(NEW YORK, NY, 7/23/08) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today applauded Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for supporting the free speech rights of a Muslim group that plans to place educational advertisements about Islam in city subway cars.
The ads, sponsored by the New York chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), will feature words or phrases commonly associated with Muslims and Islam alongside a web address and call-in number. Some Muslim-bashers have smeared sponsors of the campaign and called on government officials to block the ads.
SEE: Islam Subway Ads Cause Stir in New York (CNN)
“We applaud Mayor Bloomberg and the MTA for their firm stance upholding the principle of free speech and the right of all faith groups to educate the public about their beliefs,” said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. “Unfortunately, guilt by association, smears, fear-mongering, and anti-Muslim bias have been used by those attempting to block this positive and educational ad campaign.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group and has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties and empower American Muslims.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, Tel: 732-429-4268, 723 -429-4268 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali, 212-870-2002, 718-724-3041, E-Mail: email@example.com