Two US TV networks have refused to air a controversial advert condemning plans to build a mosque near the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York.
The advert is funded by the National Republican Trust, a conservative group not affiliated to the Republican Party.
Entitled “Kill the Ground Zero Mosque”, the video calls the proposed mosque a “monstrosity” that will invite further attacks on the US.
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Neither CBS nor NBC, two of the major US television networks, will screen the advert. It is unclear what other networks will decide to do.
In emails obtained by the news website Politico, NBC Universal advertising standards manager Jennifer Riley wrote that because it did not make a distinction between terror groups and the religious organisation behind the mosque, “the ad is not acceptable under our guidelines for broadcast”.
The National Republican Trust is a conservative political action committee (PAC), an organisation formed to promote its members’ views on selected issues.
The mosque also faces stiff resistance from some sectors of the Manhattan community.
An NBC official said the company didn’t take issue with the commercial’s content, but raised questions about the vague reference to “their” in the ad.
The official said the ambiguity of the words “their” and “they” made it unclear whether the ad was referring to terrorists or to the Islamic groups — including the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative — who are sponsoring the mosque’s construction.
The idea of building a mosque close to the site of an Islam-inspired terrorist act is ludicrously insensitive — regardless of which sect of Islam is behind the project.
Rejecting such a proposal has nothing to do with religious intolerance or religious persecution, but rather with common sense. The Muslims involved should themselves have the decency to forsake this plan.
See also: Islam and terrorism