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. SM

    The intolerance between Jews and Arabs are being brought to our back yards. Why drag NY, SF and DC into this? Why should we be involved in a war to support Zionists?

    October 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • pw1121

      Better yet, why must we tolerate the Muslim war on Isreal and the rest of the world? I am about to smack in the gob the next mouthy pro Taliban, Occupier, Xbox generation, 20 something know it all who passed a couple of community college classes and now thinks they know better than you person I run into.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill R

      You are part of the reason these anti-jihad posters are going up. These ads are aiming to educate a large section of our community about the true nature of jihad. For it is your ignorance that assumes the jihad is just against Jews. You are sadly mistaken. The jihad targets all non-moslems and even moslems that the jihadists deem the wrong kind of moslem.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      There is no "intolerance between Jews and Arabs". There is, however, intolerance of Arabs towards the Jews. This is supported by the fact that the number of Jews living in the Arab states decreased by 99% since 1948 as well as the fact that the number of Jews living in Palestinian-controlloed areas of the West Bank and Gaza is EXACTLY ZERO. On the other hand, the number of Arabs living in Israel increased TWELVE TIMES since 1948 adn millions of Arabs are demanding the "right" to settle in the Zi0nist state. These facts should answer your question about the reasons the US and the rest of the civilized world should support the Zi0nists willing to live in peace with their Arab neighbors and NOT the Arabs willing to kill every Jew they can.

      October 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • paige

      Your hatred of Israel, programmed into you by your bloodthirsty ancestors is showing. Which immediate regulates your comment to "Hate Speech" and is therefore ignored by all who read it who knows the difference between peace and crazy extremist who wants to kill everyone who doesn' t think like they do.

      October 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mindbullet

      You can be against jihad without hating people who are Muslim. If you can't wrap your head around that're probably republican.

      October 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam85

      erm because they own you.

      October 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EternalBliss

    Grammatically incorrect lol.. silly.. Jihad is a verb meaning "to struggle" .. How does one defeat the act of struggling? LOL.. wouldn't you have to "struggle" in order to defeat "the act of struggling".. hence impossible for every struggle in the way of defeating "struggle" is only causing more "struggle" LMAO!!..oh the hilarious ignorance..

    October 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Admittedly the source is Wikipedia:
      In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)".

      According to the authoritative Dictionary of Islam jihad is defined as: "A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad ... enjoined especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and repelling evil from Muslims."

      October 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lindy

    Terrorism from radical Islam has killed today in Pakistan-Nigeria-Iraq-Thailand-Syria

    October 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |

      lindy, yours is a VERY abridged list – the fact is that "militant" interpretations of Islam have been, and are, leading to blood being spilled every day. A comprehensive list of countries where it has been happening would include some 27 names.

      October 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Garamasala13

    Israel up t no good as usual

    October 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fred

    To me as an American, this looks like a conspiracy work and whoever is behind this add must know that it will come back to hunt them one day, for sure. I MAN I JUST HATE PROVOKERS

    October 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      Fred... Do you REALLY believe that if there were no such ads the Jihadists would become peaceful?

      October 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    Oh boy more highly educated scholars talking crap about a situation that the whole world has known forever and will never go away, all there is to say is sheet of glass.

    October 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Doris kozak

    Jihad may mean "to struggle" ,but the goal is to dominate the whole world and if you choose to continue worshipping your own GOD instead of theirs they choose to get rid of you in horrible,barberic ways.Islam is not a peaceful religion.All we have to do is watch the news and see the constant turmoil even among themselves.

    October 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      "Struggle" is the propaganda spread by Islamists and their naive apologists.

      October 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noshariaever

      I agree Doris!

      October 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John Doe

    Support Humanity, Defeat Jihad.

    October 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noshariaever

      Victims of jihad are not only a Jewish thing. It is also the Buddhist being persecuted, the Christians in the Middle East, the Christians in India, Pakistan, the Jewish (one example, remember the youth killed this spring in Bulgaria). So Non-Muslims will eventually to stick together. The violence caused bu Muslims is escalating. Who can deny it?

      October 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |

    The word "JIHAD" is not only a description of a kind of war (HOLY WAR AGAINST ALL UNBELIEVERS) IT is a tool of war.
    bacause if a war is declared as jihad, any warrior (terrorist) that will die will go straigt up to heaven and there will be taken care by some dozens of virgins. that is why the arab terrorists organisations use very easyly suicide attackers. its easy to recruit them because there is a huge reward if they die in a holy(JIHAD) war. The BRITISH in the war in SUDAN(1880) found an answer to this by burying the remmants of suicide attackers in pigs skin. because according the muslims your soul can't reach paradise if you are wrapped in a pigs skin

    October 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jonny

    Can you be anti-jihad and anti-israel??

    October 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Carole Clarke

    Now we will see just how tolerant Islam is. You don't get to demand the right to spout your views then try to prevent the other side from voicing its views. If Islam can dish it out, they sure better be able to take it!

    October 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yona

    so freaking ridiculous, israel as jihadists are terrorists, using violence are their main mean of communication...

    October 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Penguin

    Have a jihad against jihad and a counter jihad against the counter jihad. Let's just have a global thermonuclear war and end this misery. But I think I'll just play a nice game of chess

    October 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. faiza

    I am a Proud american as well as a muslim and I want to clarify somethings. The word "Jihad" indeed means "struggle" but its a reference to 2 kinds of Jihad- the lesser jihad indicating a struggle against people who hurt you and if and only if they throw the first blow. the greater jihad is one where you STRUGGLE to do good in the world and be a good person. In this day and age THIS is the only thing we all do- struggle to make the right decision. so basically her campaign has no basis, Ms. Pamela Gellar is a notorious woman for her campaign of baseless and venomous attacks against Islam without any cause. and if indeed she were a fair person and open to tolerance, she would see that Islam is a religion of flexibility. I dress modestly, but I choose not to do hijab, I can get the highest education, and I can do what I like thanks to where i live and what my religion wants. The ideas of American life, such as the pursuit of happiness and freedom are also ideals of Islamic life. Islam's essence is this- love for all hatred for none. and these so called muslims who dare engage in violent acts are NOT muslims at all in action- they shame islam in every single way. there is no concept of the suicide bomber and that whole lie of the 72 virgin thing. its all false and if you trolls were to open your eyes, you would see that as George Bernard shaw once said every religion has a different path but in essence worships the same thing. so lets be fair and open please

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

      your list of all the things that make a good muslim or bad one makes a lot of since. The problem is there is you and maybe 1 other muslim that feels that way. If the muslim religon and countrys were up to good then they could stop the terror. If you are so tolerant why are you name calling and not being tolerant of those who dislike muslims and can say it. good day

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

      @ faiza, come on! do you REALLY

      October 9, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Six hundred years of Islamic scholars just said "Bulls&^t", Faiza.
      Lie to yourself, if you want, but don't lie to everybody else.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John Q. Public

    The group that is responsible for these posters are putting the ppl who ride metro at risk by provoking ignorance. I am disappointed in the judge's decision. There must be a sense of responsibility in the freedom of speech.

    October 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
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