An anti-Islamic advertisement is causing a stir in suburban New York with its message of "Islamorealism."
It reads: "19,250 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11/01 (and counting). It's not Islamophobia, it's Islamorealism."
Signs with the message have gone up at several Metro-North Railroad stations in Westchester County, N.Y., according to the Journal News. They're paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, led by activist Pamela Geller -- the same group behind similar anti-jihad ads that recently appeared in San Francisco.
“The message I am trying to send is that it is not ‘Islamophobic’ to oppose jihad terror,” Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs, said in an email to the newspaper. “I’m also trying to highlight the reality and magnitude of Islamic jihad and the mainstream media’s cover-up of it.”
But not everyone agrees: Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner told the New York Daily News he says the advertisements "encourage hatred." He wants to see the profits from the ad campaign donated to help fight discrimination.
"There are many Muslims residing in Greenburgh and in our villages," Feiner said. "They should not be discriminated against. The posters encourage hatred, discrimination and do not help the efforts to fight hate crimes."
John Harris, chairman of the regional Anti-Defamation League in New York, told the Journal News the ads contribute to "stereotyping an entire religion."
"Suspecting every Muslim is secretly a jihadist creates an atmosphere that makes discrimination easier and more acceptable,” Harris said. “There are extremists in every religion whose views reflect hatred and bigotry towards people they don’t understand, and to condemn the entire faith based on the views of a small minority is unwarranted.”
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told the newspaper it doesn't endorse the views expressed in the ad, but doesn't ban advertisements based on their message.