NEW YORK, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, August 6, the human rights organization American Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) filed a lawsuit against the city of New York for infringement of the freedom of speech, after New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) refused to run FDI's "Preservation of Ground Zero" bus campaign.
The MTA claimed that it refused the campaign because it contained a "9/11 image," specifically "a plane," and associated the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque slated to be built at Ground Zero with the September 11, 2001 jihad terror attacks – an association that the mosque organizers have themselves made many times.
The full text of FDI's complaint is here.
In July, FDI Executive Director Pamela Geller signed a contract with CBS Outdoor to run a "Preservation of Ground Zero" bus ad campaign. FDI paid for the campaign in full.
The ad FDI submitted depicted one of the planes about to crash into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 on one side, with the planned mega-mosque (which recalls the World Trade Center in its design) on the other. The inscription was "Why There?"
CBS Outdoor relayed that the MTA had refused the ad. A CBS Outdoor representative explained that "images of 9/11" were not allowed. He told Geller that the ad could not show an airplane about to crash into one of the Twin Towers; a later version of the ad was also rejected for showing smoke and fire behind the Towers.
A third version of the ad with the flames and smoke removed and the Twin Towers depicted in pristine condition was also rejected, as a plane was shown flying by some distance away.
Geller's repeated requests for a copy of the MTA's guidelines for bus advertising went unanswered.
CBS Outdoor's representative also told Geller that the MTA didn't want to "associate the new building" – that is, the Islamic supremacist Ground Zero mega-mosque – "with Ground Zero." He told Geller: "The people behind the new building" – again, the Ground Zero mega-mosque – "say it has nothing to do with Ground Zero."
However, Daisy Khan, wife of the Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has said: "I think the building came to us, which goes to show that there is a symbolism there, and that there's a divine hand in it. That it's so close to the tragedy, that its close proximity is very symbolic for the fact that we really want to reverse what happened on 9/11."
Thus mosque organizers themselves have linked the building to 9/11, yet the MTA forbade FDI to make the same link.
Geller comments: "Who cares what they say? What do they (the Ground Zero mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan) have to do with running my ad? They dictate what can and cannot run?"
She added: "I object to this censorship, which is effectively editing the viewpoint I am attempting to express in my message."
Attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise filed suit Friday on behalf of FDI, Geller, and FDI Associate Director Robert Spencer. The complaint alleges violation of FDI's, Geller's and Spencer's free speech rights. It charges that the MTA has decided to accept the claim of the pro-Sharia Ground Zero Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, that their mega-mosque has nothing to do with marking the jihadist "victory" of September 11, 2001. In other words, the MTA is now deciding which viewpoints are politically correct enough to appear on its buses.
Comments Yerushalmi: "What makes this jihad against free speech so egregious is that the MTA has run any number of controversial religious and political ads without batting an eyelid. But as soon as the Shariah-faithful cowed Mayor Bloomberg and the MTA into dhimmi-like submission, the First Amendment to the Constitution gave way to Shariah's blasphemy laws. How long before the Mayor's office begins issuing fatwas against those who dare counter the 'noble and peaceful outreach' narrative?"
Yerushalmi also said: "Mr. Mayor and your colleagues at the MTA and the Landmark Commission: New Yorkers will not forget 9-11 and we will not be cowed into submission or silence. You might not want to hear our voices, but the federal courts will require you to listen. You claim the mantle of the Constitution as a basis for supporting a Shariah-Islamist mosque at Ground Zero, yet the MTA – a government agency of the City – cavalierly denies 'infidels' freedom of speech. Enough is enough."
FDI/SIOA is one of America's foremost organizations defending human rights, religious liberty, and the freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to bring elements of Sharia to the United States.
View images of the rejected ads here.
Join SIOA's Facebook page here.
For more information, contact Pamela Geller at [email protected].
SOURCE Stop Islamization of America