WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A move to ban all issue advertisements on buses, trains and Metro stations sets an uproar on social media. The move came after an activist applied to plaster a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad throughout the transit system in D.C.
Marcus Washington has more.
The winning cartoon at the Jihad Watch Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Texas earlier this month is behind the action of the Metro board that’s causing much debate.
The Metro board passed a six month moratorium on the Muhammad cartoon, along with all new political and advocacy ads with very little debate.
While some people think this is a restricting measure, Metro believes it has a firm standing to reject all issue ads.
“They’re rewarding terror with submission. The message here is — terror works,” said Pamela Geller.
Geller is with the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which some have called a hate group.
The same place the cartoon was deemed a winner, two ISIS sympathizers were killed by police after they assaulted the convention center with automatic weapons.
Many Metro riders believe banning all issue ads for a while is for the best.
“I think everybody’s beliefs should be protected and shouldn’t be denigrated in any way,” one woman said.
“Right now, with everything that’s going on in the world, I think it’s not the right time for that,” a man said.
“We live in Baltimore and we just came from the riot last month and no one wants to live through something like that,” a woman said.
Some people feel Geller’s actions are drowning out voices of moderation and tolerance.
“The violent extremist like ISIS and the violent extremist like Pam Geller control the conversation, and people of good will in the middle are losing control of this conversation,” said Corey Saylor, C.A.I.R.
Metro says issue ads that are currently active will not be affected. The moratorium only applies to new applications.