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An advertisement comparing Jihad, the duty of a Muslim to defend his religion, to ‘savagery’ has been posted in several New York City subway stations following a US court ruling allowing such hate ad campaign to be carried out in public.
The provocative billboard advertisement reads, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man." It then asks people to support the Israeli regime against Jihad. The ad made its appearance in 10 subway stations on Monday, nearly a fortnight since global protests over a US-made blasphemous film against Islam began.
The advertisement, the brainchild of Pamela Geller, the executive director for the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, drew immediate criticism from passersby.
"I think it's unfortunate that someone would want to put that up,” said Cameron McCabe at a subway station in midtown Manhattan.
The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) had reportedly refused to put up the inflammatory banner, citing a violation of its policy against ads that are demeaning.
However, on July 20, US District Judge Paul Engelmayer in New York issued a ruling, ordering city officials to install the anti-Islamic advertisement banner for public display, based on “the First Amendment right of free speech.” The banners, which were posted on Monday, will remain in public display for a month.
The AFDI previously gained notoriety when it lobbied against the creation of a Muslim community center near the site of the now-destroyed World Trade Center.
Geller is a co-founder of the "Stop Islamization of America" foundation, which has been described as a hate group by experts.
An identical Islamophobic banner had earlier been posted on public buses in the Western US city of San Francisco through August and early September.
The development comes as millions of protesters throughout the Muslim world have been staging demonstrations to condemn the blasphemous movie made in the United States and a French magazine’s recent publication of cartoons that insult Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).