Judge Claims ‘Killing Jews’ Ad Is Protected Under Freedom Of Speech


The “Killing Jews” bus ads can run on NYC buses and Trains under the rule of freedom of Speech.

Freedom of Speech has been something constantly fought about in the Supreme Court.There are a number of situations that are covered by freedom of speech, and others that aren’t, and we often look to our Justice System to define those gray areas. On April 21, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl, in Manhattan, threw out the arguments held by the New York Metro Transportation Authority. The MTA had been attempting to prevent a potentially harmful ad from the American Freedom Defense Initiative from running on their transportation buses and trains.

The advertisement displays a “menacing man wearing a scarf around his head and face” with the quote: “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah.” AFDI contributes the quote to Hamas MTV, and use it as a means of parodying an advertisement that ran by Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The CAIR ad promoted peaceful Islamic images, saying things like “#MyJihad is to build friendships across the aisle. What’s yours?”

When the case reached Koeltl, it didn’t take him long to throw out the MTA’s arguments. The MTA changed their policies in 2012, when they banned ads that insulted religions or races. However, Koeltl felt that the MTA couldn’t make a convincing argument as to how the poster may incite violence, adding that “none occurred in Chicago or San Francisco.”

While the US District Judge doesn’t feel that these images may incite violence, particularly against New York’s Jews, these advertisements from American Freedom Defensive Initiative has already caused conflict overseas. Egypt’s religious authorities find these posters racist, and have issued an edict against them. The edict can be read in full here, but it states that the campaign “will leave the gate of confrontation & clashes wide open instead of exerting efforts toward peaceful coexistence and harmony.”



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