Restoring the Sacred

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Atlas Shrugs Wins One for Free Speech

That's Pamela Geller (also know as Atlas Shrugs) in the above photo with Mark Steyn. She created a furor over at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) when she placed advertisements on Miami/Dade buses. The ads asked a series of questions:

Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!

Here's a photo of the Ad that appeared on the sides of Miami buses:

(Click to enlarge)

Needless to say, CAIR was not enthralled with the ads (they're also not enthralled with our First Amendment - except when it allows them to spew their offensive ads against Jews and Christians) so, as is their wont, they intimidated Miami-Dade Transit into taking the pro-religious liberty advertisements off Miami buses because they offended Muslims.

The following is from Pamela:

On April 13 our ads began running on Miami buses. On Friday, April 16, after CAIR complained, Miami-Dade Transit pulled our ads. The reason? Karla Damian, a spokesperson for Transit, said they might be “offensive to Islam.”

It was an outrageous denial of our free speech rights, and a stunning capitulation to Sharia. Even worse, it was a blatantly inconsistent application of Miami-Dade Transit’s policies: CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups ran campaigns on buses across the country last year, including Miami, inviting people to convert to Islam and claiming that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were Muslim prophets. Miami-Dade Transit allowed the CAIR bus ads, despite how offensive they were to Jews and Christians.

In December 2008, the Miami Herald ran a glowing piece on the CAIR bus ad campaign, which ran in Miami-Dade and Broward counties for eight weeks. No one took offense, despite the Islamic supremacist nature of the ads. No one breathed a word of protest.

It was important to counterbalance this offensive appropriation of the founding figures of Judaism and Christianity and outright deception with a healthy message. But although Miami-Dade Transit had no trouble with CAIR’s offensive message, they found our defense of religious freedom unacceptable.

But CAIR didn’t win this time: after our excellent lawyer, David Yerushalmi, and his associate, Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, threatened a lawsuit for breach of contract and infringement of our First Amendment rights, Miami-Dade Transit agreed to restore our ads.

In tacit recognition of their wrongdoing, they also agreed to add the ads to twenty new buses at a very steep discount.

Click below to read Pamela's piece which appeared on Pajamas Media.

Pajamas Media » Free Speech 1, CAIR 0: Ads Going Back Up in FL

H/T: bkmck
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