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. cecelia tidd (CC35)

    After the war of God, Armageddon, is completed, the scripture at Psalms 37:29 will be fulfilled: "The righteous themseives will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it."

    October 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Joseph

    What makes it wrong is how this words could have been uses for colonialism, Leopold II anyone?

    October 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Philip

    Like I said earlier, US foreign policy towords Israel is based on our current and past presidents' religious belief that modern-day Israel is "God's chosen people Israel".. Good thing the burning hell our leaders espouse cannot be part of any foreign policy.
    Where current and past US presidents stray from this is when they arm Israel's sworn enemies. But what the heck. Israel sells arms to anyone with enough cash!

    October 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      So the fact that Israel is the only real democracy in the region has nothing to do with it?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Bravo way to go cant have enough religion based hate in this world.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      If this was 1980..
      You can make an argument that we did not know how the MIddle East will shape out...
      It's 2012....
      Dictators are not as strong as they seem and any changes are made by people and their voices...
      The US. has no business there..
      Israel needs an Ally, which the US is..
      But Israel should not expect the US to intervene on their behalf...
      We are broke and how our own issues at home...
      Israel can take care of themselves!!!

      October 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • gunnard larson

      Is israel a real democracy? I was under the impression that a huge percentage of those living in Israel are arabs who have lived on that land for generations and that arab israelies do not have the right to vote. If that is true than Israel is a democracy like South Africa was a democracy which in my opionion it wasnt.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • gunnard larson

      I just looked it up, and I was wrong. I'm still not sure of all the numbers, but about 20% of Israeli citizens are arab, there are other arabs who are residents but not citizens but I didn't see numbers. Citizens can vote, residents cannot. Wikipedia said that the residents were offered citizenship but they refused so as not to legitimize the Israeli state. Ofcourse, neither of these groups include the refugees, but that is another story.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Annnd that's a wrap. Have a good evening all.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mary

    Matthew 1:21
    "She will give birth to a son, and you must call his name Jesus for he will save his people [God's obedient children] from their sins."

    October 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • brainbomb

      The Bible is as much non-fiction as Green Eggs and Ham.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • gunnard larson

      but green eggs and ham rocks and the bible is mostly really boring.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Anders Behring Breivik (King of the Island)

    Can someone mail me one of these posters? I would love to hang a few in my cell!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • gunnard larson

      best comedy I've seen in the belief blog all week.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jubril

    Would an Ad containing Swastikas be considered free Speech, Will that be allowed by the judge or will one containing a lynching noose or a slave chain be Free Speech, double standards

    October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • doughnuts

      Sense: You make none.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      It's not necessarily a double-standard. US law protects freedom of speech, so it's very difficult to get anything other than the obvious examples you mentioned classed as hate speech. This includes examples such as the Mohammed cartoons. Offensive – yes, but classifying them as hate speech is quite difficult under US law. Same goes for these posters.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gerg

    Quite frankly, The Council on American-Islamic Relations has been quite silent on extremists hi-jakcing their religion, but find the muster to protest ads that bring that violence to the fore. How about this, The Council on American-Islamic Relations begin posting ads decrying the hi-jacking of their religion? There is NO excuse for not coming out sooner to denounce the criminal actions and perversions perpatrated on the Muslim religion. Case in point, the 14 year old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for her "obscene" stand on women's rights to education. Where is the Muslim outcry in this country?

    October 10, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessie

      Why are Muslims supposed in America supposed to condemn an act 10,000 miles away in another country? When some Christian in Thailand murders another person, are we Christians supposed to condemn that too? Makes no sense.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      They've been quiet because they were created by an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and were implicated in a terrorism funding case. Several past board members have been convicted of terrorism-related charges and are now serving time in Federal penetentiaries.
      CAIR encourages US Muslims to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement in terrorism cases, and is constantly trumpeting alleged hate-crimes against US Muslims when many of those incidents were either total fabrications, or were committed by the supposed victims of the crime (e.g. The Marietta, GA mosque that was set on fire by a member of the congregation).
      CAIR and the Muslim Student Association are both primary funded by Wahabi mosques in Saudi Arabia, which are in turn funded by the Saudi royal family.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rameez S

