By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An anti-Islamic group has filed a federal lawsuit against SEPTA, after the agency refused to run a series of Anti-Muslim ads on SEPTA buses.
The ads are incendiary. They include images of Adolf Hitler, as well as American journalist James Foley kneeling next to his masked executioner moments before he was beheaded.
“If you don’t like the speech the response is not to silence the speech, it’s more speech,” says Attorney Robert Muise.
Muise represents the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The group has sued to run the ads in DC and New York and won on first amendment grounds. Muise says Philly is next.
“I’m confident that we have a very strong position here,” he said.
Temple Law professor and first amendment expert Burton Caine agrees censorship is unconstitutional. “You cannot censor based on the content of the speech,” he said.
AFDI lawyers say they are filing a motion and expect to have the ads on buses by the end of the year. SEPTA declined to comment.