New York’s metropolitan transportation authority (MTA) has put a stop to political advertising in subways and on buses.
A federal court in New York affirmed that the city bus system could indeed ban offensive advertisements.
The move puts of on hold aggressive ads by political activist Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative, which includes one of a threatening looking man wearing a mask alongside a quote frpm “Hamas MTV” and the slogan: “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?” A similar ad shows the image of Faisal Shehzad, a Pakistani-American citizen who was arrested for attempting to bomb Times Square.
Geller, who is known for her anti-islam agenda, is a political activist and former news editor.
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Although Geller has been arguing that her group’s aim is to educate the public about radical Islam and was supported by a US district Judge John Koeltl who ruled that such ads could not be prohibited from public display, the MTA contested that such ads incite aggression and ruled by a 9-to-2 vote to ban all forms of political initiatives.
Charles Moerdler, one board member who supported the ban, said then: “Hateful speech with its odious appeal to intolerance is the incendiary that ignites violence. It does not take much to move the passions of hatred. … Our riders and the public need not have their safety or serenity violated,” the New York Daily News reported.
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Geller's lawyer Robert Muise, said objecting to the ban: “The government should not be permitted to violate the First Amendment and then on the heels of an adverse court decision simply modify its rules to avoid the consequences of its unlawful behavior,” he said, adding the case could very well head to the US Supreme Court, the newspaper reported.
Geller believes that the ban was directed at the Freedom defense initiative and added that “the MTA’s definition of ‘political’ as ‘disputed opinion’ is viewpoint-based and not lawful. Even if they did properly close the forum to ‘political’ ads and if indeed our ad is ‘political,’ we had a vested or grandfathered right to have these ads go up.”
PHOTO COURTESY: WND
This article originally appeared on WND
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