The American Freedom Defense Initiative and Pamela Geller have been cleared to run even more controversial ads by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl. He ruled last week that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) cannot stop their most recent controversial ad from running on scores of subway cars and buses.. The ongoing saga of their transit campaigns in New York City has been dragging on for years with people like Mona Eltahawy vandalizing their billboards.
Now the ads about to run will carry this line: "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah". The MTA has argued that the billboards could incite violence against Jews, but Judge John Koeltl rejected that idea saying that the MTA "underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements.” Judge Koeltl added “Moreover, there is no evidence that seeing one of these advertisements on the back of a bus would be sufficient to trigger a violent reaction. Therefore, these ads — offensive as they may be — are still entitled to First Amendment protection.”
— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) April 21, 2015
It may seem odd that it's the pro-Israel group AFDI that are the sender of these billboards, but according to their website their objective is to go on the offensive, and their by now well-known provoking posters have been their battling ram into a legal fight with the MTA. Previously the AFDI ran this poster in Houston and Philadelphia, showing the famous photograph of the Mufti and the Führer, the meeting between Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Hussein in 1941 (below). The AFDI's signature is to provoke, this year they'll organize their inaugural Muhammad portrait contest, despite growing protests. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the AFDI an anti-muslim hate group. But even hate groups are allowed to buy billboard space on the MTA, as the judge ruled.