The United States: Advertisements on buses to help to leave Islam

Source: FSSPX News

The American press on May 26th reported on an advertising campaign posted on the sides of buses in New York City which provides information to help to Moslems who wish to leave their religion. The ads ask such questions as: “Leaving Islam? ” “Is your family or your community threatening  you? ” “Fatwa on your head?” They then refer the reader to an Internet site,, which offers information and assistance to those who want to leave Islam. This campaign is coordinated by the conservative activist Pamela Geller and her organization "Stop Islamization of America" (SIOA). “It’s not offensive to Muslims, it’s religious freedom,” she said. “It’s not targeted at practicing Muslims. It doesn’t say ‘leave,’ it says ‘leaving’ with a question mark.” Buses in Miami also sport the same advertisements promoting the Internet site.

Faiza Ali, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in New York, affirmed to the media that Pamela Geller is free to say what she wants but that the concerned members of the Muslim community are also free to express their criticism. She accused Geller using the ads as a cover for her “anti-Muslim bigotry."

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York does not view this ad campaign as a violation of its advertising guidelines. Since the beginning of campaign, on May 14, no complaints have been made, affirmed Kevin Ortiz, spokesman for the MTA. Admittedly, these advertisements are on only 30 of the 6,000 buses which criss-cross the streets of New York.

A demonstration is also planned for midday June 6th at Ground Zero, in response to the approval by the New York City Manhattan Community Board of construction of an Islamic arts centre and mosque two blocks from the site where the attack of September 11, 2001 took place.  The purely advisory vote was 29-to-1 in favour of the plan, with 10 abstentions. “We chose June 6 as the rally date,” Pamela Geller explained, “because it's D-Day. In 1944, Americans acted against the evil of Nazism. Now it is time for Americans to stand up against the evil of Islamic jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism.”

“I think that we have reached a moment where . . . certain emotions are coming to the surface,” asserted Daisy Khan, one of those responsible for the construction project of the Islamic centre. Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer said that "for anyone to imply that a mosque is not appropriate in New York . . . that is just an un-American attitude. . . I'll do everything I can to make sure this mosque does get opened and people have the right to assemble there and practice their religion," he told the Daily News. The Islamic centre will include a sports hall, a theatre and a mosque. (Sources: apic/kna/AP/courrierinternational/AFP - DICI n°216 of the 05/06/10)