Even though the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) opposed the advertisement, believing it could incite terrorism and violence, the BBC reports that Judge John Koeltl rejected the MTA's argument, saying the advertisement is an example of protected speech.
The advertisement depicts a threatening-looking man with his head and face wrapped in a scarf, next to a quotation attributed to a music video from the militant Palestinian group Hamas.
The quote says: "Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah." The advertisement then asks: "That's his Jihad. What's yours?"
That's a sound ruling. Freedom of speech requires "tolerance" on the part of those whose sentiments are offended and, in this instance, because the advertisement presents a negative image of Islamic jihadists.
The advertisement's sponsor, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), was founded by the blogger and activist, Pamela Geller (along with Robert Spencer). AFDI's objective is "to go on the offensive when legal, academic, legislative, cultural, sociological, and political actions are taken to dismantle our basic freedoms and values." Its principles include:
- freedom of speech – as opposed to Islamic prohibitions of "blasphemy" and "slander," which are used effectively to quash honest discussion of jihad and Islamic supremacism;
- freedom of conscience – as opposed to the Islamic death penalty for apostasy; and,
- equality of rights of all people before the law – as opposed to Sharia's institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims.
According to the BBC, the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies AFDI as an "anti-Muslim group." That is, AFDI isn't a very tolerant group of people.
Using Judge Koeltl's ruling as a standard, pro-abortion activists aren't a very tolerant group of people either. They will do everything in their power to censor Pro-Life activists from advertising images that depict the murder of unborn human beings from the moment of conception until the moment of birth. The pro-abortion activists are "offended" by the images.
That's not very tolerant, is it? Come to think of it, that's also not very inclusive of diverse viewpoints, is it?
As tough as it is to uphold, freedom of speech requires tolerance, as Judge Koeltl rightly noted. The standard of judgment is not whether one's particular ox is being gored.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the BBC article, click on the following link:
To learn about AFDI, click on the following link:
To read how the pro-abortion activists at the University of Alabama have censored pro-life activists, click on the following link: