Tennessee Newspaper Apologizes for Running 'Horrific' Anti-Islam Ad

The Tennessean, the largest newspaper in the state of Tennessee, ran a full-page advertisement from a fringe religious group Sunday that cited the Bible and warned Nashville residents that a nuclear bomb will be set off by "Islam" next month. The ad also declared Donald Trump the "final president of the USA," as foreseen in the Christian Bible.

The pseudo-religious writing by the Ministry of Future for America issued an unfounded claim that on July 18, 2020, unnamed Islamic forces in association with Russia and other world powers will detonate a nuclear device in Nashville. Repeatedly citing "God's Word" and including a photo of Pope Francis in front of burning American flags, the group claimed Trump's battle with Democrats was prophesied in the Bible.

"We are under conviction to not only tell you but to provide evidence that on July 18, 2020, Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee," the group's authors wrote in the ad. "Bible prophecy specifies that Donald Trump is the final president of the USA. President Trump has been typified by many biblical leaders and is marked in God's Word ... the intensity of division that is taking place between liberal and conservative Americans is manifested daily in the news."

The authors of the full-page ad went on to quote a lengthy verse from the Book of Ezekiel ,warning the citizens of Nashville that their "wicked sins" would soon culminate in a nuclear attack next month. "The warning we are providing consists of both religious and political elements that require some deep considerations," the ad continued, going on to mention Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The Tennessean management responded to shocked criticism hours after publishing the ad, issuing an apology Sunday and saying it was "in violation of the newspaper's long-established standards." The paper also said it was launching an investigation.

This morning, the Nashville @Tennessean — the largest newspaper in the state — published a full-page ad from a far-right client warning “Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee.” It’s accompanied by photos of Donald Trump and Pope Francis. pic.twitter.com/9vvUbteSIh

— Alex Martin Smith (@asmiff) June 21, 2020

The Nashville-based publication, which also circulates into several southern Kentucky counties, pulled the ad and expressed bafflement at how it was published.

"Clearly there was a breakdown in the normal processes, which call for careful scrutiny of our advertising content," said Michael A. Anastasi, vice president and editor of The Tennessean, in a statement posted online. He noted that the news and sales divisions of the newspaper operate independently.

"The ad is horrific and is utterly indefensible in all circumstances. It is wrong, period, and should have never been published," Anastasi added. "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."

Newsweek reached out to the newspaper for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.

tennessean newspaper islam ad bomb
An ad published in Tennessee's largest newspaper Sunday warned "Islam" is going to set off a nuclear bomb in Nashville on July 18, prompting an apology from the management and citing President Donald Trump as America's "last president." Screenshot: The Tennessean Newspaper