2012