News / USA

Controversial Pro-Israel Ads Go Up in Washington Subway

Controversial Pro-Israel Ads Go Up in Washington Subwayi
|| 0:00:00
X
Jeff Swicord
October 12, 2012 8:25 PM
U.S. District Court judge in Washington DC has ruled that the city’s subway system must allow a pro-Israel ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages to be displayed in Metro stations. Legal experts say there is no way around the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of speech, even when some people consider that speech offensive. VOA's Jeff Swicord reports.

Controversial Pro-Israel Ads Go Up in Washington Subway

Jeff Swicord
A U.S. District Court judge in Washington DC has ruled that the city’s subway system must allow a pro-Israel ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages to be displayed in Metro stations.  Legal experts say there is no way around the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of speech, even when some people consider that speech offensive.

Metro officials had raised concerns that this ad could incite violence especially after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.  

The ad reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.  Support Israel.  Defeat jihad.”

To many Muslims, jihad means an internal spiritual struggle.  But some have used the religious concept as an excuse for violence.

Nihad Awad is executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations. The group advocates for American Muslims.

“So far the overwhelming majority of those who viewed the ads condemned them.  Condemned the bigotry, the hatred behind it, and the organizers of it,” Awad said.

The ads are sponsored by The American Freedom Defense Initiative, a pro-Israel group that says it is fighting against the Islamization of America.  Two U.S. civil rights organizations list it as a hate group.

The group won a similar court fight in New York, where the ads went up in subway stations in September.  Pamela Geller is executive director of AFDI. She dismisses assertions that recent events should delay the ads.

“It’s never a good time.  If it’s not an ad, it’s a film.  If it’s not a film it’s a teddy bear.  If it’s not a teddy bear, it is a Danish cartoon, or a Swedish cartoon.  Or a French cartoon.  When is a good time to speak openly and candidly about jihad?,” Geller said.

Washington Metro officials say the FBI is investigating a threat of violence if the ads ran.  There have been minor reports of vandalism to the ads that were put up in New York, but overall criticism has been restrained.

Benetta Standly, Washington director of the American Civil Liberties Union, says the fear of violence does not mean the the First Amendment, which protects free speech, can be overridden. She argues the way to counter hateful speech is to speak out against it peacefully.

“In this country, the answer to offensive or hateful speech is simply more speech to counter that.  So what we see happening now in the Washington, D.C., Metro transit system is people are starting to put up different advertisements that counter the hateful speech,” Standly said.

American Muslim organizations plan to put their own ads in Metro stations within days.

“I think this is what everyone needs to see.  They want to see messages that emphasize love, compassion, coexistence, and reconciliation.  Not hateful messages that are designed to rip the fabric of the United States and to divide people along ethnic and religious lines,” Awad said.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: iosca40 from: Modesto, Ca
October 15, 2012 10:29 PM
I love the decision of U.S. District Court, that represents America's Freedom and am so sad for American's Muslims who don't agree on what they found on this Blessed Land of opportunities. If you don't like America's Constitution, go back on the land of whole violence and bad principles. Viva la America's Freedom !


by: Jonathan Keet from: Israel
October 14, 2012 5:30 PM
As a staunch supporter of Israel and freedom of choice, I find this to be obnoxious propaganda which will do Israel an ill-service and bring even more dissent to a troubled world.


by: samu from: china
October 14, 2012 2:53 AM
in many american movies which directed by jewsh we always notice an advocation not to believe what the media says, they know that how the media is powerful, so they are fighting us by the most effective tool. to the americans, what will happen if your country save its money, time and diplomacy and not to interfere others bussiness. usa would be better without supporting a small country against all the world. you better see who owns the companies of the whole american media's, they are jewsh.


by: karimi from: kabul
October 12, 2012 11:32 PM
just one notification:
civilized man will be peaceful with all religions.
insulting and hostile word never be preserved for a good man and civilized man.
islam or jews both are god religions then what is supporting or not supporting.


by: Dan Wright from: Indiana
October 12, 2012 11:28 PM
Why don't we ever hear Muslims saying things like, "We have these sort of ads coming. We Muslims have a lot of violence against innocent people to answer for. If we aren't going to speak out loudly against violence, or if we wait to speak out until prompted by some international leader threatening sanctions, we can expect people to come to this sort of conclusion about us. --And by the way, most of us LOVE Israel and the Jewish people!" --The world has never heard this. Why?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid