Monday, October 01, 2018

Ninth Circuit court rules for Pamela Geller

Top: US government ad, on the bottom, Geller's ad

Pamela Geller:

This all started back in 2013, when the FBI was running a terrorism awareness campaign featuring bus ads depicting photos of sixteen of the world’s Most Wanted Terrorists.

This was a publicity campaign sponsored by the Joint Terrorism Task Force for the State Department’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program.

The ad featured the world’s leading global terrorists. As it happened, all but one were Muslim. Islamic supremacists and their leftist lapdogs demanded that the ad come down, claiming it was insulting to Muslims. The FBI caved and pulled the Seattle-area bus ads featuring the “Faces of Global Terrorism” after receiving complaints “that the ads stereotype Muslims.”

My organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), believed that this public awareness message was critical to national security and should run. We are constantly being clubbed with the claim that “moderate Muslims” abhor and reject the acts of terrorism that are constantly committed in the name of their religion, so why would they object to a wanted poster featuring Islamic terrorists who supposedly have twisted and hijacked their peaceful religion? Why would “moderate Muslims” provide cover for jihad terror? Why, indeed.

AFDI submitted a virtual copy of the FBI ad to run on Seattle transit. The cowards at Seattle King Metro refused to run the ad, claiming that it was disparaging to Muslims. Reality is disparaging to Muslims?...

From a statement by Geller's legal team:

Today[Sept. 27], a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that King County’s rejection of a “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad submitted by Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and their organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), violated the First Amendment.

In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that the County’s rejection of the ad based on its disparagement standard was viewpoint discrimination and that its rejection of the ad based on its disruption standard was unreasonable, all in violation of the First Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle on behalf of Geller, Spencer, and AFDI.

The ad at issue was modeled after an advertisement submitted by the federal government and accepted for display by the County in 2013. The State Department ad depicted the “Faces of Global Terrorism” in an effort to “stop a terrorist” and “save lives.” The advertisement offered an “up to $25 million reward” for helping to capture one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists.

The terrorists identified in the ad were also found on the FBI’s most wanted global terrorists list, which is posted on the FBI’s website. At the time, this list included pictures and “wanted posters” for thirty-two terrorists. Of the thirty-two listed terrorists, thirty were individuals with Muslim names or were wanted for terrorism related to organizations conducting terrorist acts in the name of Islam.

According to news reports, the federal government terminated its “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad campaign after receiving complaints from politicians and advocacy groups that took offense that the list of wanted global terrorists pictured in the ad appeared to include only Muslim terrorists.

Shortly after the government pulled the ad, Geller and Spencer, on behalf of AFDI, submitted an ad to the County that included the same pictures, names, and message as the government’s earlier display. The County transit authority refused to run the ad in part because it claimed the ad was not wholly accurate about which government agency ran the rewards program and the amount of the awards, prompting AFLC to file this lawsuit.

After the courts agreed with the County, AFDI submitted a revised ad, this time making certain the ad was presented in such a way that removed the inaccuracy argument. The County still refused to run the ad on the grounds that it was disparaging to Muslims and that it would be disruptive to the transit authority.

The trial court once again ruled in favor of the County. AFLC appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit reversed, concluding that “[b]ecause neither of the [County’s] reasons for rejecting Plaintiffs’ revised ad withstands First Amendment scrutiny, we reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the County and remand with instructions to enter summary judgment for Plaintiffs on this claim”...

Rob's comment:
San Francisco's city government has also been dumb and unprincipled on this issue. I've blogged 40 times on the city's goofy approach to similar ads on Muni buses. 

Click on "Muni Jihad Ads" below for a sample.

For a summary of the issue in San Francisco, see City Hall's pseudo-tolerance and violent jihad.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home