Activist Arrested for Defacing Anti-Muslim Subway Posters

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Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian journalist and activist, made a very public show of defacing a controversial "anti-jihad" ad in a New York subway station, and getting herself arrested in the process. Eltahawy marked the ads in the Times Square subway station with pink spray paint as one of the ads supporters tried in vain to stand in her way and news cameras captured the whole incident for the New York Post.

The inflammatory ads began appearing in the New York City subway stations this week after the group that created them sued the Metro Transportation Authority to force them to accept the posters on freedom of speech grounds. It reads: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." They have already appeared on San Francisco buses over the summer thanks to Pamela Geller, the pro-Israel activist who led the fight against the Park 51 Mosque near Ground Zero in last year. Her group, The American Freedom Defense Initiative, paid $6,000 to place the posters in 10 Manhattan subway stations.

Eltahawy became a prominent voice of the Egyptian uprising last year, after she was sexually assaulted and had both her arms broken by security forces during her arrest in Tahrir Square. Earlier this year, she made waves in the Arab world with her Foreign Policy essay, "Why Do They Hate Us?", that criticized the oppression of women throughout the Middle East. According to her Twitter feed, which was taken over by friends, she was arrested and held overnight and faces a bail hearing today.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.