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Detroit Bus System Rejects ‘Leaving Islam?’ Ads as ‘Pure Anti-Muslim Hate’

June 3, 2010 by  


By Anjali Khosla Mullany and Corky Siemaszko, NY Daily News

Motown has no use for the anti-Muslim ads plastered across the sides of buses in New York City.

Detroit’s SMART bus system has rejected the button-pushing placards that read “Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you? Leaving Islam?” – and direct Muslims to a Web site urging them to leave the “falsity of Islam.”

“It’s a purely anti-Muslim hate issue,” Dawud Walid of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told the Detroit News on Friday.

“The SMART bus company, or any bus company, should not be used to marginalize a minority group.”

Defenders of the ads, dreamed up by Manhattan-based right wing blogger Pamela Geller and the New York-based Stop the Islamization of America, say it’s a free speech issue and they have sued.

“Americans have a right to know the truth; Islam is a religion of intolerance and violence,” said Michigan lawyer Richard Thompson, who filed the suit.

“Christians, Jews and other non-Muslim minorities are persecuted in every country where Islam dominates.”

The MTA has not tried to remove the 40 ads, which Geller said cost her group $10,000 for a one-month run, because they do not violate agency advertising guidelines.

In April, the Miami bus system at first rejected the ads but relented when Geller’s group threatened to sue.

A leader in the fight against the proposed mosque near Ground Zero who has Tea Party ties, Geller has been branded a bigot by CAIR and other groups.

She also caused a stir in the right-wing blogosphere by videotaping a denunciation of Palestinian terrorists – while dressed in a bikini.

In an interview with The Daily News, Geller said she didn’t care if Muslims were offended by the ads. “Will it bother Islamic supremacists? Yes,” she said.

csiemaszko@nydailynews.com

12-23

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