The American Freedom Defence Initiative has funded a controversial advertisement to be posted on New York buses, criticising a proposed mosque near ground zero.
New York’s transit agency has given the go ahead for a new bus advertisement showing a plane flying towards the World Trade Center and the words, ‘Why there?’ emblazoned next to a building labelled as a mosque.
The American Freedom Defence Initiative, an organisation that opposes radical Islamic influence in the United States, has funded the controversial ads, scheduled to be posted on city buses within 10 days.
A lawyer for the New-Hampshire-based AFDI describes the decision as ‘A victory not just for free speech but against political correctness.’
The AFDI sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to demand it accept the ad, but a spokesman for the MTA stated that the agency does not endorse the views depicted.
The proposed plans for the mosque have ignited a national debate surrounding the limits of tolerance and the symbolism of ground zero.
Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League condemned the proposal as counterproductive to the healing process.
The pro-Israel, pro-American peace group J Street supports the proposal though, saying: ‘In the battle against violent extremism, core democratic values like respect for minorities and freedom of religion can be potent weapons in ensuring security and advancing tolerance and understanding.’
What do you think? Does America have the right to make a stand against the contentious mosque proposals? Or do you agree with J Street that it will help build relations and religious understanding? Alternatively perhaps you feel that the proposals would provoke more hatred against the Muslim culture?
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