Cultural organizations denounce ads that call jihad ‘savage’

These ads were posted in 10 subway stations.

A coalition of organizations is speaking out against new ads posted in subway stations Monday that refer to jihad as “savage” and call for support of Israel.

The Interfaith Center of New York, joined by other groups including the Cordoba Initiative and Jews Against Islamophobia, are denouncing the ads, calling them “dangerous” and “hate speech.”

The posters, paid for by political advocacy group American Freedom Defense Initiative, read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

“It’s not only a problem because we feel it is hate speech aimed at a specific group, but also dangerous because it uses strong language like the word ‘savage,’” Annie Rawlings of the Interfaith Center of New York said.

Rawlings said the ad is also raising concerns about the safety of Muslims and Sikhs, who are often mistaken for Muslims.

“We’ve already seen violent actions against those groups — we just saw the Wisconsin [Sihk temple] shootings, and so it’s not a great stretch to be worried about it,” Rawlings said. “There are always people who are easily inflamed, and I think it’s not only troublesome speech, it’s dangerous speech.”

“May God forgive those behind this ad for any intent to create hostility,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, added. “May God open their hearts so that they work with us to eliminate savagery.”

Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, told Metro last week that the ads are not directed at all Muslims.

“It refers to those who rejoice in the murders of innocent civilians. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians,” Geller said.

But Rawlings fired back that the word “jihad” has taken on a negative connotation associated with the entire Muslim community.  

“The problem with hate speech is that it’s unnuanced,” Rawlings said. “I think the ad is one that makes a direct connection in peoples’ minds because people associate the word ‘jihad’ with Muslims.”

On September 10, the organizations denouncing the ads sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging him to “stand up to the politics of fear” and publicly speak out against the posters.

The MTA initially rejected the ads, but was forced to post them after losing the case in federal court in July on grounds of free speech. The Interfaith Center of New York said Bloomberg still could have issued a “reminder that New Yorkers have come together in times of crisis, across many lines of diversity.”

“It’s important to remember how we have and do come together and to not let groups inflame our senses of suspicion about each other, which is what the ads do,” Rawlings said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Gossip

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

Music

Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…