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. Worriedone

    Faiza you are so right. I am a Muslim I also am an American. The views expressed in Islam are not counter to or in disagreement with the basic rights and freedoms of all Americans. It comes down to choice. It is about making the right choices. We call that struggle to choose right jihad. So if you want me to struggle to make the right choice, and voice my opinions as an American Muslim then you have supported my jihad

    October 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. yona

    Israel just shouldn't have ever existed, no rational facts support its existence ( appart if you define the Old Testament as truth founded ). Before its creation in 1948, Muslims, Christians and Jews used to live all together, what need was it to create a state and provoke the extradition of a million muslims in an area that will for sure have brought conflicts ? Hmm let me guess, behind every war has been hidden a universal matter : economy.

    October 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      There was a 1947 UN Treaty that created Israel with the surrounding nations' agreement. Israel's expansion beyond those boundaries should have been stopped decades ago, but that doesn't mean Israel shouldn't exist within the agreed-upon boundaries.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark Yelka

    Islam was founded and grows through violence and intolerance. That's the struggle. "Mein Kampf"

    October 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noshariaever

      Hitler wrote Mein Kampf after he read the Qu'ran. Coincidence, not really. The Qu'ran inspired him.

      October 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Adam85

    I feel the Zionists are ocerplaying. The manipulated sheeple is going to turn aganst the little but so needy aand hateful state as the propaganda gets ever more smug. Is it just arrogance?

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

      That "needy" little country with a per capita income that ranks between that of South Korea and the Bahamas? That "needy" little country with a GDP of about $250 billion?
      That "needy" little country that doesn't need our help at all?

      October 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Adam85

    Edit "Overplaying their hand***...

    October 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John Doe

    Actually, the Westboro Baptist Church is peaceful and non violent.

    October 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name s kel

      Another lier, thats why you hide behind the name" john doe"!

      October 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • brainbomb

      They are non-violent because they are physically weak. I am shocked that none of them have had violence bestowed upon them though. They could all use a good curb stomp.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pleasestandup

      Peaceful it absolutely is not. And he/she said "loving" not non-violent. Finally, non-violent does not equal peaceful.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Totally Awesome

    They should have just left the main body of the message without putting "Support Isarel, Defeat Jihad." Maybe left the Star of David. Less hateful looking that way. War isn't civilized.

    October 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    You will not find *the civilized man* in any war.

    October 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony Kovic

    Boring, really.
    Just a tempest in a tea pot.
    Had the media not made these ads "newsworthy" almost nobody would have noticed or cared – about either side's opinion.

    October 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mr. Plow

    YES! Finally they make it blatantly obvious! SUPPORT ISRAEL! Let's have them drag us further into another war, but first! PROPAGANDA! All funding/revenue/support/ANYTHING should be cut for Israel. If they want to live in their chosen land then let them but cut all funding. What is the strategical purpose of Israel? A good location to bomb brown people that have another religion? No... It's the "holly land". Sure it is... THANKS RELIGION!

    October 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ted Ward

    Islam simply cannot be accepted as a real fath until it reforms and dispenses with its nasty tenets of hatred for all ather faiths. Until then it should be banned and not be recognized as a religion, but only as a cult of hate and oppression.

    October 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      Your assertions are based on the few right-wing people who believe their actions are justified by any religion at all and who use religion as a shroud for promoting violence. Mainstream Muslims believe that Jews and Christians are 'people of the book,' and to be respected.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Martin

    Just to correct a previous comment

    "I̶s̶l̶a̶m̶ Christianity simply cannot be accepted as a real fath until it reforms and dispenses with its nasty tenets of hatred for all other faiths. Until then it should be banned and not be recognized as a religion, but only as a cult of hate and oppression."

    There's no significant difference between Christianity and Islam; it's just that Christianity got a head-start when it came to wrecking lives.

    October 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • GM1953

      and christianity evolved and became civilized faster. Islam still has a ways to go

      October 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |

    What's the biggy? They haven't set fire to their religious books...named a teddy bear after a prophet...or anything else that seems to get them amped up.

    October 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BOMBO ©

    THAT got deleted? Holy KRAPP.

    All I said was I supported this ad. I guess I'm not allowed to express my opinion.

    October 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Simon Cohen

    An elephant in the room here is that a disproportional majority of the jihad victims are Muslims killed by other Muslims in the name of Allah.

    October 8, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Nobody wants to interfere if Muslims are killing Muslims - We can let them do their Koranic ritual killings. However, civilized people need to straighten out Muslims when Muslims declare Jihad and kill non-Muslims (example 9/11).

      October 9, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
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