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DC Transit Halts 'Issue-Related' Ads After Muhammad Cartoon Submission

The Washington DC transit system has moved to suspend all issue-related advertisements until the end of the year, just days after a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad was submitted to the authority to run on buses and in subway stations.

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The cartoon won the first prize at a "Draw Muhammad" contest hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (ADFI), a far-right anti-Muslim group. AFDI President Pamela Gellar announced on Tuesday that she had submitted the caricature to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

WMATA’s decision to suspend all issue-related or "advocacy" content from its property will effectively allow the authority to reject the controversial ad without doing so outright. Metro officials reportedly cited concerns that a Muhammad cartoon might make its bus and train stations "terrorist targets."

New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) adopted a similar policy in April when a federal judge ordered them to run another controversial AFDI ad. MTA’s policy banning any “advertisements of a political nature” allowed the authority to nullify the judge’s orders and reject AFDI’s submission.

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