MTA Ground Zero Mosque Ad Starts War Of Words

'Stop The Islamization Of America' Wins Right In Federal Court

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There is a bus ad paid for by a group that is against building a mosque at ground zero, and it is sparking a heated debate – both because of its emotionally searing content and because it flies in the face of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s strong support for the Muslim house of worship.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports on the controversial ad.

Starting next week the sides of 26 Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses will emblazoned with the ad. In one corner, a plane is flying toward the World Trade Center’s towers as they burn. In another the rendering of the proposed mosque at ground zero implies that leaders want to open the “mega mosque” on the 10th anniversary of the terror attack.

“I think it would be a horrible thing in this neighborhood because a lot of people who work in this neighborhood actually saw it happen. I think it would bring up some really traumatic memories,” said Kehinde Barkley of Flatbush.

“I don’t like that idea,” added Stuart Shestak of Bay Ridge. “I think it is an offensive thing and I just don’t like it.”

“I think that’s disgusting,” added Gabriella Hurst Ridgewood of Cedarhurst.

But then on the other side there were people who see nothing wrong with the idea.

“It’s freedom of expression. If that’s the way they want to express their views, it’s allowed; it’s America,” said Shibu Jacob of Haverstraw.

The ad is being paid for by the group “Stop the Islamization of America.” Its lawyer, David Yerushalmi, fought the MTA in federal court to get them to run it.

“This, ultimately, becomes a question of free speech,” Yerushalmi said. “The question is not whether Muslims can have mosques. Of course they can. This is the United States of America. The question is this mosque, with this imam and in this place and for Mayor Bloomberg to try and shut the debate down by shaming us is absolutely pathetic.”

But Muslim Americans who support the mosque are aghast.

“The real concern that I have is that this radical right organization is exploiting our American tragedy, one of the most horrible things that happened to our nation, in order to further their extremist agenda and that is just despicable,” said Zead Ramadan of The Council of American-Islamic Relations of New York.

The bus controversy comes as the State Department revealed plans to send the ground zero mosque’s imam, Faisal Abdul Rauf, on a multi-cultural government-paid trip to the Middle East, where opponents fear he will try to raise funds for the $100 million mosque and cultural center.

“We have informed him about our prohibition against fund raising,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

Right now the bus ads are scheduled to run for four weeks but the group hopes to raise money to have then run longer.

The MTA said it does not endorse the views expressed by the ad, but it was accepted under the agency’s “governing legal standards.”

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  • John

    I feel building this Mosque in lower Manhattan is a slap in all New Yorkers and Americans faces and this should not be allowed to happen on hallowed ground. I don’t know what Bloomberg is thinking, but he must belong to the Muslim race as well. We know the President is Muslim and it is clear, he is not an American, since no one has ever seen him cross his heart to the Pledge of Allegiance and he is clearly not an American, and for the Muslim community to build a Mosque to dishonor our loved ones in a place that will always represent war on Americans should never be allowed to happen.

  • Angie

    Who is funding this?? Who stands to gain from this?? Are there so many Muslims downtown to warrant this 13 story Islamic center??? If Muslims are as peaceful as they claim, perhaps they can understand the hurt and move on to another site!!

  • Marie

    This bus ad campaign is a drastic measure, but does accurately illustrate the true agenda behind the building of this monster sized mosque-at this specific location. The ads are only speaking the truth.
    The truth needs to be put out there.
    The mayor sugarcoats this issue, insinuating that if you are anti-mosque you are against freedom of religion.

    I am not anti-mosque-JUST ANTI MOSQUE AT THIS LOCATION. There are over 200 mosqques already in NYC.


    The developers keep saying this is a peaceful mosque.
    If so, why do they plan to have it’s grand opening on the 10th year annivesary of the 9/11 attack?
    Why did they call their project “Cordoba”?
    Why do they employ a radical imam who blames America for the 911 attacks & supports Hamas, and will not disclose funding sources, who wants sharia law here?
    Why do they adamantly refuse to budge from this location, knowing that they are causing pain and anguish for the families of 911 & majority in NYC?
    Because they want the golden mosque to overlook the gravesite of the “conquered” WTC towers.
    Ask yourself why Homeland security has not investigated this imam & his funding sources.
    Ask yourself why the state department with authorization from Obama administration has just sent this imam on a tour of the middle east-at tax payer expense.

    By the way, a small Greek Orhodox church, located not far from ground zero has had nothing but red tape and zoning issues and blockages at every turn, thanks to the mayor’s bureaucracy with regard to the re-building of their little church. Why no go ahead for this church but all green lights to the mosque?

    Way too many questions for any peace of mind.

    Please read the bus ads.They are only stating the facts and only stating the truth.

  • D

    Our country is getting infiltrated by muslims the very ones that killed us on 9/11 and our government officials just lay down and give in to them because they’re more worried about their own jobs and image than they are of doing the right thing. Personally I don’t think we should have any mosques in our country but certainly not at ground zero. Its insane. That and you can’t compare muslims to catholics, jews, and christianity when it comes to religious freedom. I mean the one that started that religion was nothing but a murderer that somehow made himself worshiped like a god. They kill for and worship a guy who is dead and whos bones are in the ground somewhere. That and Muslims have always hated us and they always will. Just because we have some living among us that aren’t violent right now doesnt mean they won’t be or that they like us.

  • The 13th Watcher

    it’s about time America gave in to another religion and community, see, their majors are also for another idealogy and traditions too as they see the votes that they will lose and not the America that is now. I guess, it will be just a matter of time when America will go down in history as “Once Was” . If you don’t want to lose America, get rid of those politicians that see only the Vote bank and change your constitution a bit, to protect America from any radicalizaion of another race and ideology. The choice is all yours now, don’t blame anyone later, cause you have your chance now to do what you have to do.

    • D

      Thats insane, you can’t give into Muslims, thats giving into the enemy. I do however agree with getting rid of the majority of the politicians we have in office right now. They’ve been bought out.

  • Ken

    Opponents should unite massively and through any available media nationwide, so the concerned voices could be heard loud and clear.

  • Pscottparker1

    I hope that they open a Men’s Club right next door, a big honkin titty bar. I know that many have talked about a gay bar being opened next door, but gays would never go for it. They would shun the conflict. In contrast, many many testosterone laden men would love to have a few beers, watch some pole dancing, then go out and respond with fists to any Muslim confronting them about being in a men’s club. Yep, that is the answer. Open up a big men’s club with many many buxom, foxy pole-dancing women, RIGHT NEXT DOOR!!!!

  • D

    Peaceful Muslims is a bunch of bull. They’re religion was started out of violence and it always will be violent. Politicians say use the terminology “Peaceful Muslims” because there are so many of them in our country now and they don’t want to stir up something. You can’t build a mosque or monument to the very ones that killed our people. Its beyond wrong and its the biggest slap in the face to the ones who died possible. That and its just a huge victory for the muslim terrorists.

    • POPPY


  • Liberal Jew

    If the idea of the Mosque is to promote tolerance and the majority of New Yorkers find it inappropriate, isn’t it, in essence, intolerant? What then is their reason to put it there–to celebrate victory?

    • Marie

      Yes, it is to celebrate victory. It is called the Cordoba Initiative. Go to wikipedia and look up Cordoba.

  • Robert

    There is something that has been totally overlooked in this debate. A Greek Orthodox Church that had been in the area of Ground Zero was also displaced.. and is not getting any help returning to the area of Ground Zero.

    • D

      Thats because our president isn’t Greek Orthodox, he’s a muslim.

    • Marie

      This is true and this is outrageaous. How did the mosqe developers get all these green lights to go forward, while this little church continues to be blocked with unending red tape, zoning issues and city bureaucracy? Is there anything we can do to help?

  • Joe schmuck

    Substitute Jew or Catholic for Muslim…what would the critics say then

    • Pscottparker1

      Jews or Catholics didn’t kill 3000 people on 9/11/01, you dimwit.


      the spanish people say “NO MOSQUE” HEHE,,LOL



  • susanne

    It’s just not appropriate. to have a mosque in that location. Anywhere else would be satisfactory. If the muslims really cared they would build it elsewhere an dnot to shove it our faces. Try building a synagogue or church in their part of the world and you would see true intolerance

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