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Metro riders give more makeovers to anti-jihad ad

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Photo - The ads plastered with pink "hate speech" signs. (Courtesy of Sahar Shafqat)
The ads plastered with pink "hate speech" signs. (Courtesy of Sahar Shafqat)
Local,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Another set of the controversial ads in Metro stations have been tagged with alternative messages.

The ads at the Georgia Avenue and U Street stations were plastered with small pink signs reading "hate speech" and "racist" when rider Sahar Shafqat passed by them around late Tuesday night. Shafqat photographed one at the Georgia Avenue station.

Previously, a rider had modified another copy of the ad with Post-It notes within hours of its posting Monday.

The four ads paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative read: "In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

Metro had tried to delay posting the ads, arguing that they were a threat to riders' public safety. The transit agency had said that federal agencies had warned it of a verified domestic terrorism threat and it received a separate email threatening to firebomb the system if it ran the ads. It also was concerned the ads would incite riders to get into fights along the platforms, a dangerous area given the moving trains.

But a federal court ordered that it could no longer delay posting the ads due to the First Amendment right to free speech. A judge in New York also ordered New York City to post the ads this fall. Riders and activists also modified the ads there with signs, stickers and pink spraypaint.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the Post-It notes were removed from the Takoma station sign. He said he was not aware of any reports of violence or threats stemming from the ads since they were posted on Monday.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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