NEW YORK -- The UK's streets are no stranger to bus sign controversies, with religious, atheists and anti-gay advertisements running or at least being proposed as suitable adornments for the side of the nation’s public transport.
However, a new ad campaign about to hit buses in the US makes Britain’s recent sign furores all look rather stuffy.
Rolling onto the streets of Washington D.C this week will be 20 buses plastered with a picture of Adolf Hitler having a sit down meeting with Haj Amin al-Husseini, a long-dead Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader.
The caption on the poster reads: “Islamic Jew-hatred: It's in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop Racism. End all aid to Islamic countries.”
The posters have been organised by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (ADFI), a group led by blogger Pamela Geller, best known in the UK for being banned by the Home Office ahead of a planned appearance at an English Defence League (EDL) march in Woolwich last year. Geller, along with Robert Spencer, founded the anti-Muslim group Stop Islamization of America, now part of the ADFI.
According to Geller, the advertisements, which call for an end to US aid to Islamic countries, are a response to a series of “vicious Jew-hating ads” that appeared on Washington buses last month paid for by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).
Geller said of the adverts: “My intent is leapfrog over a media that is not even-handed, that is advancing the propaganda against the Jewish state. Many folks are supporting the ad. I’ve gotten hundreds of emails in support of the ad. Let’s be even-handed.”
The Council on American-Islamic relations has spoken out against Geller’s pictures, calling it a propaganda campaign “designed to incite hatred against American Muslims”.