From the Islamic Republic News Agency :

Posters negatively portraying a Muslim as a criminal have been banned from being displayed at Tube stations on London’s underground railway network.

London Underground (LU) said that the adverts for a new television series using the phrase “America’s latest hero is a Muslim straight out of jail’ could not be used because it was sensationalist and will offend people.

“Following consultation with Viacom, which manages advertising on the Tube, it was decided to ask for the words `is a Muslim’ to be removed,” an LU spokeswoman was quoted saying by London’s Evening Standard newspaper Thursday.

The spokeswoman said that the text was “clearly intended to be sensationalist and could give offense.” She added that the decision was taken “in line with our standard policies which seek to avoid gratuitously insulting large groups of Londoners.”

The posters were intended to promote the hit US drama series `Sleeper Cell’ about an undercover FBI agent, who infiltrates a terrorist network by posing as a spy.

The digital channel FX, which is showing the programs, said that the advert would still appear in newspaper. It said that the American drama was the first to feature a Muslim as the lead heroic character.

Without denying anyone’s right to be offended by an inoffensive poster, I would like to say the following about “Sleeper Cell” ;

1) Until the final episode, where they appear to use an American Legion field in place of Dodger Stadium, the series was entertaining and provocative in ways we usually associate with a pay-channel that has 3 initials. Yes, it was every bit as good as “Arli$$”.

2) Blake Shields deserves some sort of award for “credible performance in a production that couldn’t afford Philip Seymour Hoffman”.

3) UK readers who are curious about this drama might be interested to know that much-maligned DJ Tim Westwood is surprisingly sharp in the role of Farik. Unless that isn’t Tim Westwood (in which case, he still sucks).