DC judge upholds free speech, orders anti-jihad ads up

Once again it’s the liberal establishment that are the true Islamophobes or at least using the threat of Muslim violence to infringe on the rights of Americans. That’s terrorism. And that’s how sharia is spread. via Judge delays anti-jihad free speech.

A judge in Washington, D.C., ruled today that a “heckler’s veto” of pro-Israel ads that already have appeared in San Francisco and New York cannot be used to censor the message in Washington.

The judge granted a request by the American Freedom Law Center for an injunction to halt the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority censorship of a pro-Israel/anti-jihad bus advertisement.

The judge ordered the agency display the ads no later than 5 p.m. on October 8, 2012.

Judge Rosemary M. Collyer granted the request after AFLC co-founder and senior counsel Robert Muise presented a compelling case in which he argued that the WMATA’s refusal to run the advertisement out of a vague and speculative fear of Muslim mob violence violates AFLC’s clients’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Muise of the American Freedom Law Center is representing the ad sponsors, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch who are working together under the banner of the Freedom Defense Initiative.

“Today, Judge Collyer affirmed that our fundamental right to freedom of speech cannot be suppressed by mob rule. This is not only a victory for our clients, but it is a clear victory for all freedom-loving Americans.”

Muise said earlier, “The WMATA does not want to display a message that it deems to be critical of Islam, critical of jihad, or supportive of Israel in light of the current ‘world events.’ However, it is precisely because of the current political situation unfolding in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere that FDI should be permitted to express its message, and any delay amounts to government censorship of speech. Because FDI’s speech is core political speech, it should be accorded the greatest protection under the First Amendment.”

The transit agency already leases space for ads that are commercial, noncommercial, public service, public-issue, political and religious. For example, it has posted the message, “End U.S. military aid to Israel.”

AFLC co-founder David Yerushalmi said: “Under the First Amendment, speech cannot be punished or banned simply because it might offend a hostile mob. The WMATA’s speech restriction is based on the perceived negative response that FDI’s message might receive from certain viewers based on its content and viewpoint. However, a viewer’s reaction to speech is not a content-neutral basis for regulation. This is known as a ‘heckler’s veto,’ which is impermissible under the First Amendment.”

The organizations just finished a similar fight in New York, where a federal judge ruled free speech requires the transit authority to display the ads, just as it has displayed other ads.

When the ad appeared there, a pro-Islamic activist who has worked for MSNBC was arrested for vandalizing a poster with spray paint.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says the system will comply with the order and the ads will go up this weekend.

Will the DC Metro add a sharia blasphemy clause like the NYC MTA did?

4 Responses

  1. Anyone caught defacing ANY ad – anywhere is subject to having his / her body sprayed head to toe. For ‘openers’. Ditto for terroristic threats to deface or destroy any ad. Sounds harsh, I know.

  2. Where did Mona go? You’d have thought the coverage would have been national on MSNBC, CNN, Fox, everywhere. Since Mona was only acting out the points that MSNBC regularly and repeatedly states, that “hate speech” should be punished, and hate speech should be defined as offensive speech, then why are they not defending her now?

  3. What happened to this zeal to enforce “polite speech” from the Left in the media? Did someone flip a switch?

  4. I’ve heard tell it takes two miles to turn a battleship around. The analogy fits here in that it takes OVERWHELMING evidence to force a correct decision vis. a vis. islamism.

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