Humorous Muslim film ads go up in NYC subway stations

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2016 12:42 PM
Humorous Muslim film ads go up in NYC subway stations

NEW YORK (AP) — A series of humorous ads promoting a film about Muslims are appearing in New York City subway stations five months after a federal judge ruled the ads should go up.

The two comedians who directed the film and created the ad campaign say they are thrilled that subway riders can finally see the advertisements, which poke fun at negative stereotypes of Muslims.

"The narrative that's generally out there is that Muslims are dusty people wandering in the desert wielding weapons," said Negin Farsad, one of the comedian/directors. "We wanted to give at least one other image of Muslims."

Farsad's and Dean Obeidallah's 2013 film "The Muslims Are Coming!" follows a group of Muslim comedians as they travel around the U.S.

The ads the two comedians created to promote the film were rejected last year by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway system, on the ground that they violated its ban on political ads.

But Judge Colleen McMahon ruled in October that the ads were not primarily political.

The six ads started going up in subway stations around the city on Monday.

One ad reads "Those Terrorists Are All Muslim." The word "Muslim" is crossed out and replaced with "Nutjobs."

Another says: "Muslims hate terrorism! They also hate: People who tell you they went to an Ivy League school within 10 seconds of meeting them ... When the deli guy doesn't put enough schmear on your bagel ... Hipsters who wear winter hats in the summer ... the pickling of everything ... ."

Farsad said it's unfortunate it took a court battle to get the ads up, but the film they are promoting is still available for download and on DVD.

She and Obeidallah said the ads' lighthearted message is more timely than ever, with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposing a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

"There's fear within our community of what Trump would do if he became president," Obeidallah said.

Obeidallah said it cost about $20,000 to produce 140 posters and rent space in subway stations for 30 days.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said the authority disagrees with the judge's ruling "but we have decided not to spend more of the public's money appealing her decision."

Ortiz said the ads have been revised to state more plainly that they are promoting the film.