My ad is not hate speech – it's love speech WND
Exclusive: Pamela Geller celebrates court win allowing anti-jihad message in D.C.
We are Americans; we do not cower or reward barbarity and savagery. This was reaffirmed yet again on Friday, when a U.S. District Court judge ruled that my pro-freedom ads had to run in the Washington, D.C., subway system, despite attempts by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to suppress them for fear of what Islamic jihadist savages might do if they saw them. The “fears” of the WMATA validate the message and the necessity of our ads.
It was a close victory. At the hearing, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia appeared to go out of her way to validate and substantiate WMATA’s ridiculous premise that the AFDI pro-freedom ad would endanger passengers on the D.C. subways and thus must not be posted, or at least delayed until some (fanciful) time when the jihad threat would subside. It was painful to watch Judge Collyer almost physically wrestling with the First Amendment, trying to tackle it and pin it to the floor.
But the First Amendment proved too strong. The judge must have read the case law and saw how utterly wrong she was. She just handed us a complete victory. Props to Judge Collyer for vetting all sides, perhaps playing devil’s advocate and ruling correctly, despite many a false premise.
Philip Staub, the lawyer for WMATA, invoked the international Muslim riots that have been blamed (falsely) on the Muhammad video and said WMATA had received an email threatening them if they posted our ad. He was, in other words, counseling submission to violent Muslim intimidation and the curtailing of the freedom of speech to appease savages. He made the laughable argument that if the ad ran after Nov. 1, the threat would have subsided by then, and all would be well – as if the jihad terror threat would completely die down by then.
Staub also argued that the ad constituted fighting words – but here Judge Collyer couldn’t go along with what he was saying, although she struggled mightily to do so. She gently pointed out to Staub – whom she treated with kid gloves and like a special-needs child the whole afternoon, leading him by the hand to the disbelief of the open court (in sharp contradistinction to her frequent interruptions and contradictions of attorney Robert Muise – stop making sense!) – that for the ad to constitute fighting words, there had to be an imminent threat of violence. But the ads have run without incident in San Francisco and New York – they were vandalized in New York in an attempt to shut down free speech, but there was no violence aside from Muslim Brotherhood poster girl Mona Eltahawy’s pink spray can – and so it was impossible for Staub or Collyer to sustain the idea that they constituted an imminent threat to the safety of the passengers. But Collyer certainly tried, coaching and coaxing Staub and at one point saying to him, “The imminence issue is hard for me to get to. Just trying to tell you where I am going.”
Collyer further coached Staub by saying that she assumed – assumed! – that he was arguing (since he was so inept at actually doing so, the point wasn’t clear) that the government’s “compelling interest” in refusing or delaying these ads was concern for the safety of the passengers. She then said, with obvious reluctance, that against that concern there had to be balanced “the very broadly read First Amendment,” and asked him how he thought this could be done.
Staub answered that the safety of the passengers could be balanced against the First Amendment by delaying the ads. He said that he thought things would cool down in Africa, Asia and the Middle East by Nov. 1, and that the ads could run then. Remember, guys, we’re talking about four little ads here, and the WMATA is talking about unrest on two continents. That’s how paralyzed with fear of savages the U.S. government has become.
Even worse, Collyer said this of the ad (which reads “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”): “I see hate speech. When you defend this ad as core political speech, I have a problem with that.”
The ad is not hate speech, it’s love speech. It’s love of life speech. The ad speaks to the defense of freedom and individual rights for all. There’s nothing hateful about it. 9/11 was hate. 3/11 in Madrid was hate. 7/7 in London was hate. The Fort Hood jihadi was hate. The Christmas balls bomber was hate. The Fort Dix Six was hate. Pushing back against such hate is not hate. This poor woman hasn’t a clue as to the jihadic doctrine that relentlessly seeks to violently impose Islamic law and pursues jihad against non-Muslims.
In the midst of this nonsense, Muise kept acting like the one kid in the sixth-grade classroom who was trying to keep his classmates from running wild in front of the hapless substitute teacher: He kept trying to remind Collyer (and Staub) of basic points of American law. He reminded Collyer that there is no law against “hate speech” in America, so that even if she did think the ad was “hate,” that should have no bearing on her ruling. Speech is only considered inciteful, he said, if the speech itself is calling for the lawless, violent action.
And WMATA’s argument about the threat this video posed to the safety of the passengers, Muise pointed out, rested entirely on riots that took place not in the U.S. but in Muslim countries, and not because of this ad, but (supposedly) because of the Muhammad video. The video and the ad, he said, did not have remotely the same content. There was one email WMATA received that apparently contained threats related to this ad, he said, but he explained that we cannot allow those who threaten violence to restrict our First Amendment rights, and cannot have the government acquiesce in the restriction of those rights in response to threats.
Anyway, in the end Collyer ruled properly. Muise commented, “Today, Judge Collyer affirmed that our fundamental right to freedom of speech cannot be suppressed by mob rule. This is not only a victory for our clients, but it is a clear victory for all freedom-loving Americans.” Yes, it is.
"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future" -- Hamas-CAIR's Ibrahim HooperHamas-CAIR is now the spokesman for the Muslim-American community. The Islamic supremacist group demanded free ad space, but the WMATA said no way. Want your say? Then you have to pay.
WASHINGTON - "Opponents of anti-Jihad Metro ads seeking to counter message" FOX, DC
Metro is stuck in the middle of a controversy over politically charged advertisements now appearing a several Metro stations. Critics of the ads are asking for equal time.
The poster in question is behind glass on the platform at the U Street, Takoma Park, Georgia Avenue - Petworth and Glenmont stations.
"It definitely caught my eye," says Metro rider Kara Stone. "I know nothing about it. But I definitely read enough to try to learn about it."
The message reads: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
"It's just a lot to take in I guess I should say," added Angelique Harris, also riding Metro Tuesday. "It's very controversial."
The poster's creator says it's all a big misunderstanding.
"My message is a message of love," says Pamela Geller. "I'm speaking out against hate."
Geller is the New York woman who paid for the ads and others like them in San Francisco and New York City.
"Our message is that any war on innocent civilians is savagery," Geller says. "9/11 was savagery. 7/7 in London. March 11th in Madrid."
But some Muslim-Americans see the message as an attack on Islam.
"It's frustrating whenever somebody uses the freedom of speech that's guaranteed by the Constitution to promote hatred and bigotry as these ads do," says Ibrahim Hooper with CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations).
He says he and other interfaith and civil rights groups have reached out to Metro.
"To ask the transit authority to respond in a positive way," Hooper tells us. "Not by censoring, but by working with the Arab-American and Muslim community promoting mutual understanding, perhaps through another ad campaign that would counter the hate message in this campaign."
Metro officials say they don't give away ad space anywhere in the system. But if CAIR or any other group wants to counter the message with one of their own, they are free to do it, but they have to pay for the ad.
Geller also asked aloud during a phone conversation with FOX 5 News: "Where in my message does it say 'Muslim?"'
But CAIR's Hooper says it's certainly implied.
"If she wants to spew hatred and bigotry, she's free to do so in America," says Hooper. "But it's up to the rest of society, the mainstream practitioners of all faiths to come together, to repudiate hatred and extremism and promote mutual understanding instead."
The posters did not go public without a fight. Metro wanted to hold off for a few weeks, but a judge ruled the ads had to go up now.
Metro says it was concerned about public safety and adding fuel to the fires burning recently in the Middle East.
But so far, reaction here has been muted.
Read more: here
The enemedia is spinning hard and fast to turn national sentiment against speaking truth to power. It's not working. Jihad is savage. Jihad is not a race. 9/11, 7/7, 3/11, 9/11/12, Mumbai, Bali, Bulgaria, Beslan, Mercav Jewish school shooting, Toulouse Jewish day school shooting, Fogel family, Fort Hood, Fort Dix Six, Daniel Pearl, Darfur genocide, Nick Berg, Ehud Goldwasser, Gilad Shalit, etc. is savagery.UPDATE: CBS changed the headline to "Controversial 'Savage' Ad In Metro Stations Stirs Up Shock"
Pamela Geller, pro-Israel activist, calls controversial ads in Washington, D.C. Metro 'a counter to anti-Israel ads' CBS Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - When you hop on the Metro, you may notice a new ad in some stations that some people say is stirring up hate. The ad reads, "In any war between a civilized man and a savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
The ad is the brainchild of equally controversial pro-Israel NYC activist and blogger Pamela Geller. She explains why. "The ads were submitted because there were anti-Israel ads that were running in the Washington Metro Transit Authority, so our ads were submitted as a counter to those anti-Israel ads. The beheading of Daniel Pearl is savage, the assassination of Ambassador Stevens is savage, the word is accurate, it's barbaric and uncivilized."
The ads have been in NYC subway stations for a week. A compelling YouTube video shows an Egyptian-born journalist getting arrested for spray-painting over the ad in what she calls a peaceful protest.
More media on the DC ads:
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.
These are not posters, these are huge displays in light boxes. Gorgeous!
Metro installs pro-Israel ads that equate radical Muslims with savages ABC TV
Metro in the process of installing a series pro-Israel ads across the transit system Monday that equates Muslim radicals with savages.The pro-Israel ads read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilian man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
One ad will be posted in the Takoma, Glenmont, Georgia Avenue and U Street Metro stations. They will be displayed by 5 p.m. Monday, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says.
“Everyone won't agree with it,” says Metro rider Josephine Bremkpa. “It's going to incense people, make them want to react in some kind of way.”
The Islamic advocacy group, CAIR, says is planning to arrange for Metro ads promoting tolerance.
“It's designed to incite, it's designed to provoke, it's designed to stigmatize American Muslims,” says Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR.
Metro fought the ads, fearing they could spark violence. But a federal judges ruled in favor of them, citing freedom of speech.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said in a one-page opinion Friday that the advertisement must be displayed no later than 5 p.m. on Monday.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative sued last month for the right to display the ads in the Metro system.
Metro officials had delayed putting up the ads up because of the violent reaction in the Middle East to the video the "Innocence of Muslims," which denigrated the prophet Muhammad.
The posters, also up in New York and San Francisco, have been covered with graffiti or had some words removed.
Fair and balanced? Notice that beekeeper and Hamas-CAIR jihad spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, is front and center, but no spokesperson from AFDI. Hmmmm, did Hooper have his stomach staple removed?
The Huffington Post is, once again, shilling for jihad, abridgement of our freedoms and the sanction of the blasphemy laws under the sharia. And yet they never publish pro-freedom, pro-American, pro-individualist voices to counter this vicious propaganda.
Michael Shank is adjunct professor at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, board member of the National Peace Academy, and senior fellow at the French American Global Forum. He is also a dhimmi tool (like so many other academics today). In an attack piece on my American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) pro-freedom ad in the Huffington Post, he says nothing of the horrors of jihad, but feigns outrage when not everyone refuses to confirm to the left's self-enforcement of sharia blasphemy laws that forbid any criticism of Islam.
My ad says: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad." Shank begins by comparing this ad to all sorts of odious things: "If someone got physically violent on the Metro in Washington DC, they would get kicked off the train or bus. Similarly, if someone indecently exposed him or herself (as noted in the new Metro ads threatening action against indecent exposure) or yelled incendiary, racist or bigoted comments at riders, they would get ushered off." He complains that "the ad makes a sweeping generalization about all Muslims, referring to them as savages and contrasting the savages with the civilized."
Yet any war on innocent civilians is savage. Like so many other leftist tools, Shank is reading into my ad the idea that "all Muslims" are savages who want to destroy Israel. That is nowhere in my message. They are the ones who are assuming that to talk about jihadist savages is to talk about all Muslims, which means that they are the Islamophobes and racists. The rush to assure the world that the "Palestinian" jihadists are not savages amazes me. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians. The targeting of civilians is savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage. The list is endless.
"It is paradoxical," says Shank. "The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) can prohibit riders from listening to loud music or consuming food or drink -- the former of which is ostensibly out of respect for others, the latter is because of health and cleanliness concerns -- and yet it cannot prohibit vitriolic ads, which hurt and harm and are unhealthy."
Yes, it cannot prohibit our pro-freedom ads because of that inconvenient thing known as the First Amendment.
Shank claims that "since the ad makes no distinction between the majority of Muslims who use jihad nonviolently and the small minority of Muslims who use violence and cite jihad as their defense, the ad intentionally creates a hyper-polarized, good-versus-evil frame through which to understand Islam."
Actually, it is Shank who is making no distinction between peaceful Muslims and violent ones. My ad doesn't mention Muslims at all. It only mentions savage jihadists. For him to assume that by referring to them I mean to refer to all Muslims reveals his own "Islamophobia." And he gets even worse:
Nor does the AFDI ad make any distinction between the greater, internally oriented jihad, known as Akbar jihad, or the lesser externally oriented Asghar jihad. The former is an internal struggle that instructs a Muslim believer to be more righteous and pious; the latter is an external struggle that instructs a Muslim to defend against religious persecution. Neither is explicitly instructed to be violent and for the AFDI ad to intimate that anything jihad -- and thus anything Muslim -- is savage and must be defeated, the ad categorically calls all Muslims savages.
Islamic scholar Robert Spencer sets the record straight here. He explains what "was pointed out by the 14th-century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya: that the concept of the 'greater jihad' [Akbar jihad] as interior spiritual struggle is based on a hadith that 'has no source and nobody whomsoever in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it.' Ibn Taymiyya insists that 'jihad against the disbelievers is the most noble of actions and moreover it is the most important action for the sake of mankind.' Nor is this his view alone. Jihad understood as warfare against unbelievers in order to establish the hegemony of Islamic law has much greater support in Islamic scripture, tradition, and historical practice than does the spiritual jihad -- and leading jihad theorists including Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden's friend and intellectual mentor and co-founder with him of Al-Qaeda, challenge the authenticity of the 'greater jihad' saying in their writings....A Shafi'i manual of Islamic law that in 1991 was certified by the highest authority in Sunni Islam, Cairo's Al-Azhar University, as conforming 'to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community.' This manual, 'Umdat al-Salik (available in English as Reliance of the Traveller), spends a considerable amount of time explaining jihad as 'war against non-Muslims.' It spells out the nature of this warfare in quite specific terms, saying that the Muslims must wage 'war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians . . . until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.'"
After spreading this nonsense about the greater jihad and the lesser jihad, Shank then whines that the free speech argument wouldn't have applied were it not for America's "Islamophobia": "The freedom of speech argument is spurious. Why? Because if it were a different race or religion we'd have a whole different conversation and a lot more public protest. America has a racist and discriminatory political pecking order that allows some prejudice to continue while prohibiting others."
This is so ridiculous it made me laugh. In fact, authorities going all the way up to Obama's DoJ bend over backwards to accommodate Muslims. Insults to no other group have ever occasioned serious discussion in mainstream American publications about restrictions on the freedom of speech. And if those restrictions come, Michael Shank will welcome them -- until his Islamic supremacist masters reveal their true face, that is. But by then it will be too late for Shank. He will have served his purpose.
"Judge rules in favor of AFDI, orders WMATA to post ads by 5 P.M. Monday" Washington Free Beacon
Update 4:40 P.M.: On Friday, U.S. District Court judge Rosemary Collyers ordered that the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority must post the ads in question by 5 P.M., Monday.
Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer declined to decide at a Thursday hearing whether to issue an injunction forcing WMATA to run the controversial ads, but said she would issue an order and written decision soon.
The ads, which have already stirred considerable controversy in New York City, display a quote from Ayn Rand: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” The quote is followed by “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” placed between two Stars of David.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group founded by conservative activist Pamela Geller, attempted to buy advertising space from WMATA for the ads. WMATA initially consented, but after anti-American riots exploded in the Middle East last month, blamed partly on an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S., the transit authority told the AFDI it would postpone placing the ads until November.
The AFDI, represented by the American Freedom Law Center, sued WMATA, arguing the ads were core political speech protected by the First Amendment, and that delaying their placement resulted in “irreparable harm.”
WMATA argued during Thursday’s hearing that the incendiary ads could provoke fights around the subway platforms, causing safety risks. It also said it had received memos from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warning that it was at risk of terrorism.
“We’re not trying to close the forum to end debate on the Arab-Israeli conflict,” WMATA lawyer Philip Straub said in the hearing. “We’re merely saying these words used in this ad—‘savage,’ ‘war,’ ‘defeat’—echo so closely to the video that’s resulted in protests and deaths overseas, and, as we were notified by DHS, the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil, that these words could not be displayed in our system until passions have cooled somewhat.”
The warning from DHS was a sealed exhibit and not available to the public.
WMATA argued the ad constituted “fighting words” and also cited cases restricting protests outside of abortion clinics. It argued its decision was not based on the content of the ad, but on an interest in the safety of its passengers.
“There is no more compelling interest for WMATA than the safety of its passengers,” Straub said.
Judge Collyer seemed to agree with most of WMATA’s legal arguments, but was skeptical of its “fighting words” claim. She also called the advertisement “hate speech.”
“Let’s talk about it first as political speech, because I read it and I also see hate speech,” she said to AFLC lawyer Robert Muise. “Now I know that the First Amendment goes that far, but when you defend this as core political speech, I do have a problem with that, given the message that I glean out of this advertisement, which is not core political speech, but it’s really hate speech, isn’t it?”
When Muise explained the quote in question was from Ayn Rand, Judge Collyer, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002, interrupted.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, right. I understand that,” she said. “Wonderful. My point is it all depends on context. In the limited words in the ads the context of those terms seems to me to be hateful. Let me be very clear, the First Amendment protects your client’s right under the scenario I’m questioning you about, but nonetheless it seems to me it connotes a hateful message, so then I have to ask, ‘When I’m looking at it, does that make a difference?’”
In July, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the group, saying the New York City Metro Transit Authority’s policy was overly broad and the ad’s content was core political speech.
Muise argued WMATA’s restriction was indeed based on the ad’s content and that its logic failed to tie any imminent threat of violence to the ads themselves.
“At best, [WMATA] speculates that there might be threats based on a video,” Muise said. “We don’t have any verified acts of violence, and this isn’t the video.”
