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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid