After months of court battles, a heavily debated anti-Jihad ad, sponsored by The American Freedom Defense Initiative is scheduled to run in ten subway stations throughout the New York City Metro Area within the next week.
The ad (shown right) is emblazoned with the Ayn Rand quote: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”
The ad was initially rejected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in July based on the MTA’s claim that it was defamatory and violated MTA’s advertising standards.
Upon rejection of the ad, Pamela Geller, the executive director for the American Freedom Defense Initiative, immediately took the MTA to court, on the grounds that the rejection violated the first amendment rights of the organization — and prevailed.
According to the Daily News, the MTA and CBS Outdoor review all new advertisements, including this one, to ensure they comply with MTA’s advertising policies. While it can’t stop the ad from running, the MTA explicitly states that it does not endorse the viewpoints of any of Geller’s ads or any of the ads the MTA accepts.
Aaron Donovan, a spokesperson for the MTA, told The New York Times that”our hands are tied.”
This is not Geller’s first ant-Muslim ad. In 2011, she sponsored an ad that ran during Thanksgiving, describing the “stealth jihad” in your thanksgiving turkey. Geller has also sponsored similar advertisements in San Francisco and the Washington, D.C. area; meeting similar opposition in both places. Last month, Gothamist reported on this ad which was posted at the Hartsdale Metro-North station:
Geller isn’t slowing down; her organization’s website discusses its ongoing battle to keep placing these ads and asks how others can get involved: “Help keep these ads running. Contribute here, and get the tee shirts here.”