He also disputed the relevance of the abortion protest cases. “We’re not talking about Ms. Geller showing up with 50 protesters and blocking a subway platform,” Muise said. “We’re talking about a poster.”
Collyer said she would wait to issue her judgment. “I don’t find [the case] as straightforward as plaintiff,” she said, referring to the AFLC. “But I don’t find it as defensible as WMATA.”
If Judge Collyer grants the AFLC’s request for an immediate injunction, WMATA will be forced to place the ads right away. If the request is denied, they are still scheduled to go up on Nov. 1.
Outside of the courtroom, Geller said the ads are also running in San Francisco now, and are supposed to run in Portland as well. She disputed the judge’s characterization of the ads as hate speech and defended their content.
“I think acts of jihad and killing innocent civilians are hate,” Geller said. “The blowing up of a bus in Bulgaria full of Israeli tourists is savage. The killing of a U.S. ambassador is savage. The acts of jihad are savage.”
Hooha! Preserving our first amendment rights is big news; that's how bad things have gotten.
"Judge: DC Metro must allow anti-jihad ads" Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — A federal judge says the D.C. transit system must allow a pro-Israel ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said in a one-page opinion Friday that the advertisement must be displayed no later than 5 p.m. on Monday.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative sued last month for the right to display the ads in the Metro system. Metro officials had delayed putting up the ads because of the violent reaction in the Middle East to the video the "Innocence of Muslims," which denigrated the prophet Muhammad.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says the system will comply with the order and the ads will go up this weekend.
Similar ads were expected to be added Monday along the New York City subway system.
Washington DC coverage of our free speech fight: Free Speech Under Siege In U.S. District Court in the Nation's Capital
WASHINGTON - FOX DC
A federal judge will issue a ruling soon on whether the D.C. transit system must be forced to allow a pro-Israel ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages.
The Metro system has delayed putting the ads up because of the violent reaction in the Middle East to the video the "Innocence of Muslims," which denigrated the prophet Muhammad. The system says it wants to protect the safety of its riders and employees.
The group behind the ads, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, argued at a hearing Thursday that the Metro system's decision violated the First Amendment. The group is seeking an injunction ordering the system to display the ads.
Today was a dark day in American history, but you'd never know because the media is complicit in this sharia enforcement. I had a front-row seat to witness the rape of the First Amendment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Rosemary Collyer, presiding. Robert Spencer and I went down to Washington as defenders of America's most fundamental and unalienable right. And in return, we had the sad misfortune of watching a U.S. District Court Judge discard, denigrate, downplay and dismiss our most basic law of the land: the freedom of speech.
The Judge went out of her way to validate and substantiate the ridiculous premise of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), that the AFDI pro-freedom ad would endanger passengers on the D.C. subways and thus must not be posted, or at least delayed until some (fanciful) time when the jihad threat would subside. It was painful to watch Judge Collyer almost physically wrestling with the First Amendment, trying to tackle it and pin it to the floor. But the First Amendment was much too wily for the wrongheaded, utterly subjective, and clueless judge.
Philip Staub, the lawyer for WMATA, invoked the international Muslim riots that have been blamed (falsely) on the Muhammad video, and said the WMATA had received an email threatening them if they posted our ad. He was, in other words, counseling submission to violent Muslim intimidation, and the curtailing of the freedom of speech to appease savages. He made the laughable argument that if the ad ran after November 1, the threat would have subsided by then, and would be well -- as if the jihad terror threat would completely die down by then. Judge Collyer then asked him if the ads could be posted sooner if they were moved away from the train platforms, so that passengers would be less likely to get caught up in fights or terrorist attacks over them. He seemed open to that idea.
The whole issue about moving the ads represented the judge’s attempt to find a way to accommodate the WMATA’s fearmongering argument that the ad would endanger passengers. And is that now the American response to threats of violence from a fascist ideology – to accede and submit to that very same fascist ideology? The judge was an embarrassment to every proud American who understands what is at stake. I can’t speak for our lawyer, Robert Muise, but his frustration was palpable.
Staub also argued that the ad constituted fighting words, but here even Judge Collyer couldn’t go along with what he was saying, although she struggled mightily to do so. She gently pointed out to Staub, whom she treated with kid gloves and like a special-needs child the whole afternoon, leading him by the hand to the disbelief of the open court (in sharp contradistinction to her frequent interruptions and contradictions of Robert Muise – stop making sense!), that for the ad to constitute fighting words, there had to be an imminent threat of violence. But the ads have run without incident in San Francisco and New York – they were vandalized in New York in an attempt to shut down free speech, but there was no violence aside from Muslim Brotherhood poster girl Mona Eltahawy’s pink spray can) – and so it was impossible for Staub or Collyer to sustain the idea that they constituted an imminent threat to the safety of the passengers. But Collyer certainly tried, coaching and coaxing Staub, and at one point saying to him, “The imminence issue is hard for me to get to. Just trying to tell you where I am going.” She never gave Muise any such hints.
Collyer further coached Staub by saying that she assumed – assumed! – that he was arguing (since he was so inept at actually doing so, the point wasn’t clear) that the government’s “compelling interest” in refusing or delaying these ads was concern for the safety of the passengers. She then said, with obvious reluctance, that against that concern there had to be balanced “the very broadly read First Amendment,” and asked him how he thought this could be done.
Staub answered that the safety of the passengers could be balanced against the First Amendment by delaying the ads. He said that he thought things would cool down in Africa, Asia and the Middle East by November 1, and that the ads could run then. Remember, guys, we’re talking about four little ads here, and the WMATA is talking about unrest on two continents. That’s how paralyzed with fear of savages the U.S. Government has become.
Then our lawyer, Robert Muise, called for an immediate injunction overruling WMATA’s delay and ordering that the ads run immediately. He cited ample legal precedent to show that it was an established point of law that the delay of a citizen’s freedom of speech constituted irreparable harm.
But then Judge Collyer broke in with her most disquieting, most un-American argument of all. She said that while Muise was arguing that the ad was core political speech, and thus the most protected category of speech of all, Collyer said, “I see hate speech. When you defend this ad as core political speech, I have a problem with that." Muise pointed out that U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer in New York had ruled that the very same ad was core political speech, Collyer said peremptorily that she disagreed with Judge Engelmayer, and rudely cut Muise off when he tried to explain that the ad was not hate speech and that the main part of it -- "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man" -- was adapted from the work of Ayn Rand. Collyer snapped defensively that she knew who Ayn Rand was and still thought the ad was hate speech, constituting a hateful message.
The ad is not hate speech, it's love speech. It's love of life speech. The ad speaks to the defense of freedom and individual rights for all. There's nothing hateful about it. 9/11 was hate. 3/11 in Madrid was hate. 7/7 in London was hate. The Fort Hood jihadi was hate. The Christmas balls bomber was hate. The Fort Dix Six was hate. Pushing back against such hate is not hate. This poor woman hasn't a clue as to the jihadic doctrine that relentlessly seeks to violently impose Islamic law and pursues jihad against non-Muslims. Judge Collyer is on her own personal jihad to defend and sanction the very dull knife that will be employed to cut her own head off.
In the midst of this nonsense, Muise kept acting like the one kid in the sixth grade classroom who was trying to keep his classmates from running wild in front of the hapless substitute teacher: he kept trying to remind Collyer (and Staub) of basic points of American law. He reminded Collyer that there is no law against "hate speech" in America, so that even if she did think the ad was "hate," that should have no bearing on her ruling. Speech is only considered inciteful, he said, if the speech itself is calling for the lawless, violent action. WMATA's argument about the threat this video posed to the safety of the passengers, he pointed out, rested entirely on riots that took place not in the U.S. but in Muslim countries, and not because of this ad, but (supposedly) because of the Muhammad video. The video and the ad, he said, did not have remotely the same content. There was one email that the WMATA received that apparently contained threats related to this ad, he said, but he explained that we cannot allow those who threaten violence to restrict our First Amendment rights, and cannot have the government acquiesce in the restriction of those rights in response to threats.
Collyer seemed to grasp none of this, and went on to say contemptuously to Muise, "No threat? Where have you been?" But in trying to show her awareness of the jihad threat she only demonstrated how little she knows about it, naming the recent riots and the London attack of 2005 ("admittedly, that was a few years ago") as if that was all there was. She said that it was not reasonable to think that in light of the worldwide riots over the Muhammad video that WMATA was not right to be concerned about the safety of its passengers if this ad went up.
In response to that, Muise pointed out that DHS had issued guidelines for precautions public agencies can and should be taking, and that to stand down from saying things that might offend the rioters would be giving the heckler's veto the sanction of American law, and saying that in that case anyone could threaten violence to silence someone whose speech he disliked. Collyer showed her reflexive willingness to submit and acquiesce to savagery when Muise said that to postpone or cancel the ads would be to validate the threat of that one emailer and encourage people to make more such threats. He said that this emailer could even rightly be called a "savage," whereupon Collyer said, "He could be standing behind you" -- as if that should change what Muise would be saying about him, and implying that Muise should curb his speech to appease the violent.
