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NBC News: Pennsylvania Transit Authority WON’T APPEAL AFDI Free Speech Win

17

Another glorious moment for AFDI and all Americans. SEPTA (South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) held a press conference this afternoon announcing that they will not appeal their loss, our win last week in our free speech lawsuit. The court ruled that the Transit Authority cannot ban our message highlighting Islamic Jew-hatred, the root cause of the jihad against Israel.

As part of his ruling, the judge ordered SEPTA to run the ad, which we will run on March 30th on 100 Philadelphia buses. Contribute here. 
This is a huge victory for truth and freedom. Thousands of anti-Israel, pro-jihad ads run across the country unchallenged in the courts and in the press. Every time we counter with a message of truth, we are censored and/or banned — sharia enforcement in America. We will not have it. We will continue to fight for our rights, our country, our freedoms.
Pamela Geller IJH NYC sign

SEPTA rejected the ad, claiming that it “tends to disparage or ridicule any person or group of persons on the basis of race, religious belief, age, sex, alienage, national origin, sickness or disability.”

In its court filings, AFLC argued that SEPTA’s speech restriction is content- and viewpoint-based in violation of the First Amendment. The federal judge agreed with AFLC on all of the issues presented, holding “that SEPTA’s anti-disparagement standard violates the First Amendment,” and stating further that he was “compelled to [reach this conclusion] under established First Amendment precedent.”

  AFDI and AFLC  counsel caution:

“Across the country, we have successfully litigated cases where government transit authorities permit the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations to run ads misleading the public about Jihad and Islamic Jew hatred.  When our clients run ads exposing this Jew hatred, all of a sudden the transit authorities are worried about the ‘tone’ of the conversation and attempt to shut it down.  A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose.  Act accordingly.”

“SEPTA Won’t Appeal Anti-Islamic Ads Featuring Hitler Being Displayed on Buses,” By Wire Reports and NBC10 Staff

SEPTA won’t appeal a judge’s decision allowing controversial anti-Islamic ads featuring Adolf Hitler to be displayed on buses in the Philadelphia region.

The ad in question features a photograph of a 1941 meeting between Adolf Hitler and Hajj Amin al-Husseini, described by a pro-Israel group as a Palestinian leader and Hitler ally.

Anti-Islamic Ads OK for SEPTA Buses: Judge

The bus ads carry a tagline saying: “Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”

“We understand that our decision to not file an appeal will be disappointing to those who will be forced to view the disparaging ads,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. “We are aware that the presence of the ads could anger the public, but caution that attempts to vandalize the ads or deface SEPTA vehicles will not be tolerated.”

SEPTA is weighing its next moves after a ruling that will put controversial ads on the sides of its buses. The court called it a matter of free speech, but for others, it’s hate speech.

The ads will appear on 84 separate buses throughout April, said SEPTA.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported the earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg.

The ads are produced by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a New Hampshire-based group that opposes U.S. aid to Islamic countries and has filed similar lawsuits in New York and other cities.

SEPTA General Counsel Gino J. Benedetti testified in December that he rejected the ad because he thought it “put every single Muslim in the same category (of) being a Jew hater.”

Goldberg concluded that the transit authority’s “anti-disparagement” policy, while well-intentioned, was not clearly defined and therefore potentially discriminatory. He noted that SEPTA has run viewpoint ads on public issues including animal cruelty, birth control, religion and fracking.

“It is clear that the anti-disparagement standard promulgated by SEPTA was a principled attempt to limit hurtful, disparaging advertisements. While certainly laudable, such aspirations do not, unfortunately, cure First Amendment violations,” Goldberg wrote.

SEPTA said it regrets any discomfort the ads may cause and they asked that anyone with concerns or comment reach out online.

Hamas- CAIR will do just that, I am sure.

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