The Farce of Selective Free Speech on Public Transport……..

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has banned all political advertising on its subways and buses, allowing it to refuse to display an ad about Muslims killing Jews. The resolution passed Wednesday night at the MTA board meeting. The decision comes after a federal judge earlier this month ruled that an anti-Islamic ad which includes the statement “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” is protected speech under the First Amendment and said it must be run on public transportation……….  U.S. District Judge John Koeltl on April 21 rejected the MTA argument in rejecting the ad that it could be seen as a call to violence against Jews and could incite terrorism. The ad is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is headed by blogger Pamela Geller and is known for its sharp anti-Muslim rhetoric. The ad has run in other cities, including Chicago and San Francisco, without inciting violence……………

“A US appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Seattle-based King County officials did not violate free speech by prohibiting local buses from displaying anti-Israel advertisements. The ruling came in reference to a 2010 advertisement on a bus reading,”ISRAELI WAR CRIMES YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK.” ………..”

A court rules that it is okay to advertise on public transport against Islam: it is free speech to put bigoted ads against Muslims. Another court rules that it is not okay to advertise on public transport against Israel: it is not free speech to have anti-Israeli advertisement on public transport.

So, whenever there is a proposed advertisement on a public transport that criticizes Israel, it is banned. It is not free speech. Yet anti-Islamic ads by islamophobic bigots are allowed by judges like this one in New York. They are free speech. Proposed anti-Israel (not anti-Semitic) ads on public transport in Seattle and other cities were banned in the past. So much for the farce of selective free speech.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                    Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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