Last week, my human rights organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), scored another major victory for truth and freedom in Philadelphia. The court ruled that our ads highlighting Islamic Jew-hatred and the Nazi-Islamic alliance, which had been previously denied, could not be prohibited. The judge ruled they had to run.
Victory! But don’t applaud too loudly. The Philly transit authority has declared they will no long accept political ads. The Geller Ban is back. This is not the first time city authorities have changed the rules in response to an AFDI free speech victory.
Longtime supporters of my work are familiar with my numerous court cases in the defense of free speech. Now, after winning another such case, we are about to run our first ad campaign in Philadelphia, and apparently our last: the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that SEPTA, the Philadelphia-area transit authority, would not appeal a federal court ruling saying that they had to run our ads – instead, they are going to change their rules to prevent all such ads from running in the future.
“New advertising standards,” said the Inquirer, “will be created to prohibit all political, public-issue, and noncommercial ads. By consistently refusing all such ads, SEPTA officials say, they will satisfy Goldberg’s concerns that selective prohibitions violated constitutional free-speech protections.”
Time and time again, various city officials and dictatorial bureaucrats have censored or banned outright our ads of truth and freedom, while allowing the most fallacious and libelous anti-Jewish, pro-jihad message to run. The mainstream media piles on, as in the Philadelphia Inquirer story about this rule change, which calls our ads “virulently anti-Muslim,” without ever bothering to discover whether or not Islamic Jew-hatred really is in the Qur’an, or to consider whether it is really wise of the U.S. government to give aid to countries that encourage that hatred.
This is essentially soft sharia enforcement: the prohibition of any criticism of Islam and of anything offensive to Islam and Muslim sensibilities. It is completely contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, and so time and time again, we sue and we win. And time and time again, instead of looking after the taxpayer coffers and protecting and defending our freedoms, the fat dictocrats in charge of city transportation agencies and other authoritarian bureaucrats squander tax monies on their legal fees (and ours), while working to abridge our freedoms.
Miami was the first city to change its rules, after the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained about our ads offering help to people who had been threatened by their families for leaving Islam. Then Chicago changed its rules after our campaign telling the truth about jihad ran to counter CAIR’s cynical, deceptive campaign sugarcoating the grim reality of jihad. New York considered changing its rules after the brouhaha over my ads calling for support of Israel and the civilized man over the savagery of the Palestinian jihadists, but the proposal was voted down, to the credit of the officials involved. Here is video of my appeal to the MTA asking that they not adopt these rule changes.
As this all unfolds anew in Philadelphia, not a single “journalist” in the mainstream media questioned even for a second the end-run around the First Amendment that these transit authorities are making by banning cause-related ads. I did three interviews on Thursday about our free speech victory in Philadelphia: for WPVI-TV, NJ.com, and the Inquirer, and not one of them mentioned me or quoted a single thing I said.
The Lockstep Monster. Only one point of view is allowed.
Bob Stewart of the Inquirer was apologetic, writing me after his story ran: “Unfortunately they halved my space for the story so it’s a squeeze job. I’m sure you know the deal.”
I responded: “Actually, Bob, I don’t know the deal. It is telling that not one of the publications that called me for comment used anything I said. Not one. Free press, indeed. It would be comical if the stakes weren’t so bloody high.”
And they are. While America sleeps, these rule changes are rendering the First Amendment a dead letter. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.