It’s very strange. Eugene Volokh writes about this ruling in the Washington Post, in a piece entitled, “Transit agency may reject factually false ads.” What in our AFDI ad is factually false? Volokh quotes this from the ruling:
Plaintiffs’ proposed ad states, in prominent text: “The FBI Is Offering Up To $25 Million Reward If You Help Capture One Of These Jihadis.” That statement is demonstrably and indisputably false. The FBI is not offering a reward up to $25 million for the capture of one of the pictured terrorists. The FBI is not offering rewards at all, and the State Department offers a reward of at most $5 million, not $25 million, for the capture of one of the pictured terrorists.
Plaintiffs do not, and cannot, refute those basic facts.
“9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Sharia, Bans Seattle Counter-Terror Ad,” by Pamela Geller, Breitbart, August 12, 2015:
The clowns on the 9th Circuit court have ruled that an FBI global terrorism ad poster cannot run because it might upset Muslims.
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 the want 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?
We sued Seattle King Metro. Predictably, the liberal fascists in Seattle sided with the supremacists. We appealed to the clowns on the notorious 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And now they, as expected, ruled in favor of sharia and supremacism.
Of all the free speech legal battles I am embroiled in, this one is the most absurd. It illustrates the crippling submission and capitulation of government authorities to Islamic supremacist demands. In this ruling, Judge Susan Graber presented the facts in a ridiculously skewed manner: “The FBI is not offering a reward up to $25 million for the capture of one of the pictured terrorists,” she claimed in her ruling. “The FBI is not offering rewards at all, and the State Department offers a reward of at most $5 million, not $25 million, for the capture of one of the pictured terrorists.” She went on to claim that we had not refuted “those basic facts,” which she claimed was “beside the point.” She asserted that it was “indisputable that Plaintiffs’ proposed ad is plainly inaccurate as a simple matter of fact.”
Everything Graber says here is absurd. Yet AP said in the same vein: “The FBI is not offering rewards at all, and the State Department offers a reward of at most $5 million, not $25 million, for the capture of one of the pictured terrorists.” It added that “the judges said Metro’s rejection ‘likely was reasonable.’ ‘Nothing in the record suggests either that Metro would have accepted the ad with the same inaccuracy if only the ad had expressed a different viewpoint or that Metro has accepted other ads containing false statements,’ the ruling said.”
The truth, however, is that we simply ran the FBI ad, with no substantive changes. Seattle Metro accepted the FBI ad and then rejected ours after the FBI caved to Muslim demands to take the ad down. The AFDI ad is exactly the same as the FBI ad that was taken down, except for the attribution and the background color. We didn’t change the amount of the reward for capture of the terrorists, or the source of that reward: our information came straight from the FBI ad, and any assertion to the contrary is a product of Graber’s febrile imagination.
The mainstream media, meanwhile, is just as clueless and compromised. The Associated Press piece that the Seattle Times picked up bore the headline, “Federal court: Anti-Muslim group can’t post ads on buses.” (I was not called for comment — of course.)
The headline reads “anti-Muslim” when in fact we are not anti-Muslim but anti-jihad – that is, against the jihad terrorism that we are always told Muslims in the U.S. reject. But quisling members of the mainstream media can’t say that we are anti-jihad, because most people are anti-jihad, and they want to make sure that no one sympathizes with a cause they have deemed outside the bounds of political correctness.
The AP article read: “The group — whose leader, Pamela Geller, organized the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas that exploded in violence in May — has similar bus ads in other cities and has gone to court with mixed results after some transportation officials rejected them.” Our contest didn’t “explode in violence,” it was attacked by Islamic jihadists. And it wasn’t called the “Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.” We don’t recognize Muhammad as a prophet. Is the AP a Muslim media company? Does it refer to Jesus Christ as “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”?
AP also claimed that our law firm, the American Freedom Law Center, “has a mixed record on court fights over ads in other cities.” Is a record of consecutive wins a “mixed record”? We won them all — with exception of Boston. We won Detroit, they appealed, and we are still in the throes of that process.
Also, why didn’t AP show the actual ad, so that people could make their own judgments?
We will never give up fighting for the freedom of speech and we will never stop telling the truth about the global jihad. We will appeal to the US Supreme Court.