NYC's Islamophobic and anti-Arab 'savages' bus ads to go ahead

Published July 21st, 2012 - 09:09 GMT
Anti-Islam and Arab NYC ad campaign set to go public on the Big Apple's buses
Anti-Islam and Arab NYC ad campaign set to go public on the Big Apple's buses

Most Muslim-Americans have lashed out at proposed advertisements be placed on New York City buses that call enemies of Israel “savages.” Muslims argue this is hate speech and they should be removed immediately.

But a federal judge in Manhattan, Paul Engelmayer, said he agree with blogger Pamela Geller that her First Amendment right allows the ads to continue, sparking much concern that Islamophobia in the United States is being allowed to grow and has found support in the judiciary.

“If we decided to put ask for ads saying Israel and Jews were savages, we would be protested and the court would agree with them that they are hate speech so I don’t see the difference here,” said Muslim-American and CUNY student Omar Makram Radwan.

The Pakistani-American, who has lived all his life in New York City, told that “this sort of hate speech is now being tolerated by judges and as Ramadan hits it is very unfortunate. People are angry.”

The judge, however, said that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was wrong in rejecting Geller’s ads.

Geller is the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. She publishes a blog called Atlas Shrugged that warns of growing “Islamization” in the United States and around the world.

The MTA rejected the group’s bus ad, arguing that advertisements should not “demean individuals or groups based on race, religion or other protected categories.”

Engelmayer, in his injunction on Friday, barred the MTA from enforcing its own standards. The case is to be heard again on August 29, and could force the MTA to allow the ads to be placed in public view.

Radwan and others tell that if the ads go up, “there will be widespread anger and protests against what to almost all common person is blatant hate speech against Muslims and Muslim-Americans.”


What are your thoughts on these New York bus ads? Are they blatant racism or freedom of speech?



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