Monday, February 04, 2013
Conservative’s Anti-Muhammad Ad Rejected by Detroit Transit System — But Can You Guess Which Ad Was Accepted?
Religious advertisements have been known to spark intense debate. Consider the anti-God billboards that are regularly posted by non-theist groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists. But it isn’t only non-believers who invoke controversy with their messaging.
Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) have also come under intense scrutiny for subway and bus ads that target Islamic extremism. Now, the AFDI is embroiled in a new battle over a proposed anti-Muhammad ad that was rejected this week by Detroit’s Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus system.
In an e-mail to TheBlaze on Tuesday evening, the AFDI president noted that, while SMART previously accepted an “anti-God” atheist ad from the Detroit Coalition for Reason (DCOR), the public transit company has rejected her organization’s ad. This is particularly interesting, seeing as the AFDI modeled its design almost entirely after the DCOR’s banner. “Our ad, same ad, with one word flipped, was rejected,” Geller told TheBlaze.
As you can see below, AFDI ad looks almost entirely similar to the aforementioned description. The only difference between the designs is that the word “God” is swapped out for “Muhammad,” the holy prophet in the Islamic faith.
In a letter that Geller forwarded to TheBlaze, CBS Outdoor’s Howard Marcus rejected the ad, citing a past legal battle that AFDI waged against SMART over a previous rejection.
Geller noted that her latest ad attempt was an effort to point out SMART’s “hypocrisy,” as the two parties are slated to head back to court. She said that the latest rejection does, indeed, showcase inconsistencies in how messaging is treated and pledged to “fight on.”
The AFDI is no stranger to legal battles, with the AFDI v. SMART case serving as only one example. Last year, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority lost a separate legal battle over another ad and was forced to allow Geller’s group to post it following a judge’s ruling