Muise further reminded her that the First Amendment was put into place precisely so as to protect speech that some might find offensive. He also completely torpedoed the idea that the ad is hate speech when Collyer asked him to summarize in his own words what he thought it meant, and he patiently explained that it was calling for support for Israel against those who commit savage attacks against innocent civilians in the name of jihad. Collyer then demonstrated even more vividly that she has no idea what the jihad is and what it's all about, when she complained that our ad wrongly applied the concept of jihad to what she termed a "long-standing territorial dispute" between Israelis and Palestinians -- one that she obviously thinks has nothing to do with jihad.
Finally, Collyer explained that she was going to make no ruling today. This poor, silly woman said she needed to give the case more thought. She is clearly going to take some time to try to figure out a way to circumvent the First Amendment and allow WMATA to kowtow to violent intimidation.
And worst of all? She's a Bush appointee. As we pursue free speech cases around the country, I have come to dread Bush appointees: they always side with the government, no matter what, even against (as Collyer probably will in this case) the Constitution. Clinton and Obama appointees, meanwhile, while they're far to the left, often will see the merits of a case against the establishment elite in a way that the Bush judges don't. This is no endorsement of Obama by any stretch of the imagination. It's just an indication of just how hard times have become for the rule of law and above all for the First Amendment in the United States.
Free speech is in its death throes. Clearly, Collyer is trying to establish a precedent that will allow for the criminalizing of "hate speech" -- which will mean any speech the political elites want to silence. It is indeed a very dark day.
We are expanding our anti-jihad ad campaign across New York and the country. We are rolling the following eight ads out in tandem across the backs of buses all across the great city. The Blaze broke the story here (leave your comments on the new campaign here):
Pamela Geller, a blogger and the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, isn’t done with her anti-Jihad advertising blitz. On Monday, Geller told TheBlaze, exclusively, that she submitted an expanded campaign that will bring her controversial advertisements to the New York City bus system.
As TheBlaze has extensively reported, Geller has been in a long and complicated battle with The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the company that owns and operates the city’s subway, train and bus systems. While the MTA initially attempted to ban the ads last year, a judge ruled in Geller’s favor, leading to a decision to post them at numerous subway stops last month.
But the contention didn’t end there. On Friday, we reported on the transit group’s controversial free-speech decision to revise its advertising standards as a result of the incident. The MTA, via its official rules, now reserves the right to ban ads that “would incite or provoke violence” — a decision Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz is calling “plain dumb” and “unconstitutional.”
Despite the controversy and the uncertainty surrounding the violence provision, on Monday Geller submitted the new, expanded ad campaign that will bring the ads to the bus system. Previously, the anti-jihad messages were only present at 10 subway stops. While the activist told TheBlaze in an e-mail interview that she hopes to see the posters run “as soon as possible,” she said she won’t be surprised if she needs to head back to court to ensure they run.
In terms of the number of buses that will include the amended ads, Geller said that this factor is still under consideration. The monies to continue the effort, she claims, are coming from donors who respect her work and the cause.
“The campaigns are funded by a large number of small numbers who support our struggle for free speech,” Geller told TheBlaze.
These new ads will differ slightly from the original version that was posted on the NYC subway system. While they will still read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” the words beneath the slogan will be changed to reflect other groups, aside from Israel, who Geller believes deserve support against radical Islamic forces.
Among those nations and cohorts that the new ads will defend against jihad are: America, Coptic Christians, Hindus, Thailand, Nigerian Christians, Baha’is and — once again — Israel.
“I wanted to demonstrate the global character of the jihad — that it is against non-Muslims of different faiths and perspectives, all over the globe,” Geller said of her decision to diversify the new ads.
The controversial blogger and activist also said that her group will add the disclaimer that the MTA now requires — another change to the ad standards that was put in after her court battle with the transit authority.
“This is a paid advertisement sponsored by [Sponsor]. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed,” the disclaimer that must be placed on political, religious or morality-themed ads will read.
While Geller has no problem adding the wording to each message, she plans to ensure that the rule is applied fairly to all political and religious submissions. If the regulation isn’t followed and the disclaimer fails to be applied to other potentially-controversial ads, the blogger has a one-word answer regarding what her next steps will be: “Sue.”TheBlaze is the first media outlet to view these ads and, thus, we’re presenting them to you, exclusively. Below, find each of the aforementioned groups represented within the bus posters. The first image is a general ad, calling for the defense of freedom and defeat of jihad:
“This lawsuit represents a clash between our American values and the fundamental right to freedom of speech on the one hand and those values espoused by sharia-adherent Muslims who want to suppress speech through violence on the other. In direct contravention of our Constitution, the WMATA is siding with the jihadists and silencing our clients’ political speech. This is known as a ‘heckler’s veto,’ which is impermissible under the First Amendment." Robert Muise
We will be back in court on Thursday fighting for free speech, this time in DC. We submitted the "savage" ads to run on DC Metro train dioramas. The contracts were signed and the ads were paid for up front. They were scheduled to run at the end of September. In light of Ambassador Stevens' coldblooded murder, as well as that of two navy SEALs and other US diplomats, what else would you call jihadists? Why is this controversial? We intend to paper this ad across America.
On September 25, 2012, the DC Transit authority canceled ("postponed") our pro-Israel ads. DC Transit said, "due to the situations happening around the world at this time, we are postponing the start of this program ..." "The reason for this decision is one of security and safety for the commuters using the DC Metro rail system." This is exactly the reason why our pro-freedom ads should run.
It is precisely because of the current political situation that it is important that I be able to express my message now, and I consider any delay to be government censorship of my core political speech. I demanded that the transit authority change their position. They did not, so we are filing a lawsuit.
Clearly, DC is kowtowing to the threat of jihad terrorism. Their cowardice does not make commuters or Americans safer. On the contrary, it puts us in more peril to the whims of violent Islamic supremacists. They are rewarding savage behavior and lawlessness.
If someone commits violence, it is his responsibility and no one else's. The responsibility for one's actions lies with one who acts and no one else. Islamic supremacists and their allies in the mainstream media are trying to get us to accept the idea that we are responsible if Muslims riot and kill and blame what we say. Yet there is nothing that you could say to me that would make me riot and kill. Theirs is the responsibility and they are the only ones who deserve condemnation, if the media were doing its job.
So we are back in court on Thursday with our legal special forces team, David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center.
Federal Court Hearing Scheduled in AFLC’s Challenge to D.C. Transit Authority’s Refusal to Run Anti-Jihad Advertisement
U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer has scheduled a hearing for October 4, 2012 on the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC)’s request for an injunction to halt the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)’s censorship of a pro-Israel/anti-jihad bus advertisement. The hearing will take place at 2:00 p.m. EDT in Courtroom 8 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia located at 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C. The hearing is open to the media and the general public.
Read it all: Download PLAINTIFFS’ REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER / PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION filed and this, Download Ex 2--Geller Supp Declaration--Filed
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”),1 a government agency, is asking this court to ratify an unprecedented, radical, and exceedingly troubling position: that a private citizen’s fundamental First Amendment right to engage in core political speech in a public forum in the United States of America can and should be abridged because violent Muslim protestors overseas are engaging in “savage” behavior in response to a video that they deem to be anti-Islamic.2 (See Def.’s Opp’n at 5-8 [Doc. No. 13]).
In sum, the WMATA’s arguments are wrong as a matter of law and dangerous to our free Republic as a matter of principle.3 Consequently, they must be summarily rejected.
1 While the lawsuit names Richard Sarles, the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer for the WMATA, the fact remains that a claim against a government official in his or her official capacity is a claim against the governmental entity to which he or she is employed. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985); see also Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 471-72 (1985) (holding that “a judgment against a public servant ‘in his official capacity’ imposes liability on the entity that he represents”). And such claims for prospective declaratory and injunctive relief are not barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See, e.g., Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908) (holding that prospective injunctive relief provides an exception to Eleventh Amendment immunity).
2 One would assume that even the WMATA would recognize that storming an American embassy, violently killing our ambassador and three other Americans, and destroying property are “barbaric and uncivilized” acts. (Def.’ Opp’n at 7 [decrying the fact that the anti-Islam video depicts “Muslims as violent, barbaric and uncivilized, or in other words, as savages”] [Doc. No. 13]).
3 If one pauses for a moment and seriously considers the WMATA’s position, there is one inescapable conclusion: the WMATA apparently considers adherents to Islam to be violent and incapable of responding to critical, political speech in our country in a civilized manner. When the WMATA ran an advertisement critical of Israel, urging the United States to end its military aid to its long-time ally in the Middle East, there was no concern about violence and passenger safety. What message is the WMATA sending about Islam by restricting Plaintiffs’ core political speech? And what message will this court be sending if it affirms that position? Indeed, whether intentionally or not, the WMATA is essentially siding with the Muslim Brotherhood leader of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, who condemns speech critical of Islam. (See Def.’s Opp’n at 6 [quoting Morsi as stating “We will not allow anyone to [criticize Islam] by word or deed.”] [Doc. No. 13]). However, Americans enjoy freedoms in this country that do not exist in the Middle East. And chief among those freedoms is the right to freedom of speech.
