Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Silent Protest of Words

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Not the usual postings along H Street, the words on the paper taped to the traffic box begin, “God is the light of the heavens and the earth…” (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

Many groups are not spared the typical amplified tirade blasted from one group’s amplifier at the corner of H and 8th Streets NE. Oftentimes, upset passersby—including Muslims—will shout back at the electrified preachers.

However, while photographing on Feb. 18, I noticed an apparent act of silent protest: Someone had very recently taped several papers to the usually silver traffic light control box on the southeast corner of H and 8th Streets NE. I was unfamiliar with the words, but some quick research shows it is a verse from the Koran—the Muslim holy scripture, 24:35 - al 'nuur - the light.

I'm unaware if the noisemaking preachers noticed it.


Anonymous Abu Khamr al-Murtad said...


I found your blog through a post in an Israelite forum...

...which linked to it. I'm roughly familiar with this group, as well its counterpart splinter groups.

Regardless, I am most interested in the flyers, apparently posted by Muslims. Do you have clearer pictures (i.e. pictures in which the text is more readable)? I ask because I'd like to examine it. (I'm in NYC).

If you do have pictures which show a more visible image of the text, please post it here, or e-mail me at

As for their loud speakers, they used to employ them in Times Square here in NYC, but then mayor Rudolph Giuliani tried to put a stop to it. The New York Civil Liberties Union ended up representing the Israelites in court, and I think won the case (Universal Church of Practical Knowledge v. Giuliani).

But that may have been a free speech issue, not necessarily one directly related to the issue of aplification. I have not seen them employ amplifiers in New York in years, so perhaps the city found a way to suppress that.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Klav said...

Thank you for your note. As requested, I've emailed to you the larger view.

Again, the neighbors support free speech, religion and assembly. We only wish the preachers stop using the amplifier so the residents can experience peace and quiet on Saturdays.

I'm interested in looking at the court case you cited.

7:01 PM  

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