Islamophobic advertisements sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) are expected to appear next week at 10 New York subway stations after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority lost a federal court ruling to stop them, The New York Times
The advertisement states: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man."
It continues: "Support Israel … Defeat jihad,” in writing wedged between two Stars of David.
After rejecting the ads initially, then losing a federal court ruling on First Amendment grounds, Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said: "Our hands are tied."
In July, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the authority had violated the First Amendment rights of the group that sought to place the ad, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The authority had cited the ad’s “demeaning” language in barring its placement, The New York Times
The American Freedom Defense Initiative which funded the ads has been one of the most vocal opponents to the planned construction of a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. The organization was named a hate group by nonprofit civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center.
The ads initially appeared in San Fransisco, and have drawn outrage from civil and human rights movements as well as legal advocates and activists. Citizens have also signed a petition demanding to take the ads down.
The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) posted full-sized disclaimer placards on MUNI buses that carry the Islamophobic ads. The disclaimer says that “SFMTA policy prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion, and other characteristics, and condemns any statements that describe any group as “savages.”
On Tuesday, online magazine The Electronic Intifada reported that the ads in San Fransisco had been artistically altered with a with an image of a hand and a stamp with the words "HATE SPEECH."
The advertisements follow recent protests against an American-made video
mocking the Prophet Mohammad.
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