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT FACTS
There is no dispute as to these relevant, and dispositive, facts:4
The WMATA accepts for display on its property a wide variety of commercial and political messages, including controversial messages. (Def.’s Opp’n at 3 [Doc. No. 13]; Murray Aff. at ¶ 5, Exs. B through G [Doc. Nos. 13-3, 13-6 through 13-11]; Geller Decl. at ¶ 4 [Doc. No. 2-1]).
The WMATA has accepted controversial messages that convey an anti-Israel message. (See Def.’s Opp’n at 3 [Doc. No. 13]; Murray Aff. at ¶ 5, Exs. B, C [Doc. Nos. 13-6, 13-7]; Geller Decl. at ¶¶ 4-6 [Doc. No. 2-1]).
The WMATA admits that it “has run many controversial advertisements in spite of public protests.” (Def.’s Opp’n at 3 [Doc. No. 13]) (emphasis added).
Plaintiffs’ Pro-Israel Advertisement met the WMATA guidelines and was thus accepted for display on four WMATA dioramas. (Geller Decl. at ¶ 10 [Doc. No. 2-1]).
The WMATA admits the following: “In spite of the incendiary language of the AFDI Ad, WMATA determined that it complied with the Guidelines and was protected speech.” (Def.’s Opp’n at 5 [Doc. No. 13]) (emphasis added); see also Murray Aff. at ¶ 7 [“The Office of the General Counsel determined that (i) the AFDI Ad complied with WMATA’s Guidelines Governing Commercial Advertising and (ii) was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.” (emphasis added)] [Doc. No. 13-3]).
Plaintiffs’ advertisement was scheduled to run on four (4) WMATA dioramas beginning September 24, 2012 and ending October 21, 2012. (Def.’s Opp’n at 5 [Doc. No. 13]; Geller
4 To avoid potential confusion, Plaintiffs have marked their exhibits consecutively. Thus, Plaintiff Geller’s declaration [Doc. No. 2-1] filed in support of Plaintiffs’ motion is marked as Exhibit 1. And Plaintiff Geller’s supplemental declaration filed in support of this reply is marked as Exhibit 2.
Decl. at ¶ 11, Ex. B [Doc. No. 2-1]; Geller Supp. Decl. at ¶ 5, Ex. A [acknowledging that Plaintiffs’ advertising campaign was “to start September 24th”], at Ex. 2).5
The WMATA has six hundred thirteen (613) dioramas. (Murray Aff. at ¶ 2 [Doc. No. 13-3]).
On September 18, 2012, the WMATA, through its advertising agent, informed Plaintiffs that the advertisements were not going to run on September 24, 2012 “due to the situations happening around the world at this time.” (Geller Decl. at ¶ 14 [Doc. No. 2-1]; Geller Supp. Decl. at ¶5, Ex. A, at Ex. 2).
Plaintiff Geller immediately informed the WMATA, through its advertising agent, that Plaintiffs objected to this restriction on their speech, stating, “It is precisely because of the current political situation that it is important that I be able to express my message now and that I consider any delay to be government censorship of my core political speech. I demand that the transit authority change [its] position.” (Geller Decl. at ¶ 15 [Doc. No. 2-1]; Def.’s Ex. M. [Doc. No. 13-17]) (emphasis added).
The WMATA, through its advertising agent, confirmed that the advertisements would not run “due to world events and a concern for the security of their passengers.” (Geller Decl. at ¶ 16 [Doc. No. 2-1]; Def.’s Ex. M [Doc. No. 13-17]).
The WMATA is restricting Plaintiffs’ speech because of the reaction to anti-Islam speech in the Middle East. (See Def.’s Opp’n at 5-8 [Doc. No. 13]; Murray Aff. at ¶¶ 11-13 [Doc. No. 13-3]; Def.’s Ex. M [Doc. No. 13-17]).
The WMATA’s restriction on Plaintiffs’ speech is operating as a prior restraint. (Geller Decl. at ¶¶ 14-16 [Doc. No. 2-1]; Murray Aff. at ¶¶ 11-13 [Doc. No. 13-3]; Def.’s Ex. M [Doc. No. 13-17]).
The WMATA’s restriction on Plaintiffs’ speech is based on the WMATA’s perception that certain viewers will react adversely to Plaintiffs’ message, and in particular, that certain viewers will react negatively toward the viewpoint expressed by Plaintiffs’ message.6 (Def.’s Opp’n at 5-8 [Doc. No. 13]; Taborn Aff. at ¶¶ 5-6 [Doc. No. 13-2]; Murray Aff. at ¶¶ 11-13 [Doc. No. 13-3]). Consequently, the WMATA’s restriction on Plaintiffs’ speech is both content- and viewpoint-based. (See also Def.’s Opp’n at 7 [Doc. No. 13] [stating that the WMATA made “a reassessment of the AFDI Ad’s inflammatory language in light of the [anti-Islam video’s] depiction of the prophet Mohammad and Muslims as violent, barbaric and uncivilized, or in other words, as savages.” (emphasis added)]; Aff. of Taborn at ¶ 5 [“I determined that the AFDI Ad was highly incendiary, particularly because it refers to both Middle-Easterners and Muslims as savages.” (emphasis added)] [Doc. No. 13-2]).
In its opposition, the WMATA indicates, for the first time, that “it is prepared to run the advertisement beginning November 1,” (Def.’s Opp’n at 11, n.15), which means that the WMATA is imposing an arbitrary, 38-day suspension and censorship of Plaintiffs’ political speech. (Taborn Aff. at ¶ 11 [Doc. No. 13-2]).
The very same advertisement at issue here is currently on display on Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) property in New York City. And while there have been some isolated incidents of vandalism, which is not uncommon for a major transit authority when a controversial advertisement runs,7 there have been no outbreaks of terrorism or other such violence that would create any serious safety concerns or a “dangerous environment” for passengers. (Geller Supp. Decl. at ¶ 10 at Ex. 2). Consequently, the WMATA’s safety concerns are not only speculative, they are unfounded as a matter of fact.
Blazing article over at The Blaze taking on my debate with Soros-funded dhimmi #OWS Pastor Jim Wallis:
"Lib Pastor Jim Wallis Accuses Conservative of ‘Hatred’ & Begs Her to ‘Stop Talking’ During On-Air Clash Over Anti-Jihad Subway Ad" Billy Hallowell, The Blaze
The ongoing debate surrounding conservative blogger Pamela Geller’s anti-Jihad New York City subway ads has not yet simmered.
While The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) initially attempted to ban the ads, a judge ruled in Geller’s favor, leading to a decision to post them at numerous subway stops last month. But as TheBlaze reported on Friday, the transit group later decided to revise its advertising standards as a result of the incident, claiming that it now reserves the right to ban ads that “would incite or provoke violence.”
On Sunday, Geller went on WABC-TV’s “Up Close With Diana Williams” to discuss the ongoing furor surrounding the ads. Her on-air opponent for the segment was none other than progressive Pastor Jim Wallis, whom TheBlaze has covered extensively in the past. Wallis stands firmly opposed to the blogger’s ad campaign — a sentiment he made known in their dialogue on the program.
The segment opened with Geller defending the ads and claiming that, contrary to critique, they are anything but anti-Islam. She took the time to differentiate between radical and mainstream Islam, stating that the ads take aim at the former cohort.
More on this sell-out here and here.
“This is not against Muslims,” she explained of the ad, which reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.“ ”I don’t believe that all Muslims sanction jihad.”
Geller also defended moderate and secular Muslims who she contended have experienced more death and destruction in Islamic nations than anyone else.
On the free-speech front, Geller proclaimed that it is paramount to protect free expression and she defended her ad and its placement on those grounds. After she made her statements about the matter, Wallis was asked to provide his analysis, during which he heavily criticized Geller over her comments.
“This conversation’s very sad,” he opened. “In situations of conflict like we’re in now — words have consequences. So, words of anger and hatred lead to violence.”
This theme of “hatred” was advanced throughout Wallis’ statements on the matter, as he dismissed Geller’s words as incendiary and claimed that her efforts were making the situation surrounding radical Islam much worse. Contrary to Geller’s approach, Wallis encouraged Christians and others to “remind people of their religious obligations to each other.”
“This hate language brings up what is worst in people,” the progressive faith leader continued. ”Fundamentalism is a problem in all of our religious traditions. You don’t defeat fundamentalism with hatred.”
Photo Credit: Sojourners
To combat Geller’s message, Wallis is raising money through his group, Sojourners, to put up a NYC subway billboard of his own. It will read, “Love your Muslim neighbors.”
Perhaps the most uncomfortable portion of the WABC-TV dialogue was when Wallis implored Geller “to stop talking” and said that he was speaking on behalf of “Christians all over the world.”
“I want to say to Miss Geller that Christians all over the world are going to pay for this kind of hateful language,” Wallis said. “And I speak on their behalf, begging you to stop talking.”
And he wasn’t done there.
“Please stop talking, because so many people are going to suffer from this kind of hate language,” Wallis continued. “If you want to save lives, Miss Geller, please stop talking this way.”
Geller challenged Wallis’ contentions and responded by calling out his request that she “stop talking.”
Look at the comments at the NY Post here. This is what I am seeing in the hundreds and hundreds of emails I am getting from "the man on the street." The media is spinning their fallacious narrrative. It does not reflect what is really happening.
Pink paint can’t stop it: Free speech always wins October 1, 2012
The Issue: Pro-Israel, anti-jihad subway ads, which activist Mona Eltahawy defaced with spray paint.
In The Post’s reporting of Egyptian-born activist Mona Eltahawy’s defacement of a subway ad, she claims that her destruction of the message is freedom of expression (“The Heckler Wore Pink,” Editorial, Sept. 28).
Nothing could be further from the truth. If you don’t like what someone else is saying, buy a sign of your own.
Instead, Eltahawy attempted to destroy it. That’s not free speech; that’s vandalism.
People like Eltahawy know it is easier to destroy speech they find offensive than to supply a convincing counterargument.Also, nice pink blazer, Ms. Eltahawy. Try wearing it in Tehran.
Carl Joseph Calo
I fail to see why Muslims would be offended by the ad in the subway.
The ad does not denigrate the Muslim people but rather labels as savages any who partake in jihad, or, as we know it, a holy war against infidels. As an infidel, I have no use for savages who believe in jihad.
It is time for Muslims to direct their anger in the right direction.
I am a little confused. Is Eltahawy a jihadist?
The subway posters make no mention of Islam or Muslims whatsoever but are directed only at those who are committed to a holy war.
In my eyes also, they are savages.
The subway posters are not anti-Muslim in general but specifically oppose those who would wage a jihad against Israel, such as fanatic Muslims bent on destroying Western civilization.
The Post, to my disappointment, headlined that the posters are anti-Muslim (“Anti-Muslim Posters Spark Subway Fears,” Sept. 25).
Those who would kill because of religious differences are savages. This does not apply to peace-loving Muslims, who should stand up and speak out against these fanatics. Certain fanatics would slaughter them, as well, if they did not obey sharia law.C. Eckstein
The only people who should be insulted over the subway ads are savages. I don’t think moderate Muslims want to annihilate Israel and wipe every Jew off the planet.
Clearly, the ad is talking about the nut jobs who use the name of Islam to justify beheading or stoning non-Muslims, women and gays.
Perhaps Muslims’ outrage should be against the people who have hijacked their faith and used it to justify murder.
Whether you approve of it or not, freedom of speech is an American right. If we were somewhere in the Middle East, a sign like this may get your head separated from your body. That is savage. Stewart Lara
Eltahawy is wrong in any color. She used a tactic that she actually fought against in her native Eygpt.
She just can’t get the hang of freedom. Whether you approve of the poster or not, it is still someone’s right to display it. If you’re in disagreement, put up your own sign criticizing that poster. That’s how our system works.
If someone is making a soap-box speech about something you disagree with, get your own soap box and talk him down. You don’t get a pistol and shoot him down.
The ad says nothing about Muslims; it only says: Defeat jihad.
Javerea Khan, quoted in the Sept. 25 story, says it’s “a slap in the face to all Muslims.”
No, it’s only a slap in the face to the violent ones.John Bono
Controversial ads have a right to be placed in subways.
What was said is true, for the terrorists are nothing more than animals, especially when it comes to the killing of women and children.
This ad does not attack mainstream Muslims, who are respectful of all people, but the fanatical extremists who are bent on destroying Israel and America’s free speech.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village
I appeared on 'Up Close' with Diana Williams, WABC-TV’s public affairs show. I debated Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners, who is launching his own ad campaign on the subways, "hitting back" at ours. It’s a pity that Rev. Jim Wallis didn’t get his group together to stand up when Christians, Hindus, and so many others were facing vicious persecution in Muslim countries. Where is Sojourners when Christians are victimized by jihad? Wallis is standing up for those who oppress and kill Christians.
Watch the dhimmi debate. Rioting, vandalism, and assault are legitimate responses to freedom of speech.
"Up Close: Subway" Ad NEW YORK (WABC) --
Is it a message of hate, or free speech? Or both?
UPDATE: Robert Spencer says this:
We're talking about an ad in New York subway stations, widely seen as anti-Muslim, that's sparking strong reaction and pushback, including an arrest for vandalizing the controversial ads.
The ad reads "In any war between the civilized man and the savages, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
They are now posted in heavily trafficked areas such as Grand Central Station and Times Square.
We'll be joined by Pamela Geller, a conservative activist who created the ad.
She is the executive director of American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America.
Also with us is Jim Wallis, chief executive officer of Sojourners, a Christian group which works to build alliances among people of different faiths.
Wallis says that people might get hurt because of Geller's ad. Note how thoroughly he has absorbed the dhimmi mindset: he assumes that if Muslims become violent, it is the fault of non-Muslims, who must adjust their behavior in order to placate them.
The host shows that he holds the same assumptions when he asks Geller why she is throwing a match into a powder keg. It doesn't seem to occur either to him or to Wallis that the only people responsible for the actions of violent Muslims are the violent Muslims who commit them.
Watch the clip. In it, Pamela Geller patiently explains to these cringing dhimmis elementary principles of the freedom of speech and the necessity not to kowtow to violent intimidation. She brilliantly skewers their tolerance of evil and eagerness to adopt dhimmi self-censorship to save their miserable skins.
More and more people in the public square are demonstrating an inability to grasp this basic point, and that bodes quite ill: the principle is being reinforced that all Muslims or anyone else have to do in order to silence speech that they don't like is start acting violently. Alan Dershowitz takes apart this idea in an excellent piece about the MTA's new regulations, which state that ads will be barred if people may react violently to them. Says Dershowitz: the new regulation "incentivizes people to engage in violence. What it says to people, is that if they don’t like ads, just engage in violence and then we’ll take the ads down."
We have already begun the process of testing this unconstitutional new regulation.
Pamela Geller will never stop talking. Nor will I. We will never accept dhimmitude and submission. We will never bow to violent intimidation. Jim Wallis and other dhimmi Christians and Jews ought to be deeply, deeply ashamed of the stance they've taken: they have validated and encouraged violence, hatred and oppression. If free people and free societies survive, they will be looked upon as suicidal fools.
And while I am no fan of Dershowitz, in this he is absolutely correct. "It incentivizes people to engage in violence. What it says to people, is that if they don’t like ads, just engage in violence and then we’ll take the ads down.”
I just submitted another NY campaign to the MTA. It will be interesting to see what happens....
In an interview with The Algemeiner, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz slammed new approved advertising guidelines announced by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, calling them “Plain Dumb” and “Unconstitutional.”
The new rules allow the M.T.A. to ban ads that it “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”
“A. it’s clearly unconstitutional” he said, and “b. it incentivizes people to engage in violence. What it says to people, is that if they don’t like ads, just engage in violence and then we’ll take the ads down.”
“It’s very bad policy,” he continued, “and it’s just plain dumb, because it is going to encourage violence.”
Responding to the charge in an interview with The Algemeiner, M.T.A. spokesperson Aaron Donovan declined to comment.
The new M.T.A. rules, announced yesterday, came after pro-Israel ads, which were initially rejected by the M.T.A., ran in ten New York City subway stations, after the group running the ads sued the M.T.A on first amendment grounds.
Protesters objecting to the ads set about defacing them, including in one widely reported incident where Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy was charged with criminal mischief misdemeanor for spraying one with pink paint. Referencing the incident, Dershowitz said, “what the transit authority is doing, is giving people like Mona, the power to censor.”
Referring to the recent uptick in violence in the Middle East, Dershowitz added, “It is the worst possible approach to dealing with radical Islam.”
“In the age of radical imams whipping up reactions, it just gives them more encouragement to do it. So if somebody wants to put up a picture of Mohammed in the subway, all people have to do is threaten violence and its censorship comes into effect,” he said.
The Law Professor also made clear that he is certain the decision will face legal challenges. “It will be challenged, there is no question about that,” he confirmed, “if the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) doesn’t get into this case immediately, they are going to have to write to me several times for my contribution this year. This is a perfect case for the ACLU, the ACLU should be in there, opposed to the MTA.”
“I would hope the ACLU would get behind the organization that put up the ads even though I’m sure they disagree with the content of the ads, as do I,” he concluded.
When asked by The Algemeiner if they had considered the constitutionality of their decision, M.T.A. spokesperson Aaron Donovan said that he wasn’t concerned. “All of the changes that were made to the guidelines, were made within the framework of our understanding of First Amendment law, we feel the guidelines as they have been amended are firmly planted in the bedrock of the constitution, specifically the First Amendment,” he said.
Asked about the M.T.A’s concern over the threat of further lawsuits, he said, “it’s impossible to predict the future.”
Here is the sharia response to Judge Paul Engelmayer's ruling in favor of our First Amendment right to run our pro-Israel ad campaign in New York City. One would think that moderate Muslims like Mr. Hayat Masudi would stand with freedom lovers in opposing jihadi attacks. That's what we are always told by our immoral betters in the enemedia. Aren't these the peaceful Muslims who should be vocally denouncing the jihadists who give Islam a bad name? No, instead we get more demands for restrictions on our freedoms, using freedom of speech to kill freedom of speech. I wonder which Hamas group in America wrote this letter for Mr. Masudi.
Instead, Mr. Masudi "respectfully requests by way of this letter that, the Honorable Judge by his own motion, overturn his decision and recuse and/or disqualify himself from further proceeding in this action." Masudi sent a copy of his letter to my ace lawyers, David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center. Evidently he is proud of it.
Imagine: asking a Judge to remove himself from a case because he upheld the U.S. Constitution. That's what we've come to.
From: Hayat Masudi
BY First Class Mail
Honorable Paul A. Engelmayer (District Judge) United States District Court
Southern District of New York
500 Pearl St.
September 22, 2012
New York, NY 10007-1312
Re: OPINION ORDER August 29, 2012 in American Freedom Defense Initiative et al., v.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority et al. Case No. 11CIV. 6774(PAE)
Subject: Request for Recusal and/or Disqualification of Judge Pursuant to U.S.C. §455
Dear Judge Engelmayer
I am Hayat Masudi an American Muslim resides in Queens County, New York, writes to this Honorable Court on behalf of himself, his wife, his mother, his sisters and his children (collectively referred to as the “Masudi Family” or “ Family”). This letter is in response to your recent Opinion and Order issued and signed on August 29, 2012 (the” August 29 Order”), in which the Court grants the Motion by Plaintiff, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (“AFDI”) for a permanent injunction, enjoining defendant Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) from enforcing its „non demeaning‟ advertising standard and allowing the AFDI to post a vicious ad which is insulting, ignorant—and denouncing Muslims as "savage", will appear in New York City's subway system. The actual image of this ad is provided bellow which it reads:
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. It concludes with the words, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” wedged between two Stars of David.”
Ad’s Potential Negative Impact on Masudi’s Family
The purpose of this ad is to deprive The Masudi Family and millions of Muslim in the U.S. of liberty and freedom of religion which are protected by the constitution. This ad will stereotype the Masudi Family and millions of Muslim negatively on the warmth dimension—that is, as threatening, violent, etc. The portrayals and stereotypes of this kind are not only demeaning to the Masudi Family: they are dangerous. The Family may experience discrimination in housing, schools and employment, or even harassment and attacks from strangers on the street.
“14th amendment of the constitution of the United States of America which states in pertinent part: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Both this disgusting ad which will be posted in New York‟s City subway system, as well as this Court‟s Order issued in favor of this hate group, are in direct violation of the 14th Amendment and deprives Masudi Family of liberty and freedom protected by the constitution of United States of America. This loathing ad is specifically designed, produced, and funded by uncivilized thugs whose goal is nothing but to create hostility and hate crimes between Muslim and Jewish communities in New York.
AFDI is designated as a “HATE GROUP”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has called Geller the Founder and Executive Director of AFDI “the anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead" and has categorized American Freedom Defense Initiative as a "hate group."
The Pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League said that Geller "fuels and fosters anti-Muslim bigotry in society."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York said “Geller is someone who's made quite a career out of stoking ignorance and fear and hatred,"
This Court Allegedly Misconstrued, and/or Given Inaccurate Definition to the Word (“JIHAD”) or in Alternative, the Court is Allegedly Biased, Impartial and or Corrupt
The August 29 Order which is allegedly biased, impartial and erroneous hasn‟t not only violated legal and constitutional rights and the due process clause of Masudi Family and the rights of millions of Muslims living in the U.S., it also ignites and promotes further violence, hate crimes, and hostility between Muslims and Jews in homeland and abroad. The Court Decision delivered at a time as growing agitation and deadly protests in the Muslim world is taking place in response to an American-made video posted on YouTube, mocking the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)
The word (“Jihad”) which appears in this ad may have misinterpreted and/or may have been given an inaccurate definition in this Action—or the word [itself] may not have been mention, discussed and/or presented in the Court documents such as, (“Motions, Affirmations, Oppositions, etc”). An addition, the Court and both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants (the “Parties”) may not be familiar with the accurate definition of the term Jihad, or they may have not presented to the Court an accurate definition of the term Jihad from an expert witness or a Muslim scholar. Moreover, the undersigned assumes that since AFDI is designated as a hate group—and their intention always was and is to create militancy, hate crime, and violence between the Muslim and Jewish communities, chances are, the Court may have used the militaristic connotation of the [term] in these proceedings.
Usage of the Term
In Modern Standard Arabic, jihad is one of the correct terms for a struggle for any cause, violent or not. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha struggle for Indian independence is called a "jihad" in Modern Standard Arabic (as well as many other dialects of Arabic); the terminology is also applied to the fight for women's liberation
According to the Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad), the term 'jihad' has accrued both violent and non-violent meanings. It can simply mean striving to live a moral and virtuous life, spreading and defending Islam as well as fighting injustice and oppression, among other things. The relative importance of these two forms of jihad is a matter of controversy. A poll by Gallup showed that a "significant majority" of Muslim Indonesians define the term to mean "sacrificing one's life for the sake of Islam/God/a just cause" or "fighting against the opponents of Islam". In Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Morocco, the majority used the term to mean "duty toward God", a "divine duty", or a "worship of God", with no militaristic connotations. Other responses referenced, in descending order of prevalence:
"A commitment to hard work" and "achieving one's goals in life"
"Struggling to achieve a noble cause"
"Promoting peace, harmony or cooperation, and assisting others"
"Living the principles of Islam"
Furthermore, the American Muslim Council explains, the word Jihad "is more accurately translated as exertion of effort, not 'holy war.' The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said that the highest form of jihad is the personal struggle to make oneself a better Muslim."
Based upon on the facts and references presented above and based upon the Court proceedings the undersigned concludes the following:
The Court allegedly failed to proactively, technically and/or accurately define the term Jihad, or
The Court may have used the militaristic connotation of the term Jihad in these proceedings; and
The Court may have allegedly demonstrated biases and impartiality against the Masudi Family and millions of Muslim in the US, is in direct violation of their constitutional and legal rights.
Accordingly, The undersign respectfully requests by way of this letter that, the Honorable Judge by his own motion, overturn his decision and recuse and/or disqualify himself from further proceeding in this action pursuant to U.S.C. §455, and Marshall v. Jerrico Inc., 446 US 238, 242, 100 S .Ct. 1610, 64 L . Ed. 2d 182 (1980).
"The neutrality requirement helps to guarantee that life, liberty, or property will not be taken on the basis of an erroneous or distorted conception of the facts or the law. See Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 344 (1976). .., by ensuring that no person will be deprived of his interests in the absence of a proceeding in which he may present his case with assurance that the arbiter is not predisposed to find against him.”
Copy Set to: MTA, AFDI
Social Media (Linked-in, Facebook, SlideShare)
Friends and Family and to those who requested
Anti-Savage poster offends a Savage: the back story The People's Cube
To restate the news story in one paragraph: the Egyptian-American pundit Mona Eltahawy, who likes to pose as a "liberal Muslim" on CNN and MSNBC’s weekend morning shows, has revealed herself as a savage anti-Semite and an Islamic supremacist, trying to vandalize pro-Israel ads in a New York subway station with pink spray paint (her color-coding, no doubt, inspired by the notorious Code Pink). A pro-Israel activist Pamela Hall, who has been chronicling these "controversial" ads on her blog, happened to be there and tried to protect the ad with her body, for which she was violently attacked on camera by the raging "liberal Muslim." As the police promptly arrested the Muslim lunatic, she screamed about her right to freedom of speech and expression, claiming a "non-violent" protest. Pamela Hall, the real defender of freedom of speech in this story, who got pink paint all over her face, clothes, and video camera, is pressing charges.
Now for the back story: Pamela Hall is also a personal friend of ours and a member of the People's Cube, posting on our site as "Red Squirrel." She and I had worked on a few projects, the most successful one being this video, which she shot and I edited. It was picked up by Drudge and posted on their respective sites by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, who also played the soundtrack from it on his show: Liberal Outrage: A Pro-McCain March In Manhattan.
Pamela is also the photographer who captured the infamous "Death to all Juice" picture that has since become an Internet meme. This story and the follow-up story were also posted on the People's Cube: "Death to all Juice" Guy Busted in NY for Joining Jihad. The reason the picture originally had no attribution was, at the time Pamela was trying to stay below the radar, very reasonably fearing to lose a job due to New York's intolerant "liberal" attitudes.
Standing up for reason and common sense in New York City is indeed a dangerous business. During the 2008 election Pamela Hall was hit over the head in the street by a deranged Obama voter. I reported the attack, along with the photographic proof, on this site and Pajamas Media: Obama Supporter Assaults Female McCain Volunteer in NY.
That story, also featured on Drudge, could have been a game changer in the election. However, two days later, a deranged woman who claimed to be a McCain supporter, faked a similar assault. The media jumped on the fake attack with glee, as the Democrat activists deliberately created a confusion between the two cases, dismissing the assault on Pamela despite a police report and the name of the perpetrator. Whoever owns the media owns the narrative and therefore gets to write history.
Let's hope this story will not fade away as easily. Regardless of what narrative the media will develop this time, to every reasonable person, this tiny woman who fearlessly stood in the way of a raving savage, is the true hero.
