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‘The Jews have stopped the billboard’ – American Atheists’ Leader Complains that ‘God is a myth’ ad near Hasidic Neighbourhood has Been Blocked

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch rightly questions whether Islamophobes who allied themselves with American Atheists over the Zombie Muhammad issue will now cry that Jews are attacking freedom of speech and expression, as they surely would if Muslims had stopped the billboard:

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

‘The Jews have stopped the billboard’ – American Atheists’ Leader Complains that ‘God is a myth’ ad near Hasidic Neighbourhood has Been Blocked

by Bob Pitt

This time atheists found themselves answering to a higher power – a picky landlord. A Southside loft owner refused to allow a billboard questioning Judaism to be installed atop his S. Fifth Street building on Tuesday amid outrage in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community.

National atheist leaders tried to take out a month-long ad adjacent to Williamsburg’s Orthodox Jewish stronghold with text in English and Hebrew reading: “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice.” But at the last minute, landlord Kenny Stier refused to allow workers from the advertising company Clear Channel into his building, according to American Atheists president David Silverman.

Silverman claims powerful neighborhood rabbis convinced Stier to block the non-believing billboard and called the religious leaders and the landlord “anti-atheist bigots”. “The Jews have stopped the billboard,” said Silverman. “It’s really ugly bigotry. As a former Jew, it’s repugnant to see Jews act like this.”

Several Hasidic leaders said they had nothing to do with the landlord’s decision to block the billboard, and Stier declined to comment. “I don’t want to get involved in this,” he said.

Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg) said the billboard showed a “severe lack of sensitivity” at a time when Brooklyn should be striving to have open conversations about religion.

“Even if we were to ignore the antagonistic placement of this billboard near the Williamsburg Bridge, the content of the message is conveyed in a disrespectful manner,” said Levin. “This does not appear to be a genuine attempt to engage in a dialogue, but is here merely to insult the beliefs of this community.”

The Brooklyn Paper, 6 March 2012

We look forward to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who have been enthusiastically supporting American Atheists over the “Zombie Muhammad” controversy, joining Silverman in condemning this development as an outrageous attack on freedom of expression – as they undoubtedly would if it had occurred in a Muslim neighbourhood. But don’t hold your breath.

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  • NurAlia


    I am sorry I even put myself in this type of conversation. Ignore this ignorant woman.

  • Believing Atheist


    A lot of nations are ethnically pure nations yet democracies.

    Here are two excluding Israel:

    1. Japan

    2. South Korea (most immigrants are not eligible for citizenship or even permanent residency, unless they are married to a South Korean citizen or have invested more than $5 million USD in the local economy)

    Both are democracies because both have free and open elections.

    Hence, that is how Israel is both a democracy and Jewish state or in the words of Judge Barak

    What, then are the ‘core’ characteristics shaping the minimum definition of the State of Israel as a Jewish State? These characteristics come from the aspects of both Zionism and heritage. At their center stands the right of every Jew to immigrate to the State of Israel, where the Jews will constitute a majority; Hebrew is the official and principal language of the State and most of its fests and symbols reflect the national revival of the Jewish People; The heritage of the Jewish People is a central component of its religious and cultural legacy”.
    —Aharon Barak 11280/02


    “A list of candidates or a candidate may not participate in the elections if the cancellation or denial of these characteristics is central and dominant among their ambitions and activities; and they act decisively to realize these ambitions; and provided all can be persuasively, clearly and unequivocally proved by the established evidence. ”
    —Aharon Barak 11280/02

  • Just Stopping By

    @Nur Alia:

    I don’t understand why you keep insisting that your country of Malaysia believes in ethnic purity. As you know, Article 153 of the Malaysian constitution assigns special treatment to Malays and other groups.

    While there are some minor distinctions for citizens in Israel, they are mainly separate systems for religious courts and education, much less than the preferential treatment given certain groups in the Malaysian constitution that you say causes “people like [you to] strongly fear and dislike people”.

    Or, if you are so concerned with words, we can talk about the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, or the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, whose very names suggest some form of ethnic or religious special consideration. Now, I don’t consider any of these states to be “inhumane” as your reasoning would suggest. But, by your logic, I suppose you do.

    But don’t worry, I don’t “strongly fear or dislike” Malaysia despite the fact that it enshrines what you would consider ethnic purity in its constitution. In fact, I found it quite lovely.

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