Legal controversy and increased security or not, New Yorkers are taking to anti-Islam activist Pamella Geller’s “Support Israel, Defeat Jihad” subway signs much in the same way they take to most of the endless advertising around the city: messing with it or ignoring it altogether. The ads, which allude to Muslims as savages, went up this week at ten subway stops in Manhattan, but apparently opponents came prepared: By Tuesday afternoon, the posters were covered in multiple locations by stickers reading “racist” and “hate speech.”
Daily Intel visited a few of the ads today, as did the Institute for Middle East Understanding, which sent the above shot of Penn Station but did not claim responsibility for the guerrilla stickering.
Petty vandalism moves so quickly in this town that at the 23rd Street C train station, the “racist” sticker blocking the ad had already been torn in half:
At 42nd Street, it was intact for now:
But aside from those targeting the posters directly, the signs didn’t make much of an impression. “My eyes were more attracted by the two movie posters,” said a Swiss tourist at Grand Central, missing the offensive ad until we pointed it out. “It doesn’t look like very eye-attracting, you know? I mean, when you look at those four posters you see first the others, then this one … It’s too dark.”
“That ad [for the Comedy Central cartoon Brickleberry] is more engaging. It’s colorful and has the guy in the underwear,” said a woman in Times Square when asked about the “Jihad” poster. “So, literally, between that and all the brightly colored ads, I missed it.”
“I don’t think they need a disclaimer,” she added. “They need a better agency.”