A religious tussle is being played out on the sides of city buses, prompting one MTA board member to wonder if public buses are the place for any religious advertising. Period.
Muslims for Peace paid for ads on the sides of 90 buses that read, “Love for all. Hatred for none. 1-800-WHY-ISLAM.”
“I don’t think we should be having any religious ads on our facilities,” said board member Andrew Albert. “I understand if you run one, you must run them all. The question is: Should we run any of them? Somebody is going to get offended.”
The ads, which will run through the end of this week on buses in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, are meant to “dispel mistrust” some may have about Islam, said Waseem Sayed, of Muslims for Peace.
“There are extremists who are legitimizing terrorist activities in the name of Islam and unless we Muslims tell people, ‘This is not Islam’ ... it will be our fault,” said Sayed.
The ads come shortly after ads ran on buses that asked “Fatwa on your head? Leaving Islam? RefugefromIslam.com.” One Muslim bus driver told Metro he was offended and wanted them taken down.
Sayed said his ads are not a response, but part of a campaign to run in Chicago and San Francisco.