JVP's Priscilla Read comments on Westchester Metro Ads
‘Islamorealism’ Ads Coming Down In Westchester Metro-North Train Stations
'My Appeal To Everyone Is To Stop Demonizing All Muslims'
CBS New York, September 6, 2012
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some controversial anti-Muslim ads that had been posted at Metro-North train stations in Westchester since last month are coming down. An MTA spokesman said most of the ads have been taken down, saying that they had run their course. But opponents of the ads said the damage has already been done.
“This attack on Muslims is like a boil on our body politic. It needs to be lanced and drained and aired,” Priscilla Read of the Jewish Voice for Peace told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
The ads in question read: “It’s Not Islamophobia, It’s Islamorealism.” The American Freedom Defense Initiative paid for them. The ads associate Islam with 19,250 deadly terrorist attacks carried out by extremists since 9/11. The Defense Initiative is led by blogger and political activist Pamela Geller. She said the message is that it is not “‘Islamophobic’ to oppose jihad terror.”
“I know that they are opportunists who seek to preying on the fears and worries of hard-working Americans,” Rev Dr. Gawain de Leeuw of St. Bartholomew’s Church in White Plains said. Interfaith community leaders gathered in White Plains to denounce the ads.
“The Muslims are frightened. The Muslims are under the microscope,” Chappaqua resident Khusro Elley told Diamond.
Read said the anti-Islam ads point to a larger problem. “We are not going to get rid of this if we remain silent,” Read said.
“My appeal to everyone is to stop demonizing all Muslims,” Elley said.
In July, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel ads appeared at Metro-North stations.
One of those posters depicted the loss of Palestinian land and referred to the people as refugees.
Stemming from these recent controversial ads, the MTA board will review its policies on allowing non-commercial advertisements later this month.