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New York police arrested an Egyptian-American activist, Mona Eltahawy, for spray-painting over posters in the subway that compare radical Muslims to "savages."
Police in New York arrested an Egyptian-American activist, Mona Eltahawy, on Tuesday after she defaced posters in the city's subway that compare radical Muslims to "savages."
Eltahawy was held overnight and is due to be charged shortly with a criminal mischief misdemeanor, according to her Twitter feed. She is expected to be released with no bail.
A New York Post video dated Sept. 25 shows Eltahawy spray-painting over one of the controversial ads in Times Square station.
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Another woman approaches, carrying a camera, and attempts to stop Eltahawy by standing between her and the poster. The pair argue for a few minutes, the other woman accusing Eltahawy of "violating free speech" and Eltahawy retorting, "That's right, defend racism."
Eventually, after the women have begun jostling each other, two policemen arrive and inform Eltahawy that she's under arrest. As she is led away in handcuffs, Eltahawy can be heard to shout: "This is what happens in America when you non-violently protest!"
The ads were placed by anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative. They went up in the New York subway this week, after a judge ruled that the Metropolitan Transit Authority could not legally refuse to run them.
They read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
Eltahawy, who spoke to GlobalPost earlier this year, is known for being something of a provocateur. She has written extensively about Egypt, the Arab Spring and women's rights, including a graphic account of being sexually and physically assulted at the hands of the Egyptian security forces in Cairo.
Having announced her intention to protest against Geller's posters on Twitter, she made her position clear:
I don't do peace & love when it comes to racist & bigoted shits like Pam Geller & co. There r some who do. Move on & look elsewhere.
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 25, 2012
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