NY POST (USA), AL AHRAM (Egypt), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
NEW YORK – "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." This provocative text -- on a New York City subway advertisement -- was the target of Egyptian-American blogger and activist Mona El Tahawy, who was arrested Tuesday night for spray-painting over those words she called "racist."
Al Jazeera reported that the poster was one of 10 around New York that paid for by Pamela Geller, the same woman who helped lead the movement to stop the opening of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center. Though initially blocked by city transport officials, a court had determined that the text of the advertisement fell under protected speech.
El Tahawy -- who rose to prominence on social media networks in Egypt during the Arab Spring uprising -- tweeted her intention to spray the ad as she was in the subway station, claiming that "everyone has the right and freedom to insult, as much as she has the right to protest and consider these insults as racism."
A woman identified as Pamella Hall tried to prevent El Tahawy by standing between her and the ad and yelling that she is violating freedom of expression, Al Ahram reported.
The New York Post featured a video of the incident.
Tweets of El Tahawy on September 26th:
Tweets of Mona on September 25th:
I believe in the right to offend & the right to protest that offense peacefully. And I will call you a racist & bigoted shit as I protest.
I don't do peace & love when it comes to racist & bigoted shits like Pam Geller & co. There r some who do. Move on & look elsewhere.
El Tahawy defended herself by saying that any act criticizing Israel automatically falls under the category of "anti-semitism"; whereas criticizing Islam is always justified in the name of freedom of expression.