Anti-ground zero mosque ad to run in NYC buses

Last Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 16:18

New York: New York City`s public transport authority has allowed an advertisement, opposing construction of a controversial mosque near ground zero, the 9/11 terror attack site, to appear in the city buses.

The advertisement shows a rendition of the mosque with the words - "Why There?" in the backdrop of a plane heading towards the burning World Trade Centre.

Earlier, the American Freedom Defence Initiative had sued the NYC public transport authority, called the Metropolitan Transport Authority or MTA, for trying to block the advertisements and curtail freedom of speech.

"While the MTA does not endorse the views expressed in this or other ads that appear on the transit system, the advertisement purchased by a group opposing a planned mosque near the World Trade Centre was accepted today after its review under MTA`s advertising guidelines and governing legal standards," the MTA said in a statement.

Pamela Geller, the woman who created the ad is a right-wing writer, wrote in her blog, "This is a great victory for freedom of speech, and we are grateful to our attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise for mounting such an effective defence against politically correct censorship."

The ad can also be viewed on her blog called Atlas Shrugs.

Meanwhile, a CNN poll found that 68 percent of Americans were opposed to building a mosque near the Ground Zero site.

The survey posed the question - "As you may know, a group of Muslims in the US plan to build a mosque two blocks from the site in New York City where the World Trade Centre used to stand. Do you favour or oppose this plan?"

During the past months, conservative factions of the public and polity have opposed the building a mosque on the Ground Zero site but now more groups are rallying against the place of worship.

This project has divided New Yorkers, families of the victims of 9/11, civil society organisations and the public throughout the country and led to protests against constructing mosques in other parts of the US.

"Twin Towers site is too raw," Sarah Palin, former Republican vice presidential candidate, wrote on twitter, last month. "Peace-seeking Muslim, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation," she tweeted. "Pls reject it in interest of healing."

The main proponent of the mosque is Kuwaiti-born Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.


First Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 16:18

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