Anti-jihad ads make their way to D.C. subways
"Defeat Jihad" ads like the one shown here in New York will now be displayed in Washington.
October 8th, 2012
01:47 PM ET

Anti-jihad ads make their way to D.C. subways

An anti-jihad ad that has caused a stir in other cities now has another destination for its message: the subways of Washington.

The ad by the American Freedom Defense Initiative states, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

Jihad - Arabic for "struggle" - is considered a religious duty for Muslims, although there are both benign and militant interpretations of what it means.

Last month, the American Freedom Defense Initiative posted the ads in the subways of New York and San Francisco.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations posted a response ad that reads, “Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.” Another one reads, “Support peace in word and deed.”

And the council is ready to try to counter the new ads in the nation's capital.

The ads were initially blocked, but on Friday, U.S. District Judge Mary Collyer ruled that the D.C. transit system must allow the advertisements because of free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

"We don't think it's controversial," said Pamela Geller, the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. "It's truth. Telling the truth now is equated with 'hate' and 'bigotry' in an attempt to silence and demonize the truth-tellers. That makes my ads all the more important.”

According to Geller, the American Freedom Defense Initiative ads have two missions: “to affirm the truth about the barbaric jihad against free people” and to affirm free speech.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is working with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace, knows it can’t get the ads removed. Instead, the groups want the D.C. transit officials to help reduce the negative impact of the posters.

“With respect to your response in this matter, it is not our desire that (the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) disallow advertisements that contain any political speech,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement. “I do believe there are measures WMATA can take to mitigate the affect hate speech has on the community.”

These measures include working with organizations representing affected Muslim and Arab communities, placing disclaimers to show that the transit authority does not support the views of the ads, and providing free space for advertisements focused on promoting, understanding and tolerance, the Islamic group says.

More than likely, the free ad space will be used for the Council on American-Islamic Relations' ads against the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s message.

“The counter-ads are fine from a free speech standpoint,” Geller said. “But where were these groups countering ‘hate’ when the Fogel family was murdered in Israel? Or when the Chabad house was targeted for a bloody jihad attack in Mumbai? Or when Christians are persecuted on an increasingly frequent and violent basis in Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and elsewhere?”

Just like the Washington transit authority, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority had to display the American Freedom Defense Initiative ads because of a court ruling, despite refusing to allow the ads a year ago.

Although the ads cannot be removed, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muneer Awad, hopes the MTA will also help reduce the effect of the ads in the city.

"We're trying to make sure MTA has policies to discourage hate speech," Awad said. “These hate ads are part of a larger problem.”

The MTA is considering amending its advertising policies to prohibit all noncommercial advertisements, spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

“If they countenance the outlawing of my ads, they should be careful: One day, they may wish to say something that offends the political or media elites, and they'll wish they had stuck up for my freedom of speech,” Geller said.

soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    Its not anti-Jihad, these are pro- Israel ads run by the likes of Rep.Geller who despite being elected by Americans to represent them works for the interest of Israeli regime.

    I felt proud to be an American when in N.York, the Jewish org Rabbis for Human Rights and Christian Org Sojourners took up to fight this hate mongering thru their protests and adsand other N.Yorkers have joined them I hope the same American spirit confronts these hate mongers in D.C

    October 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Pamela Geller is not an elected official.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    These ads are part of a campaign to malign a whole community and turn gullible folks phobic. Divisive politics.

    October 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Which community? Where on that sign does it mention any group of people besides Israel?

      Or are YOU implying that all Muslims are jihadists?

      October 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Riabaki Lalu

    i disagree with the support Israel part, not because I'm anti Zion or anything, but because it sends out a wrong message

    October 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Oh, boy.
    Way to thow more fuel in the fire...

    October 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Soliman the Magnificent

    "simply because jihad is vicious and criminal" , Jihad represents any and all good deeds. Some people belevie it is a carte blanche to commit atrocities, none of which Islam stands for. Same thing when people propagate hate like that, Ignorant people beleive Jihad to be evil, Islam to be evil, torch mosques and people get hurt. We dont see Gellar talking about terrorsim in this country, cuz more than half the terrorist attacks in the US from the mid 90s have no relation with Extreme Islam. We could care less how you personally feel about Islam, as long as you do not propagate violence against fellow citizens. BTW there are also Christian Palestinians, that are subjected to the same Israeli atrocities. Nuff said..

    October 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noshariaever

      Wow! you show little modesty in your user name: Suleiman the Magnificent. For people who do not know, Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to conquer the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed most of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large swathes of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
      So, Soliman, are you dreaming of a caliphate again? Good deception pal!

      October 9, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Apul M'Deek-Aoud

    End Jihad...nuke Israel.

    October 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noshariaever

      Admit that jihad would never be over unless the whole world embraces Islam., because this what Islam is all about. Stopping jihad is every body's business who want to live in a society without customs that are like living in the 7th century.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. rick

    what is wrong with an anti Jihad pro israel ad? sorry, I don't see the downside. ever watch palestinian TV? read newspapers published in muslim countries?

    October 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    I have yet to see what you point at in N.York or Washington sub-ways.
    What do you not like about the President of US of A. His being of a different color or his being a practicing Christian? Or are you just driven by ignorance?

    October 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    I wish they had included a link to a website to donate money to support Israel and defeat Jihad. This is truly a noble cause.

    October 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Missoula

    Hey – right on. Let’s put up the Westboro Baptist Church ads right up next to them! Show everyone how peaceful and loving we Christians are!!

    October 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat

    We the US tax payers already donate 3 billion dollars a year to this 'noble' cause – the Israeli military. Besides billions in other announced and un announced aid.

    October 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Sorry, you are WAY off. We give over 91 Bilion to those occupiers!

      October 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Pete, you have no idea what you are talking about.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    These ads would never serve their insidious and divisive purpose thanks to the American spirit which is still alive. And American orgs both Jewish and Christians are taking up the fight against them. More power to them.

    October 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sam

    Why would intelligent people support Zionism, its the main reason Jihad in the modern era exist.

    October 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jackthegeek

    I'm glad Freedom of Speech is honored in Washington, DC . This is America and If you don't want to see it, get out in this country and go home where you came from !!!!!!!

    October 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      Heck, I don't want to see it, but I'm American. Where do I go?

      October 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Noshariaever

    That kind of ad is necessary to preserve the freedom that our ancestors gave us. Bravo!

    October 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Somebody

      We need to support Israel to preserve our freedom? Wow that's news to me.

      October 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
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