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Why You Might See Hitler On The Side Of A Metro Bus

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Metro was unable to turn down the AFDI ads featuring Haj Amin al-Husseini and Adolf Hitler on free speech grounds.
Armando Trull/WAMU
Metro was unable to turn down the AFDI ads featuring Haj Amin al-Husseini and Adolf Hitler on free speech grounds.

A new series of ads featured on almost two dozen Metro buses is likely to turn a few heads. It depicts Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and calls for an end to aid to Muslim countries.

The advertisement was created by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. It features a photo of Hitler meeting with Palestinian nationalist Haj Amin al-Husseini, an ally of Germany during World War II, along with a caption that reads: "Islamic Jew-hatred: It's in the Quran."

According to the AFDI website, the campaign is a response to the "relentless racism and Jew-hatred" in a series of ads from the American Muslims for Palestine, which call for an end to the Israeli occupation.

Most people shown the AFDI ad found it offensive.

"I disagree with that. Not all Muslims are bad, not all Christians are good," says a woman named Sandra, who asked that her last name not be used. "I think it's just bad people that are making the religions pay for it. Lord, let's hope that there's never another Hitler again."

Offensive or not, the ads will remain on Metro buses. Back in 2012, a federal judge ruled that another AFDI ad that called Muslims "savages" had to go up in Metro stations on free speech grounds.

That prompted silent protests in front of the ads across the Metro system and the use of stickers reading "Hate Speech" to cover up the ads.

The group has engaged in similar fights across the country in years past, including other major cities like New York City and San Francisco.

In an op-ed published on Time.com yesterday, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA spokesperson, Mr. Qasim Rashid writes that this latest round of ads seeks to promote a "myth" that Islam promotes the hatred of Jews:

"This allegation of Islamic Jew-hatred is dangerous because it is meritless, creates an irrational fear of Islam and of Muslims, and ignores the factually proven growing anti-Semitism in Europe and America. Per Islamic teaching, Prophet Muhammad treated Jews as equals and with compassion."

It remains unclear what, if any, response this latest ad will prompt.

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