N.Y. transit authority must run ad that refers to killing Jews, judge rules

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority must allow the display of an ad about Muslims killing Jews, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan on Tuesday deemed the ad, which includes the statement “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” as protected speech under the First Amendment and said it must be run on public transportation.

Koeltl rejected the MTA argument that the ad 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.

The ruling will not be enforced for 30 days to allow MTA to appeal, Reuters reported.

The ad, which was rejected originally last September, includes a man wearing a scarf over his face and adds, “That’s his Jihad, what’s yours?”

The “Killing Jews” ad, as both sides are calling it, is part of a five-ad campaign parodying the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ “My Jihad” ads that have appeared on public transportation in other cities. The CAIR ads emphasize the nonviolent aspects of the term “jihad.”