“This is Hate Speech”
Statement by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett on “Hate Speech” Advertising Placed in
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Locations
October 15, 2012
“I am very disturbed by advertisements placed within the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) system by an organization that calls itself ‘The American Freedom Defense Initiative.’
“These ads state: ‘In Any War Between Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel, Defeat Jihad.’
“This is Hate Speech – pure and simple. It’s purpose is not to educate, but to incite — not to promote a point of view but rather to paint those with a different perspective as ‘savages’ or proponents of ‘jihad.’
“I support Israel. I support its right to defend itself. I support peace in the region among all the sons of Abraham. Simplistic and provocative jingoism furthers neither of those goals.
“Just because one can express extreme views under the freedom of expression we all hold dear does not mean one should.
“Montgomery County residents – whether they are Christians or Jews or Muslims or another faith or of no faith at all – have no use for this kind of intolerance.”