Court Orders SEPTA To Run Anti-Islamic Bus Ads
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Anti-Islamic ads could soon be coming to a SEPTA bus near you. Wednesday a federal court judge in Philadelphia sided with a New Hampshire based non-profit on its claim that it has a first amendment right to run bus ads linking Muslims to Hitler.
The ads include images of Adolf Hitler and read "Islamic Jew Hatred: It's in the Quaran." While they may be incendiary to some, a federal court judge wrote they're perfectly acceptable under the first amendment.
"He agreed with us on all the issues," said attorney Robert Muise.
Attorney Robert Muise represents plaintiff American Freedom Defense Initiative. The group has filed more than a half dozen lawsuits against transit authorities across the country over anti-Islamic ads. SEPTA refused to run their ad saying it disparaged Muslims, but the court held the buses are public forums -- so SEPTA cannot censor AFDI's political speech.
"He found the restriction on our client's speech to be content based and unconstitutional," said Muise.
Muise says his clients hope to run the ad. Spokesperson Jerri Williams says SEPTA is disappointed, but is evaluating whether to appeal.
for more features.