New York City Diary – II

In September, 2012, American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which describes itself as “a nonprofit public interest law firm whose mission is to fight for faith and freedom through litigation, education, and public policy programs”, had put up ads in the NYC subway that read:

“In any war between civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

By now Mona Eltahawy’s spray-painted graffiti over the ads and her arrest is well-known.

Well, a new set of anti-Muslim ads are back and they are prominently displayed at West 4 station from where I take the A train everyday to and from my house in Brooklyn. It reads: “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers” (Quran, 3:151). To tell the truth, it doesn’t really make you feel very good when you take the train back home late at night (well, I mean early morning!). As I read the ad every single day and take pictures, I could feel people staring at me. Here is the unadulterated version of the ad that I photographed a while back:

NYC Subway Ad 1

A few days back, I noticed someone has blackened the upper right corner of the ad where it was written,

NYC Subway Ad 2

Also another sticker appeared at the bottom of the ad, which reads: “For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off” (Corinthians, 11:6, Christian Bible New Testament). It further adds, “Ask people what they believe. No religion is literal.”

NYC Subway Ad 3

I have no clue about who blackened the ad and put up the sticker.

As in the previous case, the work of resistance in a city goes on silently but unmistakably. I often encounter the following ad put up by the New York Police Department (NYPD) inside the A train. It is an invitation to join the NYPD and it positions serving NYPD as a matter of pride. The ad:


If you notice very closely, the sticker pasted on the face of the policewoman reads: “Domestic Terrorists.”


At first notice, I was confused as to who would have stuck these stickers as the logo on the sticker looks exactly the same as that of NYPD. Initially, I had thought these stickers to be an indication of NYPD’s commitment to handle the ‘domestic terrorists.’ A thought not completely unfounded considering the constant announcement on the PAS in trains and at the stations.

However, if one walks through parts of Brooklyn, one would encounter numerous anti-police graffiti on the walls of ramshackle buildings. The work of resistance might appear invisible but it continues silently, tirelessly.

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