BY RATTAN MALL
IN a bold move, City of Edmonton’s Councillor Amarjeet Sohi, ordered Edmonton Transit to pull its bigoted bus ads that were apparently paid for by an American racist group that claimed to offer help to Muslim females threatened with honour killings.
Sohi pointed out that honour killing and domestic violence are present in all communities and targeting just one community was not helpful but was discriminatory.
Sohi, who was just sworn in as councillor for another term, has been one since 2007. He worked with Edmonton Transit from 1998 to 2007. Before that, he worked for the City of Edmonton as an independent contractor.
Sohi told Asian Journal this week that the group behind the ads was American. He added: “This group is well known for its anti-Islamic propaganda. They hide behind the façade of honour killing, but their real intent is to demean and degrade people of Muslim faith.”
The bigotted ad
Sohi said: “When these ads appeared on Edmonton Transit buses, I became aware through the media and also I was receiving emails and tweets on it. So I followed up immediately with our transportation department to find out why these ads were allowed. And their first reaction was that they passed the national standards. Then the decision was made immediately to pull these ads because we were concerned and we said ‘let’s pull them, then have a discussion and then get the advertisement standard to review them.
“So I think it was a right decision on the part of Edmonton Transit to make sure they were removed.”
The ads showed a photo of young women above the caption “Muslim girls honor killed by their families. Is your family threatening you? Is there a fatwa on your head? We can help: go to FightforFreedom.us.”
An Edmonton newspaper noted: “The site is run by SIOA (Stop Islamization of America), which among other activities ran bus ads in New York in 2010 against plans to build a mosque near the destroyed World Trade Center site.”