Is it free speech, subliminal stereotyping or hatemongering? It is all three.

Last month, about 30 buses in New York City’s fleet started running ads professing to assist individuals trying to leave Islam; they’ll continue to run through the middle of next week.

These are messages of hate masquerading as messages of help – and all New Yorkers who believe in peaceful coexistence should reject them.

Sponsored by an organization called Stop the Islamization of America, led by Pamela Geller, the ads read like something aimed at battered women trying to escape abusive relationships: “Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you? Leaving Islam?” Readers are then directed to a Web site aimed at providing support as they “escape” their religion.

The implication: Countless American Muslims are trapped in an oppressive and violent faith, dying to get out. And if they dare try, they could be injured or killed.

These are lies, and offensive ones at that. We should be clear: Few of the 5 million to 7 million Muslims in America want to escape their faith – and those who do are free to do so. (More)


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