|Eltahawy spray-painting this ad.|
|NY subway ad|
In this video you see that Mona Eltahawy was angry, and if you read the message on the subway wall, it is really insulting to Islam. Mona is a moderate Muslim who has lived in Jerusalem for a year, taken quite a few great positions on human rights for all, and has been quite good on Israel. She may need support in the next month.– Lilly
Pamela Geller, the person behind this ad, is a zealot on behalf of Israel who has made herself a public figure by being aggressively anti-Muslim. This ad is deliberately provocative, but Mona Eltahawy–a good person, as Lilly notes–has allowed herself to be provoked. Her arrest is apparently legitimate on the grounds that she’s defacing public property and assaulting someone with her spray can.
For free-speech liberals, this is not a simple matter to parse. Is this ad legitimate speech, as the MTA has reluctantly decided? Probably; it can be read as an attack on violent Jihad, of the sort that we were subjected to on Sept. 11, 2001. But I can also see how Muslims and others could view this as a slur on Islam.
It also attempts to mobilize support for Israel by implying that its enemies and critics are all supporters of violent Jihad. This is not accurate, but it does represent an opinion. It is an opinion that does not openly attack anyone, even if an implication is there.