The American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller’s group, has won another round on behalf of free speech. Those subway ads are going to start appearing, at long last.
CNN carried the story:
A controversial advertisement that critics say is hateful toward Muslims will appear in New York City subway stations starting next week, despite the city’s attempts to halt the campaign.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority initially rejected the ad, which reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
The authority’s decision was overturned last month when a federal judge ruled that the ad is protected speech under the First Amendment.
Jihad — Arabic for “struggle” — is considered a religious duty for Muslims, although there are peaceful and violent interpretations of what it means.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which produced the ad, has been fighting to place the message in New York’s subway system since last year after the authority refused to display it.
“We don’t think it’s controversial,” said Pamela Geller, the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. “It’s truth. The MTA has run anti-Israel ads before and no one had an issue about it. ‘Any war on innocent civilians is savagery’: What’s controversial here?”
Starting next week, the ads will be displayed in 10 of the city’s more than 400 subway stations. The exact locations have not been selected by the transportation authority.
Geller said she had no qualms about releasing the message amid ongoing protests against an American-made anti-Islam film clip that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya last week.
“If it’s not a film, it’s a cartoon, it’s always some event,” Geller said. “I will not sacrifice my freedom.”
She noted that other places such as San Francisco have had these ads appear on buses with disclaimers next to them.
Meanwhile, the usual suspects are decrying this “hate” speech:
“These hate ads are part of a larger problem,” said Muneer Awad, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. “We’re trying to make sure MTA has policies to discourage hate speech.”
Awad wants to ensure that anyone seeing the ads next week are aware that the message is not sanctioned by the city of New York.
“It is a hate group paying for these advertisements; an avenue to promote hate speech,” said Awad. “Millions of people will see this, we want to make sure they realize that it is not (promoted by) the city of New York.”
“Discourage hate speech”, eh? Where was this dude when America was being attacked with flaming hate speech in Cairo, hmmm?
Since CAIR has “American” in its title, they’d better get some tutoring on patriotism asap. Either that or drop the charade and adopt a more accurate brand: The Council on Islamic Relations.
Now that would be some truth in advertising for a change.