More to come later, including Pamela's recollection of the event and her own video she took with her camera.
For now, let me finish with the anti-savage poster she was protecting with her body. We covered the story of how the MTA initially rejected this ad, adding a series of visual spoofs portraying the hypothetical reaction to it by offended savages. That makes Mona Eltahawy's claim to be a Proud Savage nothing more than - you guessed it - life imitating the People's Cube.
MTA: Geller's Anti-Savage Poster May Be Insulting To Savages
The Muslim Brotherhood figures that with their man in the White House, Islamic supremacism is the order of the day. Mona Eltahawy broke the law. She destroyed my property. And she will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The idea that Muslims get special treatment is a tenet of Islam, Islamic supremacism* (coined by my colleague Robert Spencer).
Funny. Mona Eltahawy was beaten and raped by these jihadists. She called them beasts. When did they cease being beasts? When they are Jew-haters, of course. Strange bedfellows. Maybe not so strange. Mona's lawyer is Hamas's lawyer.
I'd like to run these ads in Cairo --
"Presidency asks Egyptian Consulate to monitor Eltahawy case" Egypt Independent
President Mohamed Morsy asked Yousef Zada, Egypt's consul general in New York, to closely follow the case of Egyptian-American journalist and human rights activist Mona Eltahawy, who was arrested in New York City on Tuesday.
Morsy is currently heading an Egyptian delegation on a visit to New York to participate in the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly.
Eltahawy was arrested for vandalising a pro-Israel ad in a subway station at Times Square, while another woman who supported the billboard's content, Pamela Hall, was standing against the wall to prevent her from doing so.
The journalist was arrested while spraying pink paint over the phrase, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, defeat Jihad.”
Eltahawy has been released on bail.
Hamas-CAIR, seething with Islamic Jew-hatred, spewed vicious libel (unchallenged) on NY1's "The Call." Here is my response ......
Hamas-CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed posters telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI.
I missed posting my column this week -- if you missed it, go here.
DEFENDING THE WEST
I'm offending 'savages'? Guilty as charged
Exclusive: Pamela Geller fights latest effort to censor her organization's anti-jihad ads
After my organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), won a historic victory in our First Amendment lawsuit against the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, after it refused to run our pro-Israel ads, we moved forward with our counter-jihad offensive to run our ads across the country, in every city that ran the anti-Israel campaign. We did not expect any further restrictions on our First Amendment rights. We had won. But once again we ran afoul of dhimmi officials anxious to comply with Shariah restrictions on free speech.
Our ad said: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Defeat jihad. Support Israel.” We submitted this ad to run on New York subway platforms and in Washington, D.C., Metro train dioramas. The contracts were signed and the ads were paid for up front. They were scheduled to run this week, and that was particularly apt; in light of the cold-blooded murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as that of two former Navy SEALs and another American in Libya, what else would you call jihadists but “savages”? Why is this controversial? The ads should be papered across America. Also, it’s funny how the word “savage” entered the vernacular after the latest jihadist blowups across the world.
Nonetheless, on Rosh Hashanah, the D.C. Transit Authority canceled (“postponed”) our pro-Israel ads. D.C. Transit said, “Due to the situations happening around the world at this time, we are postponing the start of this program.” They claimed that “the reason for this decision is one of security and safety for the commuters using the D.C. Metro rail system.”
This is exactly the reason why our pro-freedom ads should run.
It is precisely because of the current political situation that it is important that I be able to express my message now, and I consider any delay to be government censorship of my political speech.
Clearly, D.C. Transit is kowtowing to the threat of jihad terrorism. Their cowardice does not make commuters or Americans safer. On the contrary, it puts us in more peril to the whims of violent Islamic supremacists.
And dhimmi D.C. Transit is not alone. Others have criticized the use of the word “savage.” But it is entirely apt. They claim that the ad refers to all Muslims, or all opponents of Israel. It doesn’t. It refers to those who rejoice in the murders of innocent civilians. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians. The targeting of civilians is savage. The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens was savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage. The list is endless.
D.C. Transit’s excuse was that if the ads ran, passengers would be unsafe. But that is kowtowing to violent intimidation. People have been writing to me, blaming me for the violence they think could happen if my ads ran. Yet if any violence ensues, it is the responsibility of the ones who commit it, and no one else’s. The responsibility for one’s actions lies with the one who acts and no one else. Islamic supremacists and their allies in the mainstream media are trying to get us to accept the idea that we are responsible if Muslims riot and kill and blame what we say. Yet there is nothing you could say to me that would make me riot and kill. The responsibility is theirs, and they are the only ones who deserve condemnation – if the media were doing their job. There will always be an ad, a movie, a cartoon, a teddy bear – something that makes Muslims fly into violent rages and demand restrictions on the freedom of speech. This is a war on freedom. I refuse to sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages.
Dhimmitude at the D.C. Transit Authority. The message they are sending is that terrorism works. But we are not going to cower before violent intimidation. My ace legal team, David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), filed suit against D.C. Transit to reclaim our free-speech rights.
Yet the enemedia coverage supported the pro-Shariah message. New York Magazine snarked at the “timing,” as if there were a good or better time to “blaspheme” and say something Muslims dislike. When, then? After the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, when there were no “provocations”? After the USS Cole bombing? After the 7/7 bombings in London? After the 3/11 bombings in Madrid? After the Fort Hood jihad murders? After the Times Square attempted jihad bombing? After a teacher inadvertently named a classroom teddy bear Muhammad (at the students’ request) and became a target for death and the object of rioting across the Muslim world? After the brutal jihad murders of the Fogel family in Israel? After Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. diplomats were murdered? After a YouTube video that insults Muhammad? After cartoons of Muhammad?
When is it OK to blaspheme under the Shariah? Any time. I will never self-censor before violent thugs. I will speak out more loudly than ever.
Contrary to the conventional "wisdom," the MTA board did not change its ad policy and block political advertising because of our anti-jihad ad. Despite critical media and the howling mob of miscreants, political, cause-related ads will run. The agenda of the MTA meeting was to "overhaul subway ad policies," according to big media (ABC, WSJ). The good news is that the enemedia was wrong. There was no such overhaul.
All political ads will have to have a disclaimer, but as long as this is applied evenhandedly to all ads, not just to ones the MTA or PC police or sharia enforcers don't like, it's fine. Fascist Islamic supremacists like Mona Eltahawy will have to invest in a whole lot more spray paint, because we're going to keep speaking out for freedom and truth.
My coverage of the #OWS freak show here: #Savage Enemies of Free Speech Descend, Disrupt MTA Board Meeting Considering Ad Policy Overhaul
MTA Board Tweaks Advertising Standards
At its regularly scheduled meeting today, the MTA Board modified the MTA’s Advertising Standards, which were last addressed by the Board in 1997.
The modification was prompted by a recent federal court decision that determined that MTA’s “no demeaning standard – a standard that had prohibited ads containing “images or information that demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation – was unconstitutional.
In determining how best to respond to the court’s decision, the MTA considered limiting the use of ad spaces in and on buses, subways, trains and stations across the board to ads of a commercial nature. However, many board members believed that ad space in our transportation system, in addition to serving as a very important source of supplemental revenues to support transportation, should continue to serve as a vehicle for a wide variety of communications, including ads of a non-commercial nature that express viewpoints on matters of public concern.
Accordingly, the MTA Board has decided to continue its policy of permitting both commercial and noncommercial advertisements, including ads expressing viewpoints on issues of the day. Of course, paid viewpoint ads contain the views of their sponsors, and we want to make sure that our customers do not confuse them with expression of MTA’s views. To underscore the point, our revised advertising policy will require sponsors who submit viewpoint ads on political, religious or moral issues or related matters to include a disclaimer on each such ad that makes this clear. Each such ad will be required to prominently include this disclaimer:
This is a paid advertisement sponsored by [Sponsor]. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed.
To be clear, the MTA does not believe the First Amendment compels the MTA to open up its ad spaces in this way to a wide range of expressive communications. MTA could, for example, adopt a narrower commercially oriented ad policy, one that limited the range of ads it will display to those selling a product or service, and by doing so, avoid having to run demeaning or divisive ads such as the AFDI ad that resulted in litigation. But the MTA for decades has permitted its ad spaces to serve a broader communicative function than mere commercial advertising, and the Board, today reaffirms that tradition of tolerating a wide spectrum of types of ads, including ads that express views on a wide range of public matters.
With that choice also come First Amendment limitations that constrain the MTA’s ability to disallow particular ads because their messages are uncivil or divisive. We had thought this did not mean having to run divisive ads that demeaned others, but the recent litigation tells us otherwise. A cost of opening our ad space to a variety of viewpoints on matters of public concern is that we cannot readily close that space to certain advertisements on account of their expression of divisive or even venomous messages.
We deplore such hate messages and remain hopeful that the vast majority of advertisers in our buses,subways, trains and stationswill remain responsible and respectful of their audiences. And when, as there inevitably will be, a very few sponsors of ads stray from civility, we have every confidence that our customers will understand that in our enlightened civil democracy, the answer to distasteful and uncivil speech is more, and more civilized, speech.