SEPTA is giving up the fight: The transit agency has agreed to run anti-Islam ads on its buses rather than continue to fight the American Freedom Defense Initiative lawsuit officials acknowledge they’d probably lose.
But those officials say they’re now revising SEPTA policies to refuse all ads with political content — no matter what the content — going forward.
Newsworks: “At a Thursday press conference, Gino Benedetti, an attorney with SEPTA, said the transit agency will not run disclaimer ads alongside the ones in question. But from now on, SEPTA will not accept political messages, which represent less than 1 percent of all SEPTA ads. SEPTA space generates around $34 million a year from ads promoting events or services.”
The ad links Muslims to Hitler and reads “Islamic Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”
Earlier this month CBS 3 Eyewitness News spoke to the lawyer representing AFDI which paid SEPTA $30,000 to run the ad.
“There’s too much political correctness going on with particularly what’s going on in the Middle East and my client she speaks truth to power and that’s the whole point of these messages,” said attorney Robert Muise.
Local religious leaders gathered Thursday at SEPTA headquarters to lament the ads but to praise SEPTA’s unsuccessful opposition.
“It’s devastating not just to Muslims but to other people, as well,” said Imam Muhammad Abdur-Razzaq Miller, of the mosque of Shaikh M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in Overbrook. He likened the ads to anti-Jewish propaganda of Hitler and Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany.
Rabbi David Ackerman, of Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, called the ads “irresponsible speech that inflames hatred.”