A US newspaper is investigating how a full-page anti-Muslim ad was published in its Sunday edition
- The Tennesseean is investigating how its Sunday print edition included a full-page ad that described an impending nuclear attack in Nashville by the religion of "Islam."
- The ad described a "Bible prophecy," and claims Trump is the "final president of the USA."
- The outlet's top editors and sales officers denounced the ad and said the outlet was conducting a thorough investigation into its publishing.
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The Tennesseean is investigating a bizarre ad that appeared in its Sunday print edition and described a "prophecy," that included an impending nuclear attack in Nashville by "Islam."
The full-page letter raised alarms on social media, where pictures of the ad showed President Donald Trump, Pope Francis, and American flags in front of flames atop a large block of text addressed to "Citizen of Nashville."
The letter was signed by "The Ministry of Future For America," which the paper called a "fringe religious group." Photos of the ad posted online show several paragraphs describing a "Bible prophecy" that declares without evidence that the religion of Islam is going to blow up Nashville on July 18, in addition to claiming Trump is the "final president of the USA."
This morning, the Nashville @Tennessean â€” the largest newspaper in the state â€” published a full-page ad from a far-right client warning â€œIslam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee.â€ Itâ€™s accompanied by photos of Donald Trump and Pope Francis. pic.twitter.com/9vvUbteSIh— Alex Martin Smith (@asmiff) June 21, 2020
A website under the same name as the group describes its connection to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Protestant Christian denomination that is largely centered on the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Interest groups like the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition and the US Council on American-Islamic Relations slammed the ad for falsely stirring up fears with the Islamophobic claims.
Michael A. Anastasi, vice president and editor of The Tennessean, was quoted by the outlet saying that staffers reject the sentiments described in the ad, which ran after a "breakdown in the normal processes."
"Clearly there was a breakdown in the normal processes, which call for careful scrutiny of our advertising content," Anastasi said.
"The ad is horrific and is utterly indefensible in all circumstances. It is wrong, period, and should have never been published," Anastasi said. "It has hurt members of our community and our own employees and that saddens me beyond belief. It is inconsistent with everything The Tennessean as an institution stands and has stood for."
The paper's announcement of an investigation also said that the ad was the second of its kind to run in a print edition after one that didn't mention Islam but described a doomsday prophecy was published on June 17.
A local sales leader said the team was "reviewing internally why and how this occurred and we will be taking actions immediately to correct," the Tennesseean reported.
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