A political advocacy group, which has long spoken out against Islam, is behind an advertisement that refers to Jihad as “savage” and calls for support of Israel.
The ad, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
It will appear in 10 subway stations starting Monday — this in the midst of global rage resonating throughout the Muslim world over videos and cartoons that mock Islam.
The MTA rejected the ad at first, but lost the case in federal court in July on grounds of freedom of speech, according to MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
“Our hands are tied right now, so that’s where we are at,” Ortiz told Metro.
Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, was quick to dismiss the backlash from news of the ad, saying “anti-Israel” ads have also appeared in public transit stations. In July, billboards illustrating the shrinking Palestinian land from 1946 to 2010 were placed at MTA Metro-North stations in Westchester.
“I think it is noteworthy that the anti-Israel ads ran without anything like this level of negative attention,” Geller told Metro.
She added, “The word ‘savage’ is entirely appropriate. Some claim that the ad refers to all Muslims, or all opponents of Israel. It doesn’t. It refers to those who rejoice in the murders of innocent civilians. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians.”
The American Freedom Defense Initiative also purchased space for the ad in Washington, D.C., but the city’s transit authority deferred running it “out of a concern for public safety, given current world events,” according to The New York Times.
“Clearly D.C. is kowtowing to the threat of jihad terrorism,” Geller said.