Friday, October 18, 2013

When we pry the bus from her cold, dead hands

p3 readers may remember that, a year ago this week, TriMet buses carried the “Defeat Jihad” signage of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (not to be confused with the Avengers Initiative), run by right-wing anti-Arab, islamophobic attention whore Pam Geller.

Well, she's back, although this time it's our neighbors to the north who have to contend with her:
Pamela Geller and her far-right Muslim-bashing organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, have announced they are striking back at “Sharia Enforcement” by suing the city of Seattle. Or someone.

In a press release earlier this week headlined “We Are Suing the City of Seattle,” Geller heralded the lawsuit by claiming that transit authorities in Seattle had refused one of the AFDI’s incendiary advertisements for their buses.

However, the lawsuit AFDI filed this week is actually against King County’s Metro Transit Authority, not the City of Seattle.

“Twelve years after the 9/11 jihad terror attacks, it has come to this: we have to file suit to fight against jihad terrorism, and the media calls us a ‘hate group’ for doing it,” Geller’s press release said.
The article by the Southern Poverty Law Center (whom Geller resents for calling her AFDI – a group that hates – a hate group) adds the following:
[T]he dispute revolves around a series of ads the AFDI purchased to appear on the sides of Metro buses. They featured mug shots of 16 “Faces of Global Terrorism” – all Arabic or black men – and all of whom are highly unlikely to be making appearances in Seattle anytime soon.

Oregon's free-speech protections are pretty strong, which is why the AFDI's anti-muslim ads made it onto TriMet buses. I'm not so sure about her odds in Washington, where the Metro transit agency has a
longstanding policy of refusing ads if they are have false and misleading statements, demeaning or disparaging content, or material that might lead to service disruptions.

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