A few days after the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America filed a lawsuit against New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for refusing to run an ad campaign protesting the construction of an Islamic center in lower Manhattan, the agency has agreed to put up the posters.
The two organizations alleged that the MTA and its advertising agency violated free speech rights by rejecting the proposal to run posters that included images of one of the hijacked 9/11 planes alongside pictures of the proposed mosque. The agencies’ argument was that they improperly suggested a link between the mosque and Islamic terrorism.
David Yerushalmi, who acts as counsel to the plaintiffs, stated that the reversal was not only a victory for the First Amendment rights, but also “against the Bloomberg-style bullying meant to shut down full-throated public debate over the connection between the existential jihad threat this country faces and Islamic terrorists who engage in both violent and stealth jihad to impose Shariah on the infidel."
However, the decision to run the ads on New York buses was criticized by The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which said they are sponsored by “groups and individuals with long histories of promoting anti-Islam hate.”