NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A newspaper ad, prophesying an attack on Nashville at the hands of Muslims has caused damage that cannot be undone, according to local Islamic leaders.
It was a full-page advertisement, evoking fear and the threat of a nuclear attack.
“Our reaction was pure shock,” Sabina Mohyuddin of the American Muslim Advisory Council said.
The published print claimed ‘Islam’ would deliver the assault and destroy Nashville in a ball of fire. Mohyuddin and the local Islamic community say they feel targeted by the ad and any potential repercussions.
“They were hurt, they were hurt, and fearful of the backlash that this would cause in the communities,” Mohyuddin said.
The ad ran Sunday in the Tennessean. The newspaper’s editor apologized, calling it “horrific and utterly indefensible in all circumstances.” An important step, Mohyuddin said, but not one that can retract what was revealed.
“It’s out there,” Mohyuddin said. “You can pull the ad from online but you can’t undo the damage that was done.”
Ad revenue was returned to the group which paid for it. The Tennessean’s parent company, Gannett, will donate $14,000 in ad value to the American Muslim Advisory Council, and $50,000 more in credit to the advocacy group.
Mohyuddin has plans to meet with the newspaper on Tuesday.
The paper said there was a breakdown in the normal processes, which call for careful scrutiny of advertising. The advertising manager responsible for publishing the ad has been fired.