Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Court Requires NY Transit Authority To Accept Anti-Islam Ads

In American Freedom Defense Initiative v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, (SD NY, April 21, 2015), a New York federal district court granted a preliminary injunction to a pro-Israel advocacy group requiring the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority to accept the group's anti-Islam ad for display on the back of New York City buses. The ad included a picture of a man with his face largely covered by a keffiyeh and the language "Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah.  That's his jihad.  What's yours?"  The court found a likely infringement of plaintiff's free speech rights in a designated public forum.  It rejected the MTA's argument that the ad could be refused under its standards barring ads that will incite or provoke violence, saying that the MTA had not produced evidence that it would incite imminent violence. Reuters reports on the decision.  Last month, a Pennsylvania federal district court reached a similar conclusion regarding a different anti-Islamic ad from AFDI. (See prior posting.)