New York City straphangers will have something controversial to read once September rolls around. That is when ads promoting Islam are slated to appear in one thousand of the system's subway cars. While there is nothing wrong with groups purchasing advertisements to tell others about their faith, the collection of radicals involved in this campaign is cause for concern:
The main sponsor is a grassroots organization, Islamic Circle of North America.
The ads, simple black-and-white panels, will feature key words or phrases about Islam on one side of the panel such as "Head Scarf?" or "Prophet Muhammad?" and the words "You deserve to know" along with the website address WhyIslam.org on the other side.
"The idea is to evoke certain thoughts in the mindset of the person who is looking at the ads and get them to a point where they can reflect upon certain words that one could define as hot words or keywords that get thrown around a lot but are not necessarily defined in the most proper context," said New York University's Imam Khalid Latif, a cleric who is promoting the project in a YouTube video created by the Islamic Circle.
Another of the backers of the advertising campaign — which will launch in September to coincide with the monthlong Islamic holiday of Ramadan — is Siraj Wahhaj, imam of a Brooklyn mosque.
Wahhaj, who stars in the low-quality YouTube video, was designated a potential co-conspirator during the trial of blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and his followers, who were convicted of plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning subsequent attacks on New York City landmarks. He later served as a character witness for Rahman. Wahhaj is also known for promoting polygamy, questioning Osama bin Laden's role in 9/11, touting the virtues of martyrdom, and warning that the United States will fall unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda."
The Islamic Circle of North America is equally troubling. ICNA has close ties to Jamaat-e-Islami, a Pakistani arm of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, and is identified in a MB memo as a friendly organization that could help Muslims "understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within." In addition, ICNA has been investigated as part of a U.S. Senate terror fundraising probe and may have recently funneled money to Hamas. WhyIslam.org, the ICNA-run website to which travelers will be sent, has been described by Americans Against Hate chairman Joe Kaufman as laced with "anti-Semitism, homophobia, terrorism, and misogyny."
Contemplate this: unless the Metropolitan Transportation Authority drops the campaign, as Congressman Peter King has demanded, subway riders headed to Ground Zero on the anniversary of 9/11 will find themselves surrounded by ads from terror-linked Islamists.