Ground Zero 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The New York City transit agency approved a bus advertisement Monday depicting a plane flying toward the World Trade Center's towers as they burn along with a rendering of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.
RELATED:Opinion: Is a giant mosque at Ground Zero justified?
The ad was paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization that opposes radical Islamic influence in the United States. The group's executive director says she doesn't find the ad offensive.
Go-ahead for New York Islamic Cultural Center
The group sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to demand it accept the ad, which was approved Monday.
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz says the agency doesn't endorse the ad's views.
The plan for a mosque just blocks from the World Trade Center site has ignited a national debate about the limits of tolerance and the symbolism of Ground Zero.The
Anti-Defamation League recently came out against the planned mosque and
Islamic community center near ground zero, saying more information is
needed about funding for the project and the location is
"counterproductive to the healing process."
National Director Abe Foxman compared the idea of a mosque near GroundZ ero
to the Roman Catholic Carmelite nuns who had a convent at the Auschwitz
death camp. In 1993, Pope John Paul II
responded to Jewish protests by
ordering the nuns to move.
"We're saying if your purpose is to heal differences, it's the wrong
place," Foxman said of the mosque. "Don't do it. The symbolism is
J Street supports the Ground Zero mosque, saying that "in the
battle against violent extremism, core
democratic values like respect for minorities and freedom of religion
can be potent weapons in ensuring security and advancing tolerance and
understanding. Now is the time to stand in support of those core