Blogger Pamela Geller sues Washington Transit Authority for refusing 'Muhammad' posters

The activist is claiming damages resulting from the loss of her constitutional right to free speech.

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The Independent Online

A controversial US blogger and activist is suing the Washington Transit Authority after they refused to run adverts depicting the prophet Muhammad on public transport.

Pamela Geller has been at the center of a number of controversies, and was even refused entry to the UK by Home Secretary Theresa May in 2013.

Geller is president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organisation that has been listed an anti-Muslim hate group.

They held a ‘Draw Muhammad’ cartoon contest in Texas, but the event ended in bloodshed when two gunmen tried attacking it. The two men were later shot dead by police.

When Geller submitted the poster to the Transit Authority, with the intent to have them displayed on buses and trains around DC, the Authority refused, saying it would no longer accept ‘issue-orientated advertising’.

Geller has said their decision challenges the first amendment, which under the US constitution guarantees free speech, and as a result she is suing the WMATA for damages resulting from the loss of her constitutional rights.

In a statement explaining the need for the cartoon to be shown, the AFDI said: “Because the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia [law] without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we are running an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.”

But experts have warned that Geller and the AFDI’s plan was to provoke. “Pamela Geller has made a career out of demonising Islam and Muslim,” said Edgar Hopida, communications director for the Islamic Society of North America. “She wants us to be second-class citizens.”

Greer was refused entry to the UK when planning to attend a rally in Woolwich in protest at the murder of Lee Rigby. The government said her attendance “would not be conductive to the public good.”