Soon after it was announced that the iconic Times Square in New York will be displaying 3D images of Lord Ram and the temple, many Muslim groups and several individuals in the US opposed the display calling the exercise a ‘brazen celebration of hatred and Islamophobia.”
Many also wrote a letter to the Mayor stating, ”We write to bring to your attention an Islamophobic billboard set to be projected in Times Square in order to dehumanize Muslim New Yorkers and celebrate human rights abuses against Muslims in India. Our coalition stands opposed to the far-right Hindutva nationalism of the BJP government in India.”
Turns out, heeding to their requests, an ad company, which manages the main billboards, has reportedly refused to run the campaign, as per an India Today report.
Dennis Levine of the ad company, Branded Cities confirmed the decision to not run the advertisements and also reassured that ”Branded Cities and Nasdaq oppose the demolition of Babari Masjid and will never allow any supremacist groups to run their advertisements”.
Welcoming the order, Dr Shaik Ubaid, President of ImanNet (one of the Muslim groups), said that the refusal of the ad company to run such ads “a great victory for pluralism, human rights and rule of law”.
Among the prominent billboards that had been leased for the occasion was the giant Nasdaq screen and the 17,000-square-foot wrap-around LED display screen, considered among the largest continuous exterior displays in the world.
Not only that, images of the words ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Hindi and English, Lord Ram’s portraits and videos, 3D portraits of the temple’s design and architecture as well as pictures of the laying of the foundation stone by Prime Minister Modi were also supposed to be displayed across several billboards from 8m till 10 pm on August 5.