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. Galaxy Prime

    If it wasn't for all that oil in the Middle East, the United States wouldn't give a damn about what goes on in that region.

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

      Yeah right. Look at all the oil we are getting from Irag and Afghanistan. You are delusional. Think of another one...

      October 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • xxsteinfeldxx

      Afghanistan has no oil. If it does and I am mis informed, There is very little and wouldn't make an impact on anything. We Didn't go into Afghanistan for oil. If you don't remember why we went there in the first place please refer back to a history book.

      October 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt Vine

      Jihad actually does not mean holy war, get your facts straight. I support Israel, however you need to know that it is not in the koran that muslims should wage "holy war"

      October 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      To make your statement a bit more accurate, it would be better to use the term natural resources instead of oil. Although oil is certainly a factor in U.S. foreign poilcy, in Afghanistan it is the mineral wealth- copper, gold and especially lithium (on the order of 3 trillion$ worth) that is coveted. Even then, U.S. policy on Israel is a bit more complicated than just oil and resources. All national policy in the U.S. is tied to money- without vast sums of it a candidate is dead in the water; and if a candidate offends a powerful lobby, they risk a landslide of wealth falling into their opponents coiffers. The pro-Israel lobby is one of the strongest and most active in terms of defeating poilticians-not only those critical of Israel but also those who are not strong supporters. The subway ads may not qualify as hate speech, but they certainly aim to deepen prejudice in people who are already anti-muslim. They are really in poor taste.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Matt Vine, Jihad means "holy war" and is mentioned in over 160 verses in the Qur'an.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      Jihad means struggle of two kinds: the greater (the struggle to be the best person one can be), or the lesser (the struggle to defend oneself and Islam). Some INTERPRET the lesser jihad as an edict to start a so-called holy war that is nothing more than violence. But that isn't what jihad is supposed to be about (unless, say, Mecca was attacked and an invader threw the proverbial first stone).

      October 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian Mophtali

    OH MY! Do you know what happens when the average walking people see the add? They start reading about Islam in different books, then they move to the KORAN, then, all of a sudden they see truth never being told, then they question themselves, where is the violence the add is portraying? then finally they know it's a conspiracy!!!

    October 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Frederick1337

    This is great. I love freedom of speech. This just helps to show how racist Jews can be. : )

    October 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • LR

      Where exactly is the racism, racist?

      October 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • teel

      How is fearing an existential threat from 1.5 billion muslims something that makes you a racist?

      October 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • teel

      Especially considering Jews have a long history of living in fear of much larger populations and that Jews are outnumbered 100-1 by muslims. What a misapplied use of the word "racism". You know it too, hence your little taunting smiley face.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom H.

      I have no clue what you mean by saying Jews are racist- that is a biggoted generalization. There are racist people in every religion!

      October 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Achmed

    Anti jihad ads in the subway? This is an outrage! In the spirit of multiculturalism, advertisements promoting jihad should appear throughout the city.

    October 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      If you mean the greater jihad, or struggle to become the best person you can be, then sure. But not the lesser jihad. Even though the lesser jihad is technically the struggle to defend Islam, to promote a lesser jihad in this case would likely mean promoting more needless violence.

      October 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Noshariaever

    19,719 persons have died in the world at the hands of Islamic terrorists since September 11, 2001. That ad is justified.

    October 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan still

      I thought it was in millions, u sure about it ?

      October 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      That's the number of acts of Islamic terrorism. the body-count is much higher.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |

    love israel !

    October 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. philip

    this is just one more reason why israel sucks.

    October 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kirk

    all governments are corrupt. it is unrealistic to think God could favor one country or race over another. on top of that you have the extremists that claim to serve their gods and influence these so called rulers to carry out their ideologies.

    October 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew


    October 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. No solution

    Llamas are dangerous. If you see one where people are swimming you shout: "Look Out, there are Llamas!"

    October 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Somebody

    As if Israel is innocent! They've killed at least 1.5 million innocent Palestinian civilians...

    October 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberty Spinner

      Wherever you get your statistics from they are not based on reality. You need to go back to school and get an education. I won't call you a Neanderthal as all people of European ancestry have 4% Neanderthal genes. If you get a genetic test it could show you are handicapped in the area of truth and ability to reason.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • YoungMarine

      I don't support Israel but not all those Palestinians are innocent

      October 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |

      your statement is just a lie; even if you repeat it many times, it still is a lie
      would enter into a discussion on this subject with you, if you weren't, obviously, one of those who care nothing about facts.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Talmadge Pollard

    If anyone would just READ THEIR BIBLES, they would see that this advertisement is necessary, & the necessity of supporting Israel. God chose them, led them out of Egypt, & through the wilderness, to their promised land, where they currently reside, & where the Muslims have been trying to take it from them ever since. Then they attack the US. Now they try to infiltrate us through our Presidency (too late, they already did). His fruits are the fruits of a Muslim, not a Christian. Better read your Bibles!!!! Se'lah...

    October 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom H.

      umm... Jihad is NOT anti Israel (generally speaking)-

      October 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • rdp

      Twisted a little much are you?

      October 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      Last I checked, Israel won the 1967 war in six days, a war which they started by taking land outside the boundaries agreed upon by all in the 1947 UN Treaty. Israel has a right to exist, but within its own boundaries. So, do you really think the other nations surrounding Israel are the sole aggressors? And by the way, no matter how many twist the meaning of jihad to suit their own purposes, jihad has very little to do with the Israel/Palestine conflicts.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom H.

      Thank you Citizen, I agree.

      October 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. OB2012

    Just one more reason we should cut all funds and ties with Israel. All they will do is drag us into another war in the ME

    October 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • teel

      We are being dragged into another war because we blew up Iraq, destroyed the strategic balance, achieved nothing, and paved the way for Iran to dominate the region. If we don't help Israel, they will do it alone, and we will have no say in how it works out... in a region were we have alot of interests. Sorry, OB, this is way bigger than Israel.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. m

    This is not freedom of speech. This is using freedom of speech to promote hatred.

    October 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • teel

      promoting hatred of an enemy which openly seeks to destroy you and loves to talk about it, is not quite the same thing as the promoting hatred between racial groups in a multiracial democracy like the usa. this is something that many people mix up.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan still

      I agree with you M

      October 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      A hateful person is only capable of perceiving hate. That's not my reality.

      October 9, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      You don't get your own reality.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rick R

    It's not even a clever ad. Not worth the fight.

    October 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • teel

      there is no need to be clever. did you consider that?

      October 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
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