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the new york times. cool.

Visit The New York Times' homepage today, and before the page loads you may be shown a 15-second full-screen advertisement warning that unnamed "Islamist groups" are "undermining America's security, liberty, and free speech," with a photo of the World Trade Center towers.

The ad's implicitly Islamophobic message, suggesting that Muslim-Americans may be enemies within, and its timing during the opening of the September 11 Memorial Museum, raise questions about why the Times decided to allow it such prominent display on its homepage. The advertising unit, called an interstitial, is typically one of the most expensive because it required users to view the ad or click away before they can see the New York Times homepage.

A spokesperson for the Times, asked why the ad was permitted under the company's policy against ads that are gratuitously offensive on racial, religious, or ethnic grounds, responded that the ad had been internally reviewed and approved. The spokesperson added that the company had decided to slightly alter the ad's wording. "However upon reexamination, we think the phrase 'radical Islamists' would have been better than 'Islamists' in this advertisement," she explained. "The advertiser agreed to the change and the ad has been updated on nytimes.com."

The ad is sponsored by a group called the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which says (external - login to view) it researches "radical Islamist terror groups," but in practice primarily argues that mainstream Muslim-Americans and Muslim-American groups are secretly terrorists who are plotting against the US.


New York Times publishes Islamophobic ad by anti-Islam group - Vox (external - login to view)