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Controversial ads equate Muslim radicals with savages prompted Washington, D.C., Metro to place them on hold

5:22 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)-   Is it free speech, hate speech or both?

There are some controversial ads that you may see in the future on your commute. They may be coming soon to a Metro stop near you. The provocative ads that equate Muslim radicals with savages will roll out in New York's subway system starting on Monday. But their controversial content has prompted Metro to put them on hold.

The controversial ads read "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

"Throughout our history, there have been people who have engaged in hate speech. This is just the next generation," said Corey Saylor, a CAIR Spokesman.

The ads come as violent protests continue to ignite over an anti-Islamic film and its depiction of Muslims. Protests that have already left 30 people dead in seven countries, including the American ambassador to Libya.

In New York, it took a federal court order to allow the ads to run. A judge determined the language was protected speech under the First Amendment.

Said the advertiser, Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, "Honestly anyone that disagrees with me, I would take a bullet for their right to disagree with me. This is the beauty of America, the free exchange of ideas."

In recent weeks, the ads have been plastered on San Francisco city buses, prompting some to deface them and remove words like jihad, or holy war.

"I think in the end what hate speech really does is bring out the better people," said Saylor. "Strong communities are much better than those people who want to tear them down and rip us all apart."

Metro has not rejected the ad, but has notified the advertiser that it's been put on hold. A spokesman told us that move was out of concern for public safety, considering the current protests around the world. The advertiser responded by filing a lawsuit yesterday in D.C.

Written by Andrea McCarren

9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM

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