Tags: afdi | jews | muslims | cair | posters | new york city | transportation

Judge Allows 'Killing Jews Is Worship' Ads on NYC Transport

By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2015 12:24 PM

An ad that says, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" should be permitted to appear on New York City buses and subways, a federal judge has ruled.

The advert was created by a pro-Israel organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). It features an image of a young man in a checkered headscarf and was designed to highlight what the AFDI argues are Muslim attitudes toward Jews, The Washington Post reported.

The ad was originally rejected by New York's Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), which said that they were "savage" and demeaned Muslims and Palestinians while at the same time could incite violence against Jews.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl has ruled that the MTA cannot stop the ads from running

In the judgment, he said that MTA officials "underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements."

He added: "Moreover, there is no evidence that seeing one of these advertisements on the back of a bus would be sufficient to trigger a violent reaction. Therefore, these ads — offensive as they may be — are still entitled to First Amendment protection."

AFDI co-founder Pamela Geller tweeted her delight at the ruling, saying that it was "a triumph for liberty and free speech."

The ad is intended to be a parody of an ad put out by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil liberties group that promotes the rights of Muslims and better relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

In 2012 and 2013, CAIR ran posters in several American cities promoting peaceful versions of Islam. " '#MyJihad is to build friendships across the aisle.' What's yours?" read one.

In his ruling in favor of AFDI, Koeltl said the ads could not reasonably be considered an incitement to violence, even if someone didn't understand them.

"The defendants admit that the actual intention of the advertisement is not to advocate the use of force, but to parody the CAIR 'My Jihad' campaign and to criticize Hamas and radical Islam.

"However, they argue that a reasonable New Yorker would not read the advertisement this way, but would instead read it as advocating the killing of Jewish people," Koeltl wrote, according to the Post. "The defendants' theory is thoroughly unpersuasive."

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An ad that says, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah," should be permitted to appear on New York City buses and subways, a federal judge has ruled.
afdi, jews, muslims, cair, posters, new york city, transportation
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 12:24 PM
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