NYC bus ads asking 'Leaving Islam?' cause a stir

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Ghareeb_Da_Baal, May 27, 2010.

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  1. Ghareeb_Da_Baal
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    Ghareeb_Da_Baal SENIOR MEMBER

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    NYC bus ads asking 'Leaving Islam?' cause a stir

    By DEEPTI HAJELA
    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, May 26, 2010; 9:45 PM

    NEW YORK -- The questions on the ads aren't subtle: Leaving Islam? Fatwa on your head? Is your family threatening you?

    A conservative activist and the organizations she leads have paid several thousand dollars for the ads to run on at least 30 city buses for a month. The ads point to a website called RefugefromIslam.com, which offers information to those wishing to leave Islam, but some Muslims are calling the ads a smoke screen for an anti-Muslim agenda.

    Pamela Geller, who leads an organization called Stop Islamization of America, said the ads were meant to help provide resources for Muslims who are fearful of leaving the faith.

    "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."

    Geller said the ad buy cost about $8,000, contributed by the readers of her blog, Atlas Shrugs, and other websites. Similar ads have run on buses in Miami, and she said ad buys were planned for other cities.

    Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said Geller's ad was reviewed and did not violate the agency's guidelines.

    "The religion in question would not change the determination that the language in the ad does not violate guidelines," MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Wednesday.

    All ads are screened, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. Most are reviewed by the company that handles the MTA's advertising opportunities, but some are sent to the MTA for ultimate approval.

    Last month, Miami-Dade Transit pulled the ads from 10 buses after deciding they "may be offensive to Islam," according to The Miami Herald. But the agency decided to reinstall them after reviewing the ads with the county attorney's office.

    The county decided "although they may be considered offensive by some, they do not fall under the general guidelines that would warrant their removal," Transit spokesman Clinton Forbes told the newspaper.

    Glenn Smith, a professor at California Western School of Law in San Diego, said discriminating against the ads could result in First Amendment issues for the city.

    While people may find the content objectionable, courts have ruled that the First Amendment requires Americans to put up with "a lot of unenlightened and objectionable messages," he said.

    "It's sort of the price of keeping government out of the marketplace of ideas," he said.

    Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment expert at UCLA School of Law, said the ads could leave some Muslims reluctant to ride the bus. There could also be a risk that some extremist groups might bomb the buses, although that possibility wouldn't limit free speech rights, he said.

    The agency had received no complaints since the ads went up on May 14, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. The 30 or so buses with the ads pass through all five boroughs of the city.

    Council member Robert Jackson, a Muslim, said he had not seen the ad. But he questioned the criteria the MTA uses in determining what is appropriate.

    He also takes issue with the content. He doesn't believe anyone is being forced to stay in a religion, especially in America, which was built on religious freedom.

    "I think this is a campaign by the extreme right, those that are against the Muslim religion," he said. "Quite frankly, I would think the average New Yorker would take it for what it's worth."

    Faiza Ali, of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the ads were based on a false premise that people face coercion to remain with Islam. She said Muslims believe faith that is forced is not true belief.

    "Geller is free to say what she likes just as concerned community members are free to criticize her motives," Ali said.

    Geller has a history of speaking out against Muslims, and the ads are "a smoke screen to advance her long-standing history of anti-Muslim bigotry," Ali said.

    Geller said she had no problem with Muslims, but was working to "maintain the separation of mosque and state." She is also among those speaking out against the building of a mosque and cultural center near ground zero.
  2. notsuperstitious
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    notsuperstitious BANNED

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    So many ads advocating people to join one religion or the other, one offers leaving services, big deal.
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  3. deepak75
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    deepak75 FULL MEMBER

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    Sort of like a conversion invitation or helpline or may be like a "Daawat". But coming close to facebook blot, it may be considered as another zionist conspiracy. May be Indians will also be lucky to be included in the bad guys. Surely will be a controversy....
  4. Aslan
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    Aslan SENIOR MEMBER

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    I wonder what will be the reaction of the main stream, if the add had read want to leave christianity, call us? We will help. And What would have been the reaction of the 2 posters above me. It seems that you guys dont leave a stone unturned when it comes to taking cheap shots at Muslims dont you.
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  5. deepak75
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    deepak75 FULL MEMBER

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    I have myself been offered "Daawat" by 6 friends. Twice in Dubai, once in K.L, and other times in India. I did not find anything wrong with that. If friends like us and they identfy with us then they have every right to show their appreciation. If someone is inviting you to convert without any money or other motivation involved then it is plain that they want to be closer to you.

