As some people spray-paint and vandalize the anti-Islam subway ads currently posted in 10 New York City subway stations, others are using different, more legal methods to discredit the Islam-o-phobic message in the ads, which compares Muslims to “savages.”
Sojourners magazine, a faith-based “social justice” publication, says it plans to purchase ad space from the MTA to launch its “Love Your Muslim Neighbor” ad campaign, noting that the Gospel of Matthew “wasn’t just a suggestion.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the controversial ad campaign, here’s the gist: The campaign is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense, a pro-Israeli group that is apparently cool with pissing off the entire city.
The ad says “In the war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
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.
It didn’t take long for vandals to hit the ads — and for someone to get arrested.
It’s unclear when the “Love Your Muslim Neighbor” ads will start popping up — Sojourners CEO Jim Wallis says the group plans to buy the ads some time soon.
“What we are finding is that such simple and positive peacemaking messages (especially in situations of religious conflict) strike deep and responsive chords in many people — religious and nonreligious alike,” Wallis says.
In related news, the MTA announced today that it will start posting disclaimers on certain ads stating that “This is a paid advertisement sponsored by [Sponsor]. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 27, 2012