DC Metro Suspends All Issue-Oriented Ads After Woman Submitted Muhammad Cartoon

Josh Fatzick | Reporter

Officials in Washington, D.C. have banned all issue-related advertisements on public transportation after a woman wanted to place a picture of the Prophet Muhammad in an advertisement.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative organized the “Draw Muhammad” event that saw two terrorists gunned down by police earlier this month in Texas, and wanted to put the winning drawing on advertisements on city buses and in train stations.

“Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it,” Pamela Geller, president of the AFDI said in a statement on Breitbart.com.

“Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder. We cannot submit to the assassin’s veto.”

Mike Tolbert, a spokesman for WMATA, told The DCNF that the Metro Board of Directors issued a motion to ban the issue related advertisements, but that it was unrelated to Geller’s proposed advertisement.

“No organization came up when the motion was before the board,” he said.

According to WMATA guidelines, its advertising venues constitute a designated public forum, which means it can place few restrictions on speech, but “reasonable time, place and manner restrictions are acceptable.”

The rejection of advertising requests “must be necessary to serve a compelling state interest and narrowly drawn to achieve that end,” their guidelines read.

The drawing that won the contest, and will be featured in the ad campaign, shows a bearded man wearing a turban and holding a sword who says, “you can’t draw me.”

A voice bubble coming from the hand drawing the character replies, “That’s why I draw you.”

The AFDI, which describes itself as a “human rights advocacy group,” ran ads on D.C. public transportation last year that showed Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, whom the ad described as Hitler’s “staunch ally, the leader of the Muslim world.”

Next to the picture, the ad read, “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s In The Quran.”

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Tags : district of columbia washington metropolitan area transit authority
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