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

CAIR has finally lost a battle.

And the freedom of speech has won one, which is especially good news after the South Park debacle. The Hamas-tied, unindicted co-conspirators of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had already declared victory in their campaign against free speech, after they intimidated Miami-Dade Transit into taking pro-religious liberty advertisements off Miami buses because they offended Muslims.

The ads were mine. They were the initiative of Stop Islamization of America and the Freedom Defense Initiative, the new organization I have begun with bestselling author and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer. Our ad asked a series of questions:

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

This was the first time anyone offered public help to people threatened under Islam’s death penalty for apostasy. Government and law enforcement should be working to protect apostates from Islam, but they aren’t. So we are. If we don’t stand for freedom, we will certainly lose it. And Miami-Dade Transit’s kowtowing to CAIR, even though it ultimately reversed itself, shows how close we are to losing it.

CAIR got the ads taken down, saying that they were bigoted. But they celebrated too soon. Their anti-free speech campaign ran into an obstacle called the First Amendment.

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.