Skip Nav
30 of Our Favorite Spooky Movie Couples
36 Cute Engagement Announcement Photos From Real Couples
These 30 Disney Princess Tattoos Are the Fairest of Them All

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?


Join The Conversation
True-Song True-Song 9 years
so let the ads run and prosecute the backers for whatever crimes they have committed.
gigill gigill 9 years
I can see why the rep. has a problem with supporting the backers...(what with the backer acting as a character witness for a bomber) I believe in free speech, don't get me wrong but I'm just saying I can see why King isn't happy about the ads. I'm sure the ads themselves are harmless, it's the backers behind them he's worried about.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm off to bed. Have a good night :wave:
bleached bleached 9 years
And just to add, the fact that Wahhaj was a character witness in a terrorism trial does not mean that he himself is a terrorist. There are good chances that Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman didn't broadcast to his community that he was going to bomb the WTC in '93. He could have been a well respected member until those events occurred. Do you know everything your neighbours are doing? And if you testify that a friend of yours who is accused of a crime is a good person, does that make you a criminal too?
bleached bleached 9 years
I'm pretty sure not all people joined their ranks as children. Although you can argue that brainwashing at a young age happens in many religions. But in any case, I don't see how informative subway ads will incite people to join the Jihad and detonate a bomb (even if ONE of the backers is possibly not on the up and up... no one ever said that Wahhaj is playing a major role in the ads)
zeze zeze 9 years
Dave, you know "madrassa" just means "school" right, as in any school - it seems like you do, but I had to point it out after how silly new anchors sound saying in a shocked tone "Did Obama attend a 'madrassa'" as if madrassa meant "terror camp" or something.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Actually, they convince the parents to send their kids to a specific madrassa, and then brainwash the kids there.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
(Blargh! Wrong "its"! Darnit.)
bleached bleached 9 years
How do you get people into a fanatical group? You don't say "come on! Let's go bomb clinics!" Actually, that is exactly what the Taliban do. They enlist people to join their Jihad. The people who join know exactly what they are getting into.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I think that comment refers to the post generally, not you. Just guessing since its the first comment by that user on this post.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
But aren't the ads just promoting Islam? And as I said above, if they're linked back to any kind of nutbag group, I can see why we might pause, but they're directing people to whyislam dot org. There's nothing controversial in the website, it's just trying to explain Islam to people, with stuff like... "Prominent Muslim scholars, organizations and movements, representing the vast majority of Muslims worldwide, have repeatedly condemned terrorism, and have spoken out for peace and justice. Following is a very brief list of such open condemnation of terrorism, including statements issued in the wake of the heinous attacks on September 11. " I don't see why we would prevent, say, Timothy McVeigh from paying for an ad that directs someone to christianity dot com.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Why is that hypocritical? I haven't made any reference to any religion. I think any posters with links to fanatacism should not be allowed.
krazykarot krazykarot 9 years
wow it's not surprising but oh so hypocritical; I can't even try to count how many various christian posters and ads I see on the subway.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
How do you get people into a fanatical group? You don't say "come on! Let's go bomb clinics!" You start with something innocuous, earn their trust, and then stear their thinking. The whole point of the marketing could be to get new recruits to bend to his will.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
"If someone supports, or at the very least doesn't condem fanaticism should not be allowed to actively market to the masses." Really? Even if their message is non-fanatical?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I always thought flossing soft puppies kept them soft...
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
If someone supports, or at the very least doesn't condem fanaticism should not be allowed to actively market to the masses.
stephley stephley 9 years
Everyone should floss soft puppies?
True-Song True-Song 9 years
But even if the person is a fanatic, should we ban their ads if the ads are reasonable? If they lead you to, say, a website with crazy lessons on terrorism or something, okay. But are we saying that if a crazy religious zealot wants to put up signs that say something innocuous like, "Puppies are soft, and everyone should floss!" we should deny them?
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I'm glad no one here supports bombing abortion clinics. Yay for that. But we also don't get all weird about white Christians when they do bomb abortion clinics though. That's the difference with the people who flew plans into the WTC. Suddenly we're nervous about all Arab people? All muslims? Not okay!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Which is a good idea. I hope they allow all religions to do this. I also think it is OK to scrutinize the funding of the marketing. If the person funding it is fanaticle, then it's a good bet that the group has fanatical leanings.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Which may be why they are wanting to do this subway campaign, Dave, to counter some of the misconceptions people have about Islam. They may want people to know that a few fanatics don't speak for the whole religion.
bleached bleached 9 years
"I don't condone the bombing of abortion clinics" I'm pretty sure the majority of Muslims don't condone those responsible for 9/11 either... People are afraid of what they don't understand, which is why I think that having ads that raise awareness and understanding are a good idea
True-Song True-Song 9 years
And, more recently, shoot up the LA Jewish Community center (1999), bomb Oklahoma City (1995), burn down churches (1998), and bomb the Olympics (1996).
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Let's not go back to the crusades. I don't condone the bombing of abortion clinics. And Christians aren't the only ones who have decimated indigenous populations. I was pointing out that in this day and age, anti-islamic attitudes (especially in NY, NY) are going to be prevalent.
Who Is the Best Once Upon a Time Character of 2016?
Transgender Texas Woman Posts About Bathroom Bill
Demi Lovato and Brad Paisley Hand in Hand Performance Video
How to Travel Alone With Anxiety
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds