New Muni bus ads show Hitler photo, claim Quran supports Jew-hatred

The anti-Islamist group American Freedom Defense Initiative is running ads on 50 San Francisco public buses that feature a photo of a prominent World War II–era Palestinian leader meeting with Hitler.

The photo of Hitler with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem who violently opposed Zionism, urged the Arabs of pre-state Israel to kill Jews and helped create the culture of jihad, is captioned: “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”

The ads, which will run for four weeks, appeared on Muni buses following the Jan. 7 terrorist attack in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead, and the murder of four Jews in a kosher supermarket two days later.

Abby Michelson Porth, associate director of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, said, “We do not believe that an advertisement on the side of the bus is a useful or appropriate vehicle for discussing the very real threats of anti-Semitism and radical Islamism.”

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the New York–based Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Reuters that his group has countered past efforts by AFDI to place anti-Islam messages on public buses but would not do so this time.

Inflammatory ads sponsored by AFDI, a New York–based group led by Pamela Geller, appeared on San Francisco buses in October and last year in New York and Washington.

A statement by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency cited the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech, “including speech that is considered offensive,” in explaining why it accepted the ads. It also said it did not want to use taxpayer dollars to defend itself against a potential lawsuit. — j. staff & jta