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Congressman Targets Islamic Subway Ads — Train Wreck?

The Islamic faith may be getting a ticket to ride — the New York City subways that is. A series of ads selling Islam are planned to hit cars in September — unless one US congressman has his way. Rep. King (R-NY) says advertising for Allah is fine — but he thinks the people sponsoring the messages unacceptable.

The 1,000 posters set to grace the subway's 6,200 cars are sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America and showcase Q&A style headlines like, "Head Scarf?" or "Prophet Muhammad?" followed by "You deserve to know."

One cleric promoting the campaign said:

The idea is to evoke certain thoughts in the mindset of the person who is looking at the ads and get them to a point where they can reflect upon certain words that one could define as hot words or key words that get thrown around a lot but are not necessarily defined in the most proper context.

Why would Rep. King have a problem with that? It's not the ad, it's the money behind it. One of the backers is Siraj Wahhaj, imam of a Brooklyn mosque. Though he was the first Muslim to lead a prayer before the House of Representatives, he was also a character witness for convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman.

King (also a ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee) says, "he is a known Islamic extremist, and you would be giving him credibility and stature through a known government facility." King is asking the MTA to can the campaign. Should they?


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