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Largest Anti-Muslim Ad Campaign Hits NY Subway System

The group behind last year’s anti-Jihadist advertisements on NY subways is planning its largest campaign to date.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/10/2013, 10:15 PM

Anti-Jihadist advertisements
Anti-Jihadist advertisements
Reuters

The group behind last year’s controversial anti-Jihadist advertisements that appeared throughout the New York subway system is planning what is expected to be its largest campaign to date.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative purchased space next to 228 clocks in 39 New York subway stations for ads with an image of the burning World Trade Center and a quote attributed to the Quran saying: “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.”

The clocks are suspended from ceilings above subway platforms in stations across the city.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said the ads went up Monday and will run for a month.

In September, the group displayed similar ads in transit stations, which read “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad” and characterized Islamist opponents of the Jewish state as “savages.”

Nearly all of the ads were vandalized shortly after they had been posted.

Officials at the MTA initially rejected the campaign, citing its demeaning language. However, the American Freedom Defense Initiative sued and in July won a federal court ruling on First Amendment grounds.

In September, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Amended its advertising policy to require all such advertisements to include a disclaimer that they do not imply the authority’s endorsement of their views, The New York Times reported.

The authority’s new guidelines also included prohibitions on ads that the agency “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

The group's executive director Pamela Geller said that the advertisements — intended to be displayed beside actual clocks, not the countdown clocks that predict train arrivals — cost roughly $320 each for a four-week placement — about $70,000 for all the clocks, according to The Times.

She said that the clocks were her latest advertising target “because metaphorically it’s so powerful. The clock is ticking, from a civilizational point of view.”