Controversial Bus Ads Compare Islam with Nazism
Bus ads linking Islam with Nazism are circulating through Washington, DC - sparking a furious debate about the role of free speech.
"Islamic Jew-hatred: It's in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism. End all aid to Islamic countries," the ad states, over a fine-print disclaimer from the Metro transit authority.
The ads, which are featured on twenty Metro buses, feature a photo of Adolf Hitler in conversation with "his staunch ally" Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem during World War II.
Al-Husseini has become an important figurehead for anti-Semitism in the Arab world; in 2013, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called the Mufti "his hero" and spoke glowingly of his "legacy" of hatred.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) funded the ads, which are to run until mid-June. The group aims to "raise awareness of the depredations of Islamic supremacism," according to its website.
AFDI co-founder Pamela Geller called the campaign a direct response to like-sized Washington bus ads placed in April by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) which read, "Stop US aid to Israel's occupation."
"So many folks are unaware of Islamic history and the role of Muslim world during the Holocaust... Let's buy more ads," she said. The campaign hopes to raise $20,000 by Friday via an online crowd-sourcing website.
The campaign has sparked backlash - specifically from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which insists that they intend "to promote hatred of Islam and Muslims." Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told AFP that CAIR is developing on its own bus ads "to promote mutual understanding as a response to Geller's hate ad" - and giving away free Korans.
Former FBI Counterterrorism expert John Guandolo revealed to Arutz Sheva in March that he has information showing CAIR is a front for the terrorist organization Hamas.
Regardless of opposition, the ads will stay according to Metro representatives, as they are upheld by US laws mandating freedom of speech.
"We're not able to refuse ads on the basis of content," a spokeswoman for Metro told AFP, citing a 2012 court case that allowed another AFDI bus ad on the grounds that it was free speech protected by the US Constitution.