A federal judge rejected a pro-Israel group’s assertion that its free speech rights were violated when the MBTA turned down a subway advertisement on the grounds that the ad was “demeaning or disparaging.”
The ad is paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a New York organization that seeks to combat the spread of Islam in the United States. With bold, all-capital-letter text placed against a stark black background, the ad reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel; defeat Jihad.”
Officials with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rejected the ad in November on the basis that it violated the agency’s advertising guidelines.
On Friday, US District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton sided with the state’s transportation authority, saying in the ruling that “it was plausible for the defendants to conclude that the . . . pro-Israel advertisement demeans or disparages Muslims or Palestinians.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Akilah Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.