Anti-Muslim ads commissioned by the AFDI (American Freedom Defense Initiative) went up in 10 New York subway stations on Monday. By Tuesday morning street artists and activists whom took offense to the ads messages in regards to those who practice Islam, vandalized seven of the 10 posters. Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy, was one of the aforementioned that took offense to the AFDI ads, and in what she expressed as her right to “free expression,” defaced the ad by spray painting it pink.
Eltahawy was later arrested by NYPD on the scene for her act of protest. Since her arrest, several videos of Eltahawy’s actions have been uploaded to YouTube. In one video, shot by the VSE (Vigilant Squirrel Brigade), Eltahawy can be seen spray painting the poster and responding to the VSE reporter’s questions and ultimately spraying paint on the reporter when she steps in front of the sign to protect its freedom of speech.
The video also shows Eltahawy’s arrest, in which, the arresting officers refuse to detail why she is being arrested, and instead responds with, “Well why you didn’t stop spraying the lady? Let me hear that part.” Eltahawy, who was charged with criminal mischief, has since been released from police custody. The AFDI has yet to make a statement on the vandalism of their ads.
Watch a CNN report on the altercation below.
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