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MTA OKs bus ad against Ground Zero mosque

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Transit officials have approved an advertisement for New York City buses opposing a mosque near the former World Trade Center site.

The ad, to be installed in buses within the next two weeks, shows a jetliner with one tower of the World Trade Center aflame and a picture of the proposed mosque and the question, “Why There?”

The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which advocates opposition to radical Islamic influence in the United States, paid for the ad campaign.

“This is a great victory for freedom of speech and we are grateful to our attorneys, David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise, for mounting such an effective defense against politically correct censorship,” the organization said on its website.

The organization, based in New Hampshire, had sued in Manhattan federal court on behalf of the ads.

The mosque project near Ground Zero of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack was given final approval by the city last week.

All advertising in Metropolitan Transportation Authority facilities must get MTA approval.

“While the MTA does not endorse the views expressed in this or other ads that appear on the transit system, the advertisement purchased by a group opposing a planned mosque near the World Trade Center was accepted today after its review under MTA’s advertising guidelines and governing legal standards,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Monday.

The $100 million project in lower Manhattan includes a mosque and community center to be called the Cordoba Center.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

Updated 6:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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