Toronto Transit Commission won’t remove controversial ads

The Toronto Star – April 4, 2012

Two ads that have drawn public complaints because of their religious messages will continue to run on the TTC. One ad for the Walk-in Islamic Info-centre has offended some because it states, “There is no god but Allah.” The other is a bus stop ad that counsels prayer as the answer to a child’s abusive domestic circumstance.

“There is nothing that violates any of our policies, and we do have policies around our advertising (based on) the Ontario Human Rights Code, not promoting hate or violence,” said TTC spokesman Brad Ross. “You don’t have to agree with the message, you don’t have to like the message of the advertiser. Our suggestion would be that if somebody takes issue with the ad they take it up with the advertiser,” he said.

Controversial ad spurs debate in Toronto

News agencies – April 4, 2012

A Muslim advertisement stating “There is no god but Allah” has started a vigorous debate amongst TTC riders and sparked a review from the Toronto Transit Commission Advertising Commission Group. After five complaints were made, a working group including Councillor Karen Stintz has decided to allow the advertisement to remain in the Kennedy subway station.

According to the Islam Info Centre, the ad — posted in January — is aimed at raising religious awareness. They have not received any complaints directly. In fact, he said they have been receiving many more visitors inquiring about the religion.

Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said it is offensive to all non-Muslims.

Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, does not agree with the ad, either. “This is what is called the declaration of belief. It basically reads ‘There is no god but God,’” he said.

But the Muslim group translated part of the text into English, and left “Allah,” an Islam word for god, as is.