US District Judge rejects opposing argument that it could incite terrorism, since it’s already been published on a Hamas YouTube Music video for a while.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority must allow the display of an ad showing Muslims killing Jews, a federal judge ruled.
US District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that the ad, which includes the statement “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” as protected speech under the First Amendment and said it must be run on public transportation.
The ad portrays a menacing man wearing a scarf around his head and face, includes a quotation “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah” attributed to “Hamas MTV,” and then states, “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?”
Koeltl rejected the MTA argument that the ad could incite terrorism.
Koeltl said that the MTA and Chairman Thomas Prendergast “underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements. It strains credulity to believe that New Yorkers would be incited to violence by ads that did not incite residents of Chicago and San Francisco.”
Adam Lisberg, an MTA spokesman, said: “We are disappointed in the ruling and are reviewing our options.” The ad includes a disclaimer that its display does not imply an MTA endorsement.
The ad is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is headed by blogger Pamela Geller. The ad has run in other cities, including Chicago and San Francisco, without inciting violence, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
David Yerushalmi, a lawyer for the American Freedom Defense Initiative, said the decision follows similar rulings in Washington and Philadelphia.
“There is no question that transit authorities have the right and duty to protect their riders from violence,” Yerushalmi said in a phone interview. “They do not have the right to give terrorists or potential terrorists a ‘heckler’s veto.'”
The ruling will not be enforced for 30 days to allow MTA to appeal, Reuters reported.
View original i24news publication (without YouTube clip) at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/americas/68597-150422-new-york-judge-allows-killing-jews-ads-on-buses