Philly transit agency to evade federal court decision in attempt to stifle anti-sharia free speech
Score a (temporary) victory for the right of Americans to point out the Jew-hatred embedded in the foundations of Muslim theology. The American Freedom Defense Initiative, led by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, has won a victory in federal court prohibiting the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority from banning its ads that point out Islamic Jew-hatred. SEPTA, which operates buses and trains around Philadelphia, will not appeal the court decision, but instead will evade it by changing its policy so as to reject all political advertising, thereby avoiding the problem of “viewpoint discrimination” that led the court to decide against it.
Paul Nussbaum writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
SEPTA will not appeal a federal court ruling that the transit authority must accept virulently anti-Muslim advertising on its buses, SEPTA officials said Thursday. (snip)
The black-and-white ads proclaim "Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran" and feature a photograph of a 1941 meeting between Hitler and Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian Arab nationalist who made radio broadcasts supporting the Nazis.
The ad will start appearing on the sides of 84 SEPTA buses as early as next week and will be displayed for a month, under terms of a $30,000 contract, SEPTA officials said.
The ad was produced by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a New Hampshire-based nonprofit organization, which argued in legal filings that the ad was germane and timely "in light of the fact that many Jews (and Christians) are being persecuted in Islamic countries in the Middle East."
U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ruled March 11 that because SEPTA had accepted other political and controversial ads on public issues, it could not refuse to accept the Hitler ad. (snip)
SEPTA officials said they decided it was unwise to spend the money to pursue an appeal they were likely to lose, especially since the loser in the case would have to pay the legal fees for both sides.
Writing in Breitbart, Pamela Geller explains:
Victory! But don’t applaud too loudly. The Philly transit authority has declared they will no long accept political ads. The Geller Ban is back. This is not the first time city authorities have changed the rules in response to an AFDI free speech victory.
Longtime supporters of my work are familiar with my numerous court cases in the defense of free speech. Now, after winning another such case, we are about to run our first ad campaign in Philadelphia, and apparently our last. (snip)
Time and time again, various city officials and dictatorial bureaucrats have censored or banned outright our ads of truth and freedom, while allowing the most fallacious and libelous anti-Jewish, pro-jihad message to run. The mainstream media piles on, as in thePhiladelphia Inquirer story about this rule change, which calls our ads “virulently anti-Muslim,” without ever bothering to discover whether or not Islamic Jew-hatred really is in the Qur’an, or to consider whether it is really wise of the U.S. government to give aid to countries that encourage that hatred.
Sharia law prohibits criticism of Mohammed or Islam, and to a shocking degree American governmental entities do their best to comply. SEPTA tells the Inquirer that it worries about vandalism, which is capitulating to bullies, or, as it is called in court, the “heckler’s veto.” Bullying is part and parcel of the way Islam deals with its critics, and because establishing the global caliphate is the aim, many Muslims will not rest until they succeed in stifling all criticism, regardless of First Amendment guarantees in this country.