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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid