SHAFAQNA – CBS Philadelphia reported this Thursday that a federal court judge on Wednesday sided with a New Hampshire based non-profit on its claim that it has a first amendment right to run bus ads linking Muslims to Hitler.
The ads include images of Adolf Hitler and read “Islamic Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran.” While they may be incendiary to some, a federal court judge wrote they’re perfectly acceptable under the first amendment.
“He agreed with us on all the issues,” said attorney Robert Muise.
Muise represents plaintiff American Freedom Defense Initiative. The group has filed more than a half dozen lawsuits against transit authorities across the country over anti-Islamic ads. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority refused to run their ad saying it disparaged Muslims, but the court held the buses are public forums — so SEPTA cannot censor AFDI’s political speech.
“He found the restriction on our client’s speech to be content-based and unconstitutional,” said Muise.
Muise says his clients hope to run the ad. Spokesperson Jerri Williams says SEPTA is disappointed, but is evaluating whether to appeal.
Last fall, dozens of anti-Islam ads were plastered across two high-traffic New York City subway stations and 100 buses. The ads prompted Muslim comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah to take action.
“When we heard about these hateful ads, we were outraged and decided to do something about it, an ad campaign of our own,” Farsad told CBS News.
The duo launched a fundraising campaign using social media and their website “The Muslims Are Coming,” which is also the name of their docu-comedy that was released on Netflix. It follows their Islam-themed stand-up tour across the South and Midwest, during which they hosted free shows and outreach events to inform communities about the variety of “normal” Muslims.
They said that their poster idea seemed a natural next step in their “comedy jihad.”