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.
As the release notes, the 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.
Previously, Metro had allowed the AFDI to run anti-Palestinian ads on some buses in response to similar ads run by pro-Palestinian groups. And it had run ads nearly identical to the “Faces” billboards when they were sponsored by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in June 2013. The JTTF, however, voluntarily removed those ads after U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing concern. McDermott said the ads would “only serve to exacerbate the disturbing trend of hate crimes against Middle Eastern, South Asian and Muslim-Americans.”
Geller’s press release explains: “But then the leftists and Islamic supremacists complained that the ads were ‘Islamophobic,’ and they came down – and now Seattle is refusing to allow my group, the AFDI, to put them back up. This is sharia compliance.”
Jeff Switzer, a spokesman for Metro, declined to comment on the pending litigation but said the ads were refused because of Metro’s 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.