Your Voice | Questionable ad decisions
March 14, 2013, 9:43 pm·
I am writing to you regarding the “Faces of Islamic Apartheid” ad featured in your newspaper on page six of the March 11 issue. I would like to start by saying I am writing this on behalf of myself and no one else. This email represents my own personal views and no one else’s in particular.
For one, I am very disappointed in your policies regarding paid advertisements. I know that as a student-run publication, advertisements provide funding for the entire newspaper’s operation. That being said, I understand that the views reflected in the ad do not represent that of The Daily Pennsylvanian or the university at large.
However, your decision to publish such a distasteful, unethical, and downright degrading ad is extremely unnerving and does not deserve any place in our university’s atmosphere. The disgusting ad — which carelessly positions innocent humans behind crosshairs — places the blame on Islam, a religion which has approximately 1.5 billion followers around the world and a strong population on campus as well.
The terrible actions described in the ad were performed by Muslim extremists, and in no way can be credited to Islam as a whole. Indeed, the actions taken by few do not represent the whole. The ad, however, does not recognize this, and it foolishly places blame for such tragic events on Islam entirely.
The ad is altogether disrespectful, outrageous and embarrassing. To put crosshairs on innocent people, to blame Islam — which has a devout following on campus and in the greater community in West Philadelphia — and to circulate these images around campus is utterly repulsive and disappointing.
I am embarrassed that our student newspaper, which directly represents the diversity of its student body, would allow for such a distasteful ad directed at one population.
Moreover, I, as a non-Muslim, stand alongside my Muslim brothers and sisters who may feel targeted and attacked by such careless policies regarding advertisements. This ad marginalizes my friends, my family and myself by extension. For no other reason but to spread hateful and false representations, this ad has further ostracized a community that is already the minority both on campus and in America.
I request that you, revise the policies so that advertisements like this, that do nothing more than propagate hateful messages, are not approved. I encourage you to follow in the footsteps of our peer universities, such as Harvard University and the University of Texas, Austin, to refuse to accept ads like this and apologize for encouraging hate speech through your communication network.
I understand that the views in the ad do not necessarily reflect that of the DP, but you, as the editorial staff, have the power to draw the line. You can stop publishing hurtful, degrading and libelous images such as this. The views of the David Horowitz Freedom Center — the sponsors of the ad — may never change, but the DP’s circulation of their disgusting and foul beliefs can stop immediately.
In the end, I must ask: is the marginalization, defamation and denigration of a prominent group on campus — and the world at large — worth the money of the ad? Can the purposefully hateful ad be justified by monetary gain? Is our campus newspaper now being funded by animosity?
I certainly hope not.
Adrian Rios is a College sophomore.