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. Violent Invaders

    The only violent one's are the invaders. For example, when you defend your home from someone who has invaded, what you do to that person in defense of your home is legal. by any man's law.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. funny wars

    What do you call a muslim man who has sided with invading christians of muslim holy lands?
    The Quran calls that man a Renegade..

    October 9, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. God hates

    "God hates hypocrisy" -The Word
    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return. (W.H. Auden)
    To know hate is to know God. (also, jealousy)
    "I am a jealous God."-The Word

    October 9, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 1 Mans

    One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.
    One mans jihadist is another mans invading infidel christian.
    One mans muslim is another mans Renegade muslim who has sided with the invading christian infidels.
    One mans terrorist is another mans homeowner defending his property.
    One mans 'God's chosen people' is another mans israeli MOSSAD
    One mans wife is another mans boyfriend.
    One mans God is another mans enemy.

    October 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. @No Sharia

    Ok. Now you admit that it's christians, not muslims, who are invading and occupying other peoples property.
    If Sharia Law dictated invading and occupying muslim lands in Africa andd the ME, the USA could ne mistaken for the nation of Islam. However, Sharia law does not dictate this. Greed and wretched American excess does.

    October 9, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. saywhat

    We need to stand up and fight against this campaign of hate and bigotry with the designed purpose of promoting an agenda of a foreign lobby. We need to speak out against law makers like N.Y state rep. Geller who with her co-horts of dual loyalty are behind these ads.
    The Jewish org Rabbis for Human Rights and Christian org 'Sojourners' have taken up this fight. And I hope my favorite folks the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and JStreet wouldn't be far behind.

    October 9, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Noshariaever

    If this happened, give the date, the name of the place in Afghanistan, the people involved. Otherwise, who knows you may have made up the story.

    October 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. saywhat

    Its not American greed, its the greed and excesses of politicians everywhere that ultimately leads to conflicts and wars.
    The American public is overwhelmingly for end to wars and occupation.
    @Noshriaever
    The legacy of torture ,corruption, misery , death and destruction is legacy of any war and occupation. Iraq and Afghanistan are no exceptions. What has been happening in these countries since their invasion and occupation is no secret.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Philip

    We need to take a close look at politicians who call themselves christians who use religious teachings as foreign policy, especially regarding Israel. Sharia Law and Noachide Law are one. (many muslims claim 'sharia law' is just ceremonial as do many christians discussing our own congessionally adopted and presidentially ratified laws of ancient Israel)
    @saywhat... money is not the root of evil. Rather, the love of money is the root of all sorts of injurious things. Poor people purchase the most lottery tickets by far. It is the middle class taxpayer who supports the non-taxpayer. The middle class is being consumed by the poor, not the rich. The rich are famous people and so have become famous for the part they play consuming the middle class.. The real culprits go hardly noticed or prosecuted.
    AND GET THIS STRAIGHT...If Americans didn't want it, they wouldn't approve of sending the military to go get it for them.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Philip

    ...like, if Americans didn't want revenge for 9/11, they never would have approved waterboarding suspected foreign criminals.
    If we don't want it, we don't apporove of it being had at any cost, unless it's cute and we can finance it.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Philip

    25% of Israeli citizens are members of the muslim religion. Million of other Israeli citizens are not jews.
    You aren't supporting jews when you support Israel. You are supporting Israel. All of Israel. Especially a burning hellfire god's little helper MOSSAD.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. saywhat

    @Nosharia
    Pakistan being the frontline state in our 'war on terror' has been bearing the brunt also for siding with us and fighting this war for us. More than 3000 of their soldiers killed, more than 30000 civilians and counting in the past 11 years. A country run over by Afghan refugees and these extremist elements. The attack on this girl who the Pakistanis honored showcases the dynamics.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. saywhat

    Good morning @Philip & agree.
    my comments to your post didn't go thru though.

    October 9, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. saywhat

    I'm having trouble posting @Philip
    Perhaps later.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Philip

    It happens to me quite a bit too @saywhat. (replies won't post but little one-liners will)

    October 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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