Faced With Muhammad Cartoon, D.C. Metro Bans Issue-Oriented Ads

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Credit: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Washington D.C.'s transit authority yesterday decided to ban all issue-related advertising on commuter buses and trains in the nation's capital. The ban was prompted after the American Freedom Defense Initiative sought to place ads featuring a cartoon of Muhammad.

According to U.S. News & World Report:

The cartoon is a sketch by artist Bosch Fawstin of a turban-wearing, sword-wielding man saying "You can't draw me!" It won a "draw Muhammad" contest in Garland, Texas, that was unsuccessfully attacked by Muslim-American roommates earlier this month.

The ads would have sported a banner saying "Support Free Speech."

The cartoon that AFDI planned to use as the basis of its ad.
The cartoon that AFDI planned to use as the basis of its ad.

According to the Post, "rather than prohibit those ads specifically -- a move that federal courts have forbidden -- Metro opted to ban all new advocacy ads for the rest of the year."

One anonymous Metro official told The Washington Post:

"You put that ad up on the side of a bus, you turn that bus into a terrorism target. I think it's a very bad outcome for everybody. But it's a risk we don't want to put our passengers under."

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