The largest newspaper in Tennessee published paid advertisement from a fringe religious group, claiming that “Islam” would detonate a nuclear bomb in the city of Nashville.
Featuring a banner which melds together images of president Donald Trump, Pope Francis, and burning American flags, the ad was in the form of a letter addressed to citizens of Nashville, and signed by “The Ministry of Future for America.”
The Ministry is a Christian organisation that some have previously called a doomsday cult. In the page long letter they claim that Bible passages prophesise a nuclear attack on Nashville on 18 July by “Islam”. It referred to Trump as the “final president of the USA,” and argues that there will be a Third World War “brought by the Islamic religion.”
The hate-filled letter has led to outrage among readers of The Tennessean, with some cancelling their subscriptions.
Others pointed to the danger that the ad could stir religious or ethnic tensions and may amount to terrorist propaganda.
The Tennesseean has apologised for the grossly anti-Islam and hate-fuelled ad, claiming “the ad was immediately ordered to be pulled from future editions by sales executives and the investigation launched.”
The newspaper’s advertising standards clearly forbid hate speech. Advertisements that do not meet the paper’s standards are routinely rejected for publication.
Michael A. Anastasi, vice president and editor added to the letter saying:
The ad is horrific and is utterly indefensible in all circumstances. It is wrong, period, and should have never been published. It has hurt members of our community and our own employees and that saddens me beyond belief.
The Tennessean has promised to donate the funds made from the placement of the add to the American Muslim Advisory Council.