    Now that you know the above about me, go back and re-read my post. You will find that there were no cheapshots in my post except for the conspiracy part which I know will come from Pakistan.
  6. forcetrip
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    forcetrip PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    I dont deny the existance of conspiracies, but making them a bed time story for the illinformed become the problem the world over. The main part is what are we gonna do if there is a spec of chance that this so called conspiracy is true? are we gonna educate the masses that there are converts from all walks of life and religions or are we gonna print some banners and flags and burn the bus that we go to work on?
  7. su-47
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    su-47 SENIOR MEMBER

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    you know if the woman was sincere about her aim to help those who want to leave religion, she should have put an ad saying, "Leaving your religion?" Its as if she assumes people only want to leave Islam.

    I am sure there are people in every religion who want to leave their religion. just targeting Islam was a cheap shot
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  8. Aslan
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    Aslan SENIOR MEMBER

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    May be you should make that as your signature and so that the next time I will read your comments as a matter of fact any one who reads them would know about your personal experiences.

    And the below is what you had to say about the issue. You made it sound like we are so obcessed with the whole raw, mosad, and other cr@p that we dont have any thing better to do. Yes there are conspiracy theorists. But then not all of them are false, there will be smoke only when there is fire. So the whole face book debacle was a stunt pulled on purpose just because they wanted to insult our beloved Prophet. And yet all you could see in that was a conspiracy mentioned by some others. And many of your brethren if you are not one of them have defended the whole cartoon debacle. So what does that tell about the mind set of your country men. Now if you are to judge every thing in the guises of a conspiracy because some of us are involved in believing them, then by above mentioned reason we can judge all of you by the same scale.

    Already answered. And not all conspiracies are false. And in case if you had missed it the add is not a dawah but is asking people to leave a religion with out offering a substitute. If the intention is to get some one away from religion then may be they should change the word Islam and write the word religion under it.

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  9. Aslan
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    Aslan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Thank you that is exactly the point I was trying to make.......
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  10. Ahmad
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    Ahmad SENIOR MEMBER

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    Just leave it. She spent her money , good for her. why do we always get teased so easily? lets ignore it.
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  11. qsaark
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    qsaark SENIOR MEMBER

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    In a way its good; Islam really needs to get rid of those who are following it for the namesake. There are many who are called Muslims or viewed as Muslims by others only because they were born to Muslim parents; such folks have no respect for Islam nor do they follow it. Ideally, this add should have come from some Muslim organization for those who want to quit Islam. That way both will get rid of their misery, the half hearted namesake followers, and to greater extent, the religion Islam itself. The Islamic Scholars argue that once a person is entered in Islam, he/she must not leave Islam and if attempted, he/she will be declared 'murtid' and sentenced to death according to Sharia. I think this concept needs to be revised and those who want to leave, must be encouraged to do so. Islam does not need sheer number of followers, Islam needs good quality followers, who follow Islam in its real spirit as described in Quran and Hadith.
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  12. Aslan
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    Aslan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Ahmed its not about getting teased, the problem is that there should be some counter measures in place peaceful ones of course that has to be employed to make sure that these things dont happen so easily. But the problem is the lack of unity amongst our selves. In todays world if something happens in the US the whole of Europe is with them because of their christian lineage. A jew is a jew no matter what country he belongs to. But we as Muslims pay way too much attention to our nationalistic values (me included). We can still be the citizens of our nations, but at the same time have to unite as Muslims as well. Because the bundle of wood is always stronger then individual sticks.
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  13. Prometheus
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    Prometheus SENIOR MEMBER

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    just checked that site.................seems like the ad is against another ad( dont beat me........I am posting from that site)

  14. forcetrip
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    forcetrip PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    They have their agenda and that is to defame islam or if not that severe, then not to defame other religions. Why should they deviate from their agenda? There will be more of these kinds of shots and lots of them. How are we preparing for them is the question. People want to play chess but with no opponent.
  15. Aether
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    Aether PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    who cares yaar - Its America - they want to control the growing population of Muslims, they want to control the increasing number of conversions taking place in Islam. They are a Christian country if they are starting such a compaign let them do it.

    Follow your religion and let others do whatever they want

    Mitti Pao
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