A provocative ad campaign featuring anti-Islamic messages is to run on one hundred New York City buses and two subway stations beginning next week. Costing $100,000, it equates Hamas with Islamic State militants for ‘education purposes.’
The campaign is based on a provocative premise: “Hamas is ISIS”, “Hamas is CAIR in America,”“Islamic Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”
One ad has the title “Yesterday’s Moderate is Today’s Headline” and features two photos. On the left is a photo of Abdel-Majed aka Abdel Bary, a London-based Muslim shown in a recording studio with the caption: “Executioner who beheaded a reporter before he became a jihadist.”
Alongside the photo is the image of journalist James Foley in an orange jumpsuit standing next to a hooded man just before his execution, captioned: “Executioner who beheaded a reporter after being devout.” British intelligence has identified the executioner as Abdel Bary, according to The Guardian.
Across the bottom of the ad runs a line in red ink: “It’s not Islamphobia, It’s Islamorealism.”
Blogger and activist Pamela Geller, the person behind the campaign said it is intended as an“education campaign” to warn of the problems of jihad and Islamic Sharia law, according to the New York Daily News.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it has no choice but to allow the ads to run because of Geller’s freedom of speech rights protected by the First Amendment.
The MTA has tried to fight Geller before on her ad campaigns when her posters labeled the enemies of Israel as “savages”, but the court ruled on the side of Geller.
The MTA has introduced a policy that there has to be a disclaimer, which states the ads are not the opinions of the MTA.
New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said, in a statement to the Daily News, “These ads are outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City, or anywhere. These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city.”
Geller is running an indiegogo campaign to help pay for the ads to appear in other cities.