Philadelphia Opposes Newsstand Displaying Porn

Michael Hayes
PHILADELPHIA — A newsstand operator who refuses to section off his adult content offerings is in danger of losing his business, according to the City Council, which has vowed to take action on the matter.

Muhammad Shaukat, who operates a newsstand in the heart of Philadelphia’s tourist section near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, has created controversy by openly displaying the covers of adult magazines outside of his stand in clear public view.

City officials had asked Shaukat to put the magazines inside his stand, away from thousands of tourists who pass the stand daily. But Shaukat refused the initial request, instead offering a handwritten sign threatening his critics.

Lawmakers Frank DiCicco and Frank Rizzo Jr. convened a City Council meeting Wednesday where members debated revoking the newsstand’s business license.

Shaukat attended the hearing, where lawmakers grilled him for his defiance as well as the sign.

“It’s just a writing,” Shaukat told the City Council.

A vote to revoke Shaukat’s business license is scheduled for next week.

In the meantime, with the City Council bearing down on him, the newsstand operator has removed the magazines.