Court Rules That NY MTA Must Run Anti-Jihad Ad

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 05:45 PM

(New York, NY - WNYC) On Monday, ten New York subway stations will display an ad that uses block letters on a black background to proclaim, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” followed by the tag line, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The ruling comes as anti-American protests are erupting around the world over an anti-Muslim film trailer widely circulated on the internet.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an advocacy group,  bought space for the ad in the subway a year ago. But the NY Metropolitan Authority rejected it before it could run, explaining in a letter to the group that, "Your proposed ad contains language that, in our view, does not conform with the MTA's advertising standards regarding ads that demean an individual or group of individuals."

This as by the American Freedom Defense Initiative will appear in 10 New York City subway stations beginning Monday.

AFDI sued, and won, on First Amendment grounds. The NY MTA appealed, and lost.

The judge in the case denied the authority's request for an extension that would've allowed its board to meet and consider a rule change to ban non-commercial ads, also known as issue ads, on its property. (See the ruling below.)

NY MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said today that the fight is now over.  “Our hands are tied," he said. "The court found the MTA’s regulations on non-commercial ads violated the First Amendment."

The NY MTA will not follow the lead of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency, which ran the same ad on its buses next to an ad of its own that condemned "statements that describe any group as 'savages.'"

This is not the first time that AFDI has placed an ad with the NY MTA. In August, the group launched a campaign with ads in Metro-North commuter rail stations that cited tens of thousands of "Islamic attacks" since the 9/11 attacks. The authority said it displayed them because the ads did not include demeaning language.

AFDI says it "aggressively seeks to advance and defend our nation’s Judeo-Christian moral foundation in courts all across our nation." Its executive director is Pamela Geller, who was instrumental in protests against Park 51, a mosque-community center two blocks from the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

Afdi v Mta Ruling 1


Comments [8]


"Savages" is what "civilized" men call people before slaughtering them.

Dec. 20 2012 10:37 AM
danielle b

Yes this is free speech period.

Sep. 27 2012 08:30 PM

Not sure this from an earlier article is still current; quoted from another comment forum:

"The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) purchased the advertising space this month from CBS Outdoor, Metro’s advertising firm, the lawsuit states. But a representative of CBS Outdoor on Tuesday e-mailed Pamela Geller, AFDI’s executive director and a leader of the effort to stop a mosque from being built near Ground Zero in New York, saying it would delay posting the advertisements 'due to the situations happening around the world at this time.'"

Nice that someone in this mess hasn't completely lost their mind. :)

Sep. 25 2012 02:58 PM

A despicable abuse of the First Amendment; take some time to learn the layered nuances of meaning in the word "jihad," people. For every "evil" statement in the Quran, I can find at least two of equivalent "evil" in the Christian or Jewish Bibles, which are much longer documents.

This was a commercial transaction. Has the MTA now lost its right to turn down _any_ advertising client? Just how versatile is that First Amendment? The precedent set here is staggering.

Sep. 25 2012 02:30 PM
Michael Patrick

Well, Craig, I stand corrected, there being no need for anyone to read beyond Sura 9 or between any lines.

Sep. 22 2012 07:12 PM

@Michael Patrick. Nice try. While it is true that the greater jihad is for the Muslim, jihad against non-Muslims is demanded by the Quran and peace with non-Muslims is abrogated in Sura 9.

Sep. 21 2012 05:27 PM
Concerned Citizen

There is some logic to generalizing that religious folks are less civilized (they certainly do have lower IQ's), but this propaganda piece makes an extraordinarily foolish insinuation that those who oppose the tyrannical formation of the country in israel are not only jihadists (do a little poll, why don't ya?) but also uncivilized.

Let's not forget that summers in iraq are 120 degrees F and these people have been bullied by outside powers into poverty, so things which promote intelligence, like air conditioning, are less prevalent...

I encourage new yorkers, whom are aware that the 3 world trade center towers that fell on 9-11 were not "pulled" by two simple plane crashes, to make their voices known and ensure the vindication of the subway's rights to screen its own ads.

first amendment? How's about the right of an organization to display as it pleases? This court ruling that the first amendment PROTECTS this third party's advertising effort is incredibly ironic.

Sep. 21 2012 12:21 AM
Robert Briggs

Its about time the Courts WOKE UP!

Sep. 20 2012 10:07 PM

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