6 August 2012
To Whom It May Concern,
It has come to our attention that the al-Quds Day March is being advertised on Transport for London buses. As an advert for a political event, this advert contravenes section 3.1 (p) of the TfL Advertising Policy which states 3.1 ‘Advertisements will not be approved for, or permitted to remain on TfL’s services if, in TfL’s reasonable opinion, the advertisement falls within any of the following categories.’ (p) ‘The advertisement relates to a … a political cause.’
Quds Day is an annual political rally introduced by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. In creating the day, Khomeini said “I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper [Israel] and its supporters.”
More recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Iranian State news that “The Quds Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems; any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world”
The particular advert, apparently placed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), directs people to that organisation’s website for details. The IHRC website’s details on the event make it clear that this is an explicitly political rally.
Their page on the Quds Day rally includes the following quote “Oh Muslims and deprived of the world, rise up in unity and take your destiny in your hands. Lets start from where we live. We should sanction their economy and puppets in our countries. We should deny them any breathing space until we free our nations of their perfidy. It should ever remain in our minds that we can free Quds only when we free our nation of its corrupt elements.”
At previous al-Quds Day Marches in London the flag of the Hezbollah, a proscribed terrorist organisation, has proudly been on display by participants alongside signs stating “We are all Hezbollah now!” Speakers at previous rallies made inflammatory political speeches calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.
We appreciate that this might not have been apparent when the advertising was first accepted in good faith. However, in light of the explicitly political nature of the event being advertised on TfL buses, we are sure that you will take this opportunity to apply your Advertising Policy consistently and remove the adverts.
Jeremy Newmark Jon Benjamin
Chief Executive Chief Executive
Jewish Leadership Council Board of Deputies of British Jews