      Yes, they should also make posters of Afia Siddiqui – who was kidnapped by FBI from the streets of Karachi and has been tortured and held hostage in US. They should also make for each violent act done by US soldiers on Iraqi and Afghanistani female prisoners. Last but not the least – since 1950s, Israel has done mother of all terrorism and barbarism on civilian population in Palestine. Let's not forget the human shields Israel used in the recent Gaza incursion and then falsely blamed it on Hamas. Yes, if we have to blame Taliban and speak out against them, then we should also speak out against the mass murderers and destroyers of civilian population. Perhaps a poster of all the groups, secret committees and think tanks that help Israel, work to disintegrate and cause chaos in muslim world should also be highlighted in that very same poster. Let's color your transits with your hate. Let's educate your own people – WHY & HOW, YOU HATE THE WORLD.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Double Standards Indeed

      I expect that peaceful Muslims around the world will start decrying the hijacking of their religion by militant fundamentalists around the same time that we Christians start decrying the hijacking of ours by our own religious fundamentalists. The Religious Reich forgets that they are exactly the same as the militant fundamentalists that they rail against in other religions, and they have exactly the same proof of being right that others do.

      Nothing changes so long as we refuse to accept that we might be wrong AND they might be right.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      If you're looking for Pakistan's (a majority-Muslim country) reaction, check out today's CNN world news. Most Pakistani Muslims state openly that what happened to that 14 year old is unacceptable and wrong.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve JK

    Why do we have to blindly support Israel? I don't hear anyone saying this for Italy, Brazil, etc. Why does Israel get a free pass?

    October 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anechoic

      If terrorists launched wave after wave of attacks on Italy and Brazil, they would also get a free pass. And rightly so.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bukkiah

    They think their speech should have special subsidies, as in free ad space? So they think their speech is better then others? Why can't CAIR simply buy some ads of their own? CAIR is the propoganda arm of militant jihadists. Go to memri.org and learn something. Classic say one thing in Arabic, say another in English.

    How is it that CAIR is going to bridge the divided if they don't even understand the A side of it? Like the fundemental belief that freedom of speech is more important then offending (or defending from offense) anyone or any position. They should take a hard look at the fact that Nazis are still in America, still march in the streets, and the Jews MUST put up with it (speech not violent action). This is tolerance and CAIR does not understand tolerance. CAIR interpetes tolerance to mean "must respect CAIRs viewpoint as equal to your own".

    October 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. christianzioinist

    Whoever wrote this article is intentionally misleading people about the word "jihad". There is NO reference to any "struggle" in the koran anywhere. Instead of just taking anyone's word for it. research it.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • doughnuts

      The Qur'an isn't the only source material for Islam. There are collections of acts and sayings of Mohammad called "hadith." Research them.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      It's in the "sword verses" in Surah 2 – Al Baqarah. Those verses refer to the first Muslims of Mecca and their struggle to defend themselves and their religion against those who attacked them and it physically. Interpretations of these verses' meaning vary. What's clear is that these verses refer to the lesser jihad, or the struggle of Muslims to defend themselves against physical attackers. Just how this should be interpreted in daily life is open to debate. Mainstream Muslims would say these verses are historical, and are an edict for self-defense and/or defense of the Kabba/sacred mosques only.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. krussell

    I would love to post my version of 'the truth' here, but the last time I typed something that was not 100% in support of Israel tey delected the comment and I was banned. I had to post under a different name and email address for months.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. cecelia tidd (CC35)

    The scripture at Psalms 14:1 aptly refers to an atheist: "The senseless one has said in his heart: 'There is no God.'

    October 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pleasestandup

      The post-it note I just stepped refers to those that believe in a god: "The senseless one has said to his coffee cup: There is a god."

      October 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 2MassEffect

    LOVE IT ! Israel is the ONLY country that has anything going for it. It doesn't take cr@p from anybody. Good for you

    October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. doughnuts

    And yet another reply gets erased.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anechoic

      It probably made sense or was somehow logical and well reasoned.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
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