Controversial “Jihad” Ads Are Back on Muni

Controversial “Jihad” ads are back on Muni again, but city officials want you to know that they don’t like it. The ads feature quotes by Osama bin Laden, the alleged Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hassan, and other Muslims, reports KQED. KQED also reports that the ads were purchased by Pamela Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, who also put ads critical of Islam on Muni buses in 2012.

From SFWeekly:

Readers may have noticed the Osama bin Bus motoring around the city this week and stridently pro-Israel ads on buses last year. Muni claims it must take these paid ads from anti-Muslim extremists or end up on the losing side of a First Amendment case — as New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority did last year.

SFWeekly says that the ads appear on the 16X, 31BX, 52, and 108 lines.

You might remember that last year, Muni decided to donate the proceeds from the ads. Supervisor David Chiu is again proposing a resolution that the proceeds from this round of advertisement be donated to fund a study on the impact of post 9-11 hate and discrimination on Arab and Muslim communities, reports KQED.

Have you seen these ads and what do you think the SFMTA should do with the ad proceeds?


  • Katie

    The SF Weekly article linked says the funds are being donated to the Human Rights Commission. If they weren’t being donated there, I’d say they should have a pizza and ice cream party for all the operators. Hella.

  • They should just hand the money back — along with the ads.

  • Paul J. Lucas

    If the handed the money back with the ads, it would be the same as not allowing the ads in the first place. As pointed out, they’d hen be on the losing side of a 1st Amendment lawsuit.

    • That’s a *completely* absurd interpretation of the 1st amendment. If I gave you $20 and a sign that says “I hate lesbians” and told you I’d sue you if you didn’t put it up on your home, would you?

      • Stephanie

        If I recall correctly from reading about this last year, Geller had already sued the NY public transit system for refusing her ads and won the case there. So not only did they have to run the same hateful ads in NYC, but they also had to pay out of pocket for court expenses.

        I think the case would play out a lot better in San Francisco, but I think the financially strapped MUNI doesn’t want to incur the expense and risk losing anyway. I think donating the money to causes opposing that hateful witch’s credo is an acceptable solution.

        As much as I hate vandalism, I think riders shouldn’t be prevented from changing the message. A black permanent marker and a wite-out pen could have easily changed last year’s ads to “In any war, support peace.”

  • Paul J. Lucas

    Of course not because my home is private property on which I am unfettered by 1st Amendment considerations.

    • First of all, please show me the part of the first amendment that makes a distinction between public and private property. I’ll wait.

      Second, would it kill you to hit the “reply” button and reply to threads like a normal person?

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