New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses are now displaying ads opposing the Ground Zero Mosque. MTA reversed its earlier refusals to display the ads only after a federal lawsuit was filed.
New York attorney David Yerushalmi and the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed the lawsuit against the MTA and its chief executive, Jay H. Walder, on August 6, 2010.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI), and its officers, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, after their failed attempts to get MTA to honor the fully-paid contract for the ads. The lawsuit alleged violations of the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and the equal protection of the law.
The federal lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed on August 23, 2010, after MTA representatives agreed to display the ads as originally contracted and the buses started to run on the City’s streets with the ads.
The dramatic ad questioned why the proposed Ground Zero Mosque had to be placed so close to the Twin Towers destroyed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks by Muslim terrorists. Ground Zero, considered by Americans as hallowed ground, is the site of the attack carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam that killed 3,000 innocent people.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented, “There is a pattern developing whereby municipal transportation authorities across the country are refusing to run FDI ads they deem offensive to Muslims. It’s only when they are prodded by litigation do they recognize that the constitutional right to freedom of speech trumps their attempts at political correctness.”
Continued Thompson, “Imam Rauf’s attempt to build the Ground Zero Mosque is an act of provocation and insensitivity. The Law Center applauds Pam Geller and Robert Spencer for their courageous efforts to expose the Imam’s advancement of Sharia Law in the United States.”