The ads mocking Christianity were banned as well, but it is extremely unlikely that APN Outdoor was concerned about discriminating against and vilifying Christians. Clearly, what they were concerned about violent reprisals from Muslims enraged at the prospect of flushing the Qur’an. The organizers are quite correct when they say, “To reject these posters is to censor free speech – pure and simple.” It is not allowed in the West, except on the Internet and in certain courageous fora, to speak critically about Islamic supremacism and jihad terror today.
This is the battle that Pamela Geller and I have been fighting for years; now the same thing is being done to Sam Harris: the false branding of his ads, the mischaracterization of his work, the charges of “bigotry,” “Islamophobia,” etc. He has the advantage of having been known and loved on the Left before it began, so he has a following and a reservoir of good will — or else he would be notorious today as a “right-wing extremist,” just like those he shuns.
“Controversial ads for atheist author who was in famous TV row with Ben Affleck over Islam are BANNED for ‘discrimination’ – because they said it should be OK to flush the Koran down the toilet,” by Daniel Piotrowski, Daily Mail Australia, October 29, 2015 (thanks to Marc):
A series of billboards mocking communion biscuits and arguing it should be fine to flush to Koran down the toilet without fear of violence have been banned because they ‘discriminate or vilify’.
Prominent atheist thinker Sam Harris, who famously argued with Ben Affleck about Islam on American television earlier this year, will visit Australia on a speaking tour next year.
But organisers are furious APN Outdoor won’t them run the advertisements which feature quotes from Mr Harris. They argue: ‘To reject these posters is to censor free speech – pure and simple’.
One advertisement said people should be able to flush all books including the Islamic holy text down the toilet without fear of violent reprisals.
Another jokes Jesus Christ who was ‘born of a virgin, cheated death, and rose bodily into the heavens – can now be eaten in the form of a cracker’.
‘As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population,’ a third said.
Desh Amila, from organisers Think Inc, said their repeated arguments with APN to allow the posters fell on deaf ears.
The company referred Think Inc. to a section of the Australian Association of National Advertisers code of ethics.
The paragraph says advertisements must not ‘discriminate against or vilify’ based on race, ethnicity or religion.
When the ads were refused, Mr Amila said: ‘This is specifically saying about vilification about a person or a group of people – we’re not vilifying anyone.’
‘We are spruiking intellectual discussion about a very important subject matter.’
He said religion is a ‘reason for many of the conflicts in the world… If you think these quotes are offensive, just open the Old Testament..’
‘There are many things one can be offended that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t speak about it.’
Mr Harris, who will visit in January has been described as a fierce critic of organised religions, with titles of his books including The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation.
He tweeted: ‘It seems that the billboards proposed by my sponsor in Australia have been rejected on the grounds that they offend religious sensibilities. Interesting…’
Janine Wood, a spokeswoman for APN Outdoor, told Daily Mail Australia they would not run the advertisements because they breached the OMA code of ethics….