Commentator Arrested for Defacing Anti-Jihad Subway Poster

An Egyptian-American columnist, who rose to prominence on social media last year for her commentary during the revolution in Egypt, was arrested in the Times Square subway station on Tuesday for spraying pink paint on a pro-Israel poster that calls Islamist opponents of the Jewish state “savage.”

The poster was one of 10 placed in subway stations across the transit system this week, on the heels of violent and sometimes deadly protests across the Muslim world in response to an American-made video mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

The columnist, Mona Eltahawy, is a former Reuters correspondent now based in New York who became a dual citizen of Egypt and the United States last year. Her Twitter feed, which has more than 160,000 followers, became popular last year as a source of information on the Egyptian revolution.

Ms. Eltahawy, initially known for her commentary on the Egyptian revolution from afar, became personally involved in the protest movement last November, when she used her Twitter feed to document her physical and sexual abuse by Egyptian police officers following a crackdown on a demonstration near Tahrir Square in Cairo.

In May, she earned the enmity of many Egyptians for writing a Foreign Policy cover story on women’s rights in the Middle East published with the headline “Why Do They Hate Us?

News of Ms. Eltahawy’s arrest made headlines in Egypt and earned her praise from like-minded Internet activists. A Lebanese blogger, who was less impressed with the stunt, wrote a satirical blog post accusing Ms. Eltahawy of attention-seeking.

After flap over pro-Israel ‘savage’ ad, NY subway ads on politics, religion to get disclaimers

NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved new guidelines for advertisements on Thursday, prohibiting those that it “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

Under a policy adopted Thursday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, ads expressing political, religious or moral viewpoints will have to include legends cautioning that the views being expressed aren’t necessarily endorsed by the MTA. The disclaimers also will carry the names of the people or groups sponsoring the advertisements.

The ad, which began running in the nation’s biggest transit system this month as a result of the court order, says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

This week, an Egyptian-born U.S. columnist was arrested for spray-painting one of the advertisements in a Manhattan subway station. The columnist, Mona Eltahawy, who calls herself a liberal Muslim who’s spoken publicly against violent Islamic groups, said as police officers were arresting her, “I’m an Egyptian-American, and I refuse hate.”

In a statement, the MTA said it had considered banning political speech and restricting ads to only those with commercial messages.

Egyptian Journalist in Netherlands Calls to Ban the Burqa

October 8 2010

Following her presentation of Amsterdam’s annual globalization reading, entitled “Boss of your own burqa: feminism thanks to or in spite of Islam”, Radio Netherlands Worldwide carries a feature of Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy. Eltahawy called for a global ban on the niqab and burqa and spoke out against “the right wing”, comprised of both xenophobic European right wing parties and radical Islamists who threated terrorism and violence.

American Muslim Catch-22

Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy writes in a recent piece of Catch-22 of Muslim Americans, caught in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t world when it comes to politics. Eltahawy describes what it’s like for a Muslim American supporter of Barack Obama, concerning the belief – and specifically negative belief by many that the Democratic nominee is Muslim. Faced with confrontation that the world isn’t ready for a Muslim president, and being unsure of how to even respond to such a statement, has left many Muslim Americans at a loss for words on how to both defend themselves, while correcting misinformation. Eltahawy includes responses and conversations with several Muslim Americans trying to deal with this dilemma in a truthful, honest, respectful, and fair manner.