Pamela Geller has outdone herself with her most inflammatory anti-Islam subway ad yet. The poster combines a quote from the Quran with the image most likely to inflame anti-Muslim passions among New Yorkers – a photo of the Twin Towers in flames during the 9/11 attack.
Geller heads the American Freedom Defense Initiative, who sponsored the previous spate of anti-Muslim ads in subway stations this fall. Transit police have probably only just finished mopping the sweat wrung from their brows by the earlier ads, which prompted the NYPD to double the number of officers in affected subway stations.
Some New Yorkers compared Geller's earlier ads to "shouting fire in a crowded theater" when there's no fire – one of the rare situations in which public safety concerns trump free speech rights. The NY transit authority initially refused to run the ads for that very reason, but was compelled to by a federal court on First Amendment grounds. Geller herself cites a free speech justification, asserting that "I refuse to abridge my free speech so as to appease savages."