(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” reads the ad, currently running in four train stations throughout the Washington area.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had meant to delay posting the four ads, citing fears of furious reactions following the worldwide violence sparked by the US-made anti-Islam film.
However, a US district court judge in Washington cited the First Amendment’s right to free speech to turn down the request.
The controversial posters, also placed in the New York City's subway system, are sponsored by the pro-Israeli group the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which says it seeks to “Stop Islamization of America.”
Two civil right advocate groups have blacklisted AFDI, led by rightwing anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, as a hate group.
The posters have drawn condemnation from various advocate groups and religious communities in the United States.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has expressed concerns the ads will “contribute to the atmosphere of anti-Islam hostility,” noting a “widespread repudiation of the hate message promoted by these ads.”
On September 25, the Interfaith Center of New York gathered on the steps of City Hall to protest against the ads.
“These ads fuel anti-Muslim sentiment that aims to divide us, but we will always come together, louder and stronger, for respect and dignity,” said Valarie Kaur, director of Groundswell at Auburn Seminary.