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The Call Blog: After Anti-Jihad Subway Posters, MTA Alters Ad Policy

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Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at thecall@ny1.com and we'll post it to our blog.



I commend the MTA for trying to quell this firestorm before it started. It doesn't want to bring unwanted attention to our subways and buses. It doesn't want commuters to be targets, any more than they already are. I respect that.

And, I'd add one more thing to the disclaimer for future ads. In addition to a name, I want to see a photo of the person paying for the ad. It's not surprising that the most aggressive haters on Twitter are the ones hiding behind avatars with fake names. #cowards



Days after controversial anti-Jihad posters were defaced underground, the MTA Board voted to slightly amend its policy on non-commercial ads. The transit agency decided today not to ban political ads, even if it considers them to be "demeaning." It will continue to ban messages it deems to be "incendiary." Sources say MTA leadership will decide which ads fall into these categories.

From now on, ads expressing a viewpoint on a political, moral or religious issue must include a disclaimer explaining who paid for it, and that the message isn't endorsed by the MTA. The decision follows a campaign with posters reading: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

Do you agree with the MTA's decision not to ban all political and religious messages from subway stations and buses? Do you welcome a disclaimer explaining who is behind the paid messages? What's your reaction to the ten posters being defaced hours after they were hung on Monday?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



I don't think things like anti jihadist posters should be put up because they build tension and anger. How are we all equal if we allow posters like this, that attack a kind up? How do we form a utopia like this? How do we encourage diversity like this? How do we show care like this? What are we teaching the future generations like this? - I'm 16 and would be very hurt to see things like anti religion or jihadist post up, I face enough comments from my fellow adult citizens already. I feel uncomfortable in most cases already. Thanks for hearing my opinion.

Sal



Anything that can be done to quell the effects of ads which basically inflame people's emotions and reactions is a positive step.

Felix
Bay Ridge



Hi John,

My first words last evening were who is responsible for doing this and that includes someone had to think of it and another had to finance it. I always ask who are the ones paying for all of these park and bicycle lane, etc. Also now Bloomberg comes up with this idea of a Ferris wheel in Staten island. Who's paying for this and also this Bloomberg is meeting with Netanyahu. Why I ask is because the president refused to meet with him or any other heads of state. Both have their minds on getting on their jets to go wherever. One is on an island and the other is campaigning.

THEY SHOULD BOTH TAKE CARE OF THE BUSINESS THAT CONCERNS THEM AND NOT GO ASTRAY. THE MAYOR SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THE 5 BOROUGHS WHICH HE SEEMS TO IGNORE CONSTANTLY AND THE PRESIDENT SHOULD WORRY ABOUT THE SITUATION AT HAND WHICH HAPPENS TO BE ABOUT TERRORISM.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



I am a muslem and i saw this ad in the train station weeks ago, i didnt want to give the person who put it up any of my time because i know that they are baiting us muslems and want to stir up trouble so they can plaster it up all over the world giving us a worse reputation than the media already gives us! Whoever put them up is an ignorant instigator and i dont have the energy to fight the media that is run by them anyway! I ask my fellow muslems to peacefully protest and not give those troublemakers that satisfaction and have faith that god will resolve it for us!Follow the teachings of our prophet who fought anger with kindness and remember this is the eve of the holy day friday! Peace and blessings to all!

Ayman



This is a completely unethical decision that encourages hate and war! This is not freedom of speech, it is a shameful and cowardly act against Islam and Muslims. Promoting hate is evil and there is no justification in it what so ever. The ads should not be put up and those that are should be torn down! These ads are basically recruiting people to go against Islam/Muslims and referring to them as "savages". Even though, it is not written as so, it is very much implied. How dare you! How dare you Mayor Bloomberg justify those ads as if it was something minor or insignificant that they are insinuating. This is a defamation of Muslims everywhere! If we had an ad calling Israel "savages," those ads would never see the light of day. It is hypocracy and it's unfair. As the mayor of a diversified city, you should have more respect and tolerance to all and not choose one group of people over another. That is what you are doing, whether you care to admit it or not. Including an ad disclaimer means nothing. The hateful words will resonate more to those who view those ads. You mention "balance". This is not balance, its not even close. You are given more rights to those who are pro-Israel and silencing Muslims. We are not the enemy and we should not be implied as such either. We are suppose to work towards a unified nation, not promoting genocide! Your allowing these ads will encourage more hate towards Muslims and will cause us to be targets. These ads only invite violence. How could you possibly call this "balance".

NYC Muslim



This is pathetic and totally racist!!! Who gives them the right to call anyone savages? I thought this country was called the united states? We should be united and support one another. Freedom of speech doesn't mean criticizing ones religion and beliefs. I feel like the Muslim people have suffered enough!! Islam means peace, not war. Jihad means to struggle for success not HOLY WAR!!! Muslims are being degraded and it needs to stop. It's also a shame how our political representatives such as guiliani and especially bloomberg allow such criticism!! Disgraceful!!!

Raja



I disagree with the MTA's decision not to ban all political and religious messages from subway stations and buses. I do not welcome a disclaimer explaining who is behind the paid messages. These ads are bias and will cause friction and chaos amongst people who are poorly represented in the media. The people who are behind the ads know this and are looking to persuade the majority of those people with their bias beliefs through the media. If those ads were about Jews they would be brought up on charges for being anti Semitic. These ads are purely anti Islamic and anti Muslim!

M.M.



I don't think it's a good idea to post religious messages because all its doing is causing people to become angry. Just like we're not aloud to talk about religion in schools we shouldn't leave messages in subways. If its not a positive message it should not be posted anywhere. Bloomberg should find something better to do then pick on Muslims all the time.

Diana



I think its mean and cruel and very racist that muslims always get targeted, and now at mta's too. It will only cause more hatred and problems to adults and kids taking the trains.

A.M.



So the MTA did something halfway right for a change, like the old saying goes even a broken clock is right twice a day. As I have said before this is a matter of free speech, so no matter how unnecessary I feel it is these people have a right to voice their opinion. The thing that gets me is why are people here in New York City (and this country as a whole) being pulled into matters that really, at the end of the day, have nothing to do with us. There is something unjust going on right now, somewhere, to somebody, and most people will never hear about or care about it if they did. The current (and ongoing) events in Israel and the Middle East as a whole make for provocative news, but I think we have enough of our own problems right here to worry about.

As for the purpose of the ads themselves, on the heels of that ridiculous YouTube video, this just seems like someone trying to bait someone else into a fight. And as usual America is the stupid guy who gets dragged into while someone else holds their coat, and then leaves when things get messy. The woman who you interviewed the other night was quick to invoke images of 9/11 when defending her ads, but how much money if any has she or her organization given the to families of victims and first responders? And you should have asked her along with the savages (code for Muslim in her mind) that must be fought, what is the purpose of Israel forcing Jewish women of Ethiopian decent in Israel onto birth control? Let's be honest, no one is a saint when it comes to their own best interests, what religion you hide behind doesn't matter at the end of the day.

RL
The Bronx



I think what's going on its wrong and racist what the mayor is going to cause is hatred and anger towards all the Muslims and its not fair my opinion is he should put a stop to this because cause its not t fair to all of Muslims.

John



i think the mayor is wrong because it is not fair for all muslims.

Yousef



Please don't put any ads to discriminate any religion. Free of speech does not mean to mock other believes/religions.

Saaima



I believe these ads are discriminating against muslims and should be banned. Freedom of speech is a "right" that all Americans have but should be used cautiously. People should not be allowed to insight racist remarks that could ignite negative feelings into the hearts of people.

Anonymous



The disclaimer for these ads is a joke! I know it's a free speech issue, but they could have done more. The MTA is trying to save their own skin from the court of public opinion.

Mike from Morningside



The disclaimer shows that the ACLU & MTA can agree on one thing. Freedom of speech? Nope. C.Y.A.

Jimmy from the bronx.



I think that it's wrong what the mayor wants to do I disagree with them trying to put up ads agance Muslims because that's just gana cause more hate and problems and we do not want that to happen so I think it's wrong.

Ali



Freedom of Speech comes with a responsibility. Ms. Geller's ads are tantamount to the same hate speech spewed by the KKK and other hate organizations in this country. The MTA's disclaimer is outrageous and is hardly a solution. Will the MTA then put up everyone's hate speech?

A.K.



Would the MTA also post ads from the KKK? Their hate speech, though unpleasant, is also protected. Or how about the Al Qaida exclaiming, "Death to America?" I would prefer a Playboy/girl centerfold, which would at least be less inflammatory, even if inappropriate. So where does the MTA draw the line on our beleaguered First Amendment anyway? Sounds arbitrary to me.

Gretchen - UWS



I think the disclaimer is a good idea but I also believe that this sign in the subway could easily be putting the entire subway system and all of it's riders in danger. There's no place for hate messages in such a crowded, confining space. Outside, at least you can run.

Nancy
Hells Kitchen



The MTA is a government corporation and should not be posting any political or religious ads. You don't expect it when walking into a government building, why would it be o.k. in a public transportation system? At minimum, it should be put up to an online poll for MTA riders to vote on whether or not they want to see such ads.

Frank, Sunset Park, Brooklyn



I PAID GOOD MONEY TO THE MTA SO I COULD GO TO WORK. I DON'T NEED TO BE FORCE TO SEE GARBAGE LIKE THIS SO THE MTA CAN MAKE A PROFIT.

PEDRO
BRONX



I believe a Public space the magnitude of MTA Subways are NO place for Political / Religious messages. Yes, I am an advocate of free speech but we must excersize some level of responsibility for those words we chose to showcase and who can be affected or offended. I think its clear here, who the "uncivilized -to NOT use the term "savages"- are!

Sam



Ok really? Whats up with these things? No one should hate one other ppl. I totally support those new yorkers that deface those posters. Anyway, they're not the real criminals. Mta has the right to bring those crap posters down.

-Allison



As disappointed as I am that such messages are part of the MTA landscape, such freedom of speech is what makes America the free country that it is. My only hope is that it inspires constructive opposition and education on the topics at hand, not violence. It is disgusting, but it is American.

Robin, Manhattan



Is it ok to use the exact same words in a different ad but only thing different is "defeat kkks"... I bet a lot of those who are in support of pamella's ad view point would change.

M.D.



So we should acquiesce to the only group, Muslims, that react with overt physical violence by banning free speech?

I wonder if these libs are aware that they are siding with the group that genitally mutilates its women and beheads it's gays.

Unbelievable, really.
Jessica, Kew Gardens



What would happen if a Neo-Nazi or KKK group wanted to buy space for political ads? Why is the MTA - a public agency required or even allowed to sell space to people with political agendas?

Paul



I think any Jew who wants to defend Israel should get on a plane and join the Israeli army, as an American I don't think his middle eastern conflict needs to be brought to our streets and make our country and state a second front line. I am not anti Semitic and I love my Jewish friends and family and deeply appreciate the diversity the bring to my life but I think that the high volumes of Jews in new York is allowing them the leverage to be bullies and try to put down all Arabs all Muslims and anyone who is opposed to Israel. Last time I checked we have a right to oppose any decision from our government specially when it involves war. I think opinions bashing a whole religion should not be allowed to be posted in a public place. I think calling that woman calling the arabs savages makes her look foolish and hateful and feeds the antisemetic sentiment felt by another group of foolish people. Simply put the ad is not helping its making things worse its shameful and Jews should also feel ashamed and to be represented by such a hateful ad. And any new Yorker who is smart should stand against hate on our streets. I think the mta could've found another 6000$ elsewhere

-Franklyn
East Harlem



John -

I agree with Pamela Geller that most of the comments tonight are missing the point! The Anti-jihad Ad is NOT against Muslims or any religious group. It's against Jihad. Jihadists ARE savages! If you want to call it a hate ad then call it what it is - a hate ad against HATERS!!!

Dennis in Hamilton Heights



Hello Mr Schiumo and everyone at NY1,

I truly do feel that both Ms. Geller and the federal Judge who ruled against the taking down of these posters are truly mistaken in supporting and allowing these posters to remain. Ms. Geller does not even understand the message that is being sent with these ads, to use such a heavy term as savage and "choosing" the civilized man and the following words "Support Israel" evokes in people-especially in this day of age-that the only savage that this ad is talking about is, unfortunately, a Muslim person, before the thought of a Jihadist. This type of shameful message is playing along the lines of the racism that blacks faced in this city not too long ago. I am all for freedom but not at the expense of psychological warfare with my fellow people. (I am completely against most ads but for the nature of the issue we are talking about, I will not go on further on other ads.) Thank you.

Armend



The MTA ADS is symbolizes Hitler's initial acts of hate, then it slowly increased to genocide. We as Americans need to learn from our history and correct our negative patterns.

Farjana



With so many Positive quotes and sayings to say.. A racial remark is advertised. So many people are already under so much stress, are under pressure, lost of jobs, poverty level has gone up, cancers, etc... Why not give a better greeting to bring hope to New Yorkers instead of promoting more war. The war that hasn't ever ended!

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
Aristole



hi i want everyone to know that "this war" the ad is referring to is a war between palestinians and israel and palestinians are under occupation thru americans paid taxes. why should we support israel any further, billions of dollars sent to a country the size of brooklyn. support america instead. stop hate

A.H.



This is insanity...Putting up posters like this wont help anyone. This is not freedom of speech...this is a way to make money through media. MTA is getting paid for this and it is shameful. Crossing the limit of Freedom of speech is called Racism. Pam states that she didn't specifically pointed at Muslims but she used the term "Jihad" which is an Islamic terminology, hence she is indirectly imposing Muslims as Savages. I thought this was The United States...Pam is taking a negative step and it won't help anyone; especially by posting it in the MTA. Instead of making/bringing positive change. you're making it worse...

Laraib from NY



Good afternoon, my name is Maile & I live in Queens NY. As for your topic from tonight's edition of "The Call", I agree with Mr. Bloomberg, the Judge who allowed these posters to be hung was absolutely correct. We live in a country which allows freedom of speech & any person who is offended by this American Liberty is welcome to leave. I don't feel that Americans should have to walk on egg shells just because a small group of people have misinterpreted a message. As for those who do feel offended, they should grow a thicker skin & grow up. Even as young children we are taught that "sticks & stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you"...



John,

I'm for the ads. Run them everywhere. If the Jihadist can't co-exist with freedom of speech, they must be a very intellectually lame lot.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI

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