Judge Allows NYC Bus Ad Calling Israel's Foes 'Savages'

A federal judge said Friday that transportation officials violated the First Amendment by refusing to run an NYC bus advertisement by blogger Pamela Geller that called enemies of Israel "savages."

Federal Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan said he agreed with Geller, the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should not have rejected her ad, The Associated Press reported.

The MTA had rejected Geller's ad, saying its standard does not allow demeaning of individuals or groups based on race, religion or other protected categories. Her ad says, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

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However, Engelmayer on Friday granted a preliminary injunction barring the MTA from enforcing the standard. A conference in the case is scheduled for Aug. 29.

The MTA said it was reviewing the decision.

Geller, who publishes a blog called Atlas Shrugged that warns of growing "Islamization," believes that certain authorities and organizations allow ads that demean Christians while barring anything that is against Islam.

After The New York Times in March published an advertisement purchased by the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation called, "It's Time to Consider Quitting The Catholic Church," Geller also decided to have a similar ad published in the newspaper titled, "It's Time To Quit Islam."

However, the Times chose not to immediately publish the ad. Geller told The Christian Post she "wanted to see if The New York Times would run a mirror ad that told the truth about Islam and jihad."

Eileen Murphy, vice president of corporate communications for the Times, told CP, "We made a decision to postpone publishing it in light of recent events in Afghanistan, including the Koran burning and the alleged killings of Afghani civilians by a member of the U.S. military."

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