In a court ruling, it was decided that anti-Jihad adverts could be displayed in the Washington, DC metro, as has already been done in New York City and San Francisco.
Washington Metro asked for an injunction against the notorious posters, which were scheduled to appear on trains throughout the city from late September, saying they should be delayed indefinitely in the wake of the recent fallout from the "Innocence of Muslims" film.
They were concerned that these posters might provoke fallout, as with the riots and demonstrations over the film, throughout the Islamic world.
Devised by the controversial American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), the posters read, “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
These ads have already appears in the New York City subways and on buses in San Francisco.
The Washington Metro requested that the date for publication should be moved to November 1, providing there is no “verifiable terrorist threat." However, Judge Rosemary Collyer has ordered that the ads should be displayed by no later than 5 pm on Monday.
While the Judge openly described the posters as "hate speech", she said that the message is protected under the First Amendment as "core political speech." She did not accept the argument by the Metro that the ads would incite violence and constituted "a gamble with public safety."
Attorney for the AFDI, Robert Muise, said, “It’s a victory for everyone. It’s a victory for all freedom-loving Americans.”
The AFDI had to fight (and win) a similar court battle in New York City to place the ads.
In New York City, counter-ads are being published by the Rabbis for Human Rights - North America, the Sojourners Christian group and the United Methodist Women.
Posters published by the United Methodist Women read “Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed.” Rabbis for Human Rights plan their ads to read, “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.”
The Sojourners Christian Group are planning to use the message, “Love your Muslim neighbors.” Timothy King, of the Sojourners Christian Group, said his group will post ten ads on Monday, in close proximity to the controversial anti-Jihad ads.
"We are going to go out of our way to make sure Muslims are treated well here, and we hope our fellow Christians will be treated well abroad," King said.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), are running an ad of their own on every bus displaying the anti-Jihad message. Their ad reads, “SFMTA policy prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion, and other characteristics and condemns any statements that describe any group as 'savages.'"
Despite all the controversy over the ads, Pamela Geller of the AFDI has no regrets, and says, "There's nothing either hateful or false about my ad.”
Screenshot via Twitter
Altered Anti-Jihad Ad in NYC Subway
"My own ad is not hate speech. It's love speech. It's love of life speech," she told CNN in an e-mail. Speaking of her critics, Geller added, "Their moral myopia is immense. They are confusing resistance to hatred with actual hatred."
However, many of the posters have already been defaced, or marked with graffiti counter messages.
Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American anti-Israel activist was recently arrested for vandalizing one of the ads in the NYC Times Square subway station. She reportedly sprayed pink paint on the ad until a passerby, Pamela Hall, intervened to stop the defacement.