'Controversial anti-Islam ads set for Washington DC'

'Washington Post' reports inflammatory ad equating jihad with savagery to be posted in 4 DC subways beginning Monday.

October 6, 2012 08:47
2 minute read.
Support Israel, Defeat Jihad

Support Israel, Defeat Jihad 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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A federal judge has ordered the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency to begin displaying anti-jihad advertisements beginning on Monday, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

US District Judge Rosemary Collyer issued the one-page ruling on Friday, granting an injunction to the American Freedom Defense Initiative that sought to force the Metropolitan Area Transit Agency to display the posters in four stations, the Washington Post reported, even though the agency said the ads might incite violence. The posters were scheduled to be displayed for a month starting on September 24, but were delayed until the court decision.

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“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” the ad reads. “Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.”

Rabbi’s for Human Rights in North America plans to take out subway ads urging riders to “choose love” in what the group’s director calls a response to the anti-jihad advertisements, The Jewish Week reported on Friday.

The Rabbis for Human Rights’ ads say, “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.”

The anti-jihad ads initially appeared in San Fransisco, and have drawn outrage from civil and human rights movements as well as legal advocates and activists. People have signed a petition demanding to take the ads down.

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority posted full-sized disclaimer placards on buses that carry the 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.’”

In July, a federal judge ruled the anti-jihad posters were protected speech and ordered the Metropolitan Transit Authority to place the posters in New York City subways.

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.

Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, also rejected the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s assertion the posters were demeaning.

“There’s nothing either hateful or false about my ad,” Geller said in an email.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative became known when it opposed creation of a Muslim community center near the former site of Lower Manhattan Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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