Anti-honour killing bus ads removed
“We were being proactive in nature and just pulled the ads,” said City of Edmonton spokesperson Cheryl Oxford in a phone interview.
The decision was made by “senior officials within the City of Edmonton.”
This may be the first time the administration has stepped in and removed ads from city property, she said.
The ads featured photos of seven young women with the text: “Muslim Girls Honor Killed by Their Families. Is Your Family Threatening You? Is There a Fatwa on Your Head?” and contact information for people that “can help.”
“There were several [calls] that came in all at once,” said Oxford. “Some people found [the ads] to be discriminatory in nature, so that’s definitely concerning to us. In the advertising world, some ads might be more controversial than others, but that’s very different than being discriminatory in nature, so we take that type of complaint quite seriously.”
There will be no review or appeals process; the ads will not be returning to city property, she said. Although two people complained to Advertising Standards Canada, that body will not be investigating because the ads have been taken down, according to Oxford.
The ads were paid for by Geller’s organizations, American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop the Islamization of American (SIOA), and were to run on 10 buses for one month; instead, they ran on five buses for five days before being yanked.
This won’t stop the American activist from trying to run her campaign elsewhere in Canada.
“I am exploring options and working to expand this campaign in Canada,” said Geller in a phone interview from New York, adding that it was “astonishing” that “helping Muslim girls is [considered] offensive and ‘racist.’”
Geller decided to run the ads in Edmonton after being contacted by people who lived there.
“There are ads running in Edmonton proselytizing for Islam,” said Geller. “Why not ads offering help for Muslims in desperate need of help?”