In “Free Speech Wins A Narrow Victory In New York” at Fox News.com today, Pamela Geller explains how we just won a narrow victory for the freedom of speech — but the battle to defend it continues:
Last Friday, my organization the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI), my colleague Robert Spencer and I filed a lawsuit against the city of New York for refusing my SIOA “Preservation of Ground Zero” bus campaign.
Unbelievably, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) refused the campaign because it contained “9/11 images” and associated the Ground Zero mega-mosque with 9/11. (Full text of our complaint is here.)
But on Monday, the MTA recognized the justice of our position in our lawsuit, and agreed to run our ad as originally submitted. This is a great victory for freedom of speech.
Nonetheless, the fact that we even had to fight this battle shows how threatened the freedom of speech is in the U.S. today, and how anxious authorities are to kowtow to Islamic supremacism.
The mosque organizers have frequently associated the mosque with 9/11. But we couldn’t. Through the MTA, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was attempting to impose blasphemy laws (Islamic sharia laws) on the secular marketplace.
Last month, I signed a contract with CBS Outdoor to run a “Preservation of Ground Zero” bus ad campaign. The campaign was paid for in full.
The ad I submitted showed 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 simply, “Why There?”
The ad was refused. When I asked on what grounds, CBS Outdoor told me that the city said that “images of 9/11 were not allowed.”
I said, “It is American history. How can it be banned? What about Pearl Harbor? Is that censored too? On what grounds are 911 images banned? It is unconscionable.” The CBS Outdoor representative told me: “You can’t run the [image of the] plane.”
I asked CBS/MTA to provide me with the guidelines. They never did. And so I removed the plane and submitted a new ad with a note saying that I was still waiting for the MTA guidelines, and that I objected to their changing my artwork and my message in the process.
But CBS Outdoor refused my revised ad, because it showed smoke rising from behind the World Trade Center towers. They said I had to remove the smoke.
Even worse, when I spoke to CBS’s representative concerning the second rejection of my Ground Zero bus ad, he said that the MTA “doesn’t want to associate the new building” – that is, the Islamic supremacist Ground Zero mega-mosque – “with Ground Zero.” He said: “The people behind the new building say it has nothing to do with Ground Zero.”
I said, “But they are on record repeatedly as saying they want it there for Ground Zero ‘healing’ and ‘outreach.’ 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?”…