The Washington D.C. Transit Authority that oversees buses and trains in the nation’s capital has decided to ban “issue-oriented” advertisements for the rest of 2015 after receiving an ad proposal depicting a cartoon of Muhammad.
The cartoon, featuring a fierce man wielding a sword and wearing a turban with the caption “You can’t draw me!” won a “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas earlier this month. The ads would have sported a banner saying “Support Free Speech.”
Activist Pamela Geller made the advertising request, saying the decision is “an end run around the First Amendment.” Geller hosted the Garland art contest event through her group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
Metro spokesman Mike Tolbert says the board’s vote was unanimous and that members “did not specifically discuss any ad.” However without the broad ban, Transit Authority officials likely would have been forced to publish the Muhammad cartoon, since courts have ruled in favor of Geller multiple times in her bids to display controversial ads.
“In April,” noted the U.S. News and World Report, “she won a federal court ruling that New York City’s subway system must carry anti-Hamas ads that attribute the quote ‘Killing Jews is worship’ to the Palestinian group. U.S. District Judge John Koeltl found no evidence the ads ‘would be likely to incite imminent violence.’ In March, a federal judge forced Philadelphia’s mass transit system to allow ads that say ‘Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran.'”
The District of Columbia is following the footsteps of New York, where transit authorities recently banned all political advertising to ward off future controversies, the D.C.
“Former D.C. Council member Jim Graham, who served 12 years as a member of the Metro system’s board of directors and twice as its chairman, says he can’t recall a similar advertising suspension,” reported the article. “It’s obviously a way for them to avoid this very challenging issue. By stopping all ads they’re able to say they’re doing it in a way that doesn’t [target] this one ad.”
Graham acknowledges board members are in a bind “because we know what happens when you criticize Muhammad, we know how some people react to that. I don’t think we ever had a situation [in the past] where someone threatened to blow up a bus. … We know worldwide what has happened to others who have gone down this path.”
“The nation’s capital banned free speech for fear of offending the very savages we are fighting here and across the world,” wrote Geller on her website. “No war was ever won on the defense. Shariah in action.”
“It is the responsibility of law-enforcement authorities to deal with any danger,” said Geller in an interview with WND. “They have a choice: take proper precautions, or surrender to violent intimidation. That they’re choosing the latter is a scandal. Giving in to terrorist threats by changing our behavior in the face of them only encourages more terrorist threats.”
The implication is that if people shut up and go away, no one will get hurt. But when asked whether the ads are inciting or inviting Muslim violence by blatantly utilizing America’s First Amendment right to free speech, Geller responded, “On his hijacked plane on 9/11, Muhammad Atta said to the passengers, ‘Stay quiet and you’ll be OK.'”
We all know how that “promise” ended: the passengers were all killed.
“It only emboldens evil to kowtow to evil,” concluded Geller.