Muslim Activist Proud of Defacing Subway Ad

Mona El-Tahawy Busted as Feud Over Billboards Grows

By Forward Staff

Published September 26, 2012.
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A prominent Egyptian-born Muslim activist was unapologetic for defacing a controversial subway ad that brand enemies of Israel as ‘savage.’

Mona El-Tahawy, a well-known figure who has appeared on CNN and MSNBC, Tweeted that she was proud of her actions after being arrested and spent a night in jail.

“I am proud that I spray painted that racist … poster,” she tweeted, according to The Guardian. “It’s protected speech and what I did us also protected speech.”

She noted that she spent 22 hours behind bars, longer than she was held by Egyptian security during the Arab Spring uprising.

El-Tahawy started spraying pink paint over the ads, which were paid for by conservative pro-Israel blogger Pamela Geller, Tuesday afternoon, the New York Post reported.

She was confronted by Pamela Hall, a Manhattan woman who supports the message of the ads, which in part read “Support Israel. Oppose Jihad.”

“Do you have a right to do this?” Hall demanded, the paper said.

“I do actually,” replied El-Tahawy, 45. “I think this is freedom of expression, just as this [the ad] is freedom of expression.”

The entire episode was caught on video by Hall.

Moments later, police arrived and took El-Tahawy away. She was charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument, and held overnight, the Post reported.

The paper did not explain how Hall might have known that El-Tahawy was planning to strike at that poster in the Times Square subway station, one of 10 around the city, or why she had a video camera with her.

It was also unclear who called the police, although cops claimed they are keeping a close eye on the billboards after several others were defaced by stickers denouncing them as racist.


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