WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Supreme Court is declining to get involved in a dispute that began when a group tried to have Washington transit officials display an ad with a provocative cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
The justices said Monday they would not get involved in the case.
The Texas-based American Freedom Defense Initiative in 2015 submitted an ad that depicted a sword-wielding Prophet Muhammad saying: “You can’t draw me!” Muslims generally believe any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is blasphemous. The cartoon won a $10,000 prize in the contest sponsored by the group.
Most Muslim scholars say depicting the likeness of the Prophet Muhammad isn’t allowed.
After the ad was submitted, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s board of directors voted to temporarily suspend all issue-oriented advertisements on the region’s rail and bus system.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative sued.
A New Hampshire defied the Islamic prohibition on depicting the prophet Muhammad in pictures and by hosting his own “Draw Muhammad” art contest in August in 2015.
The 60-year-old former Marine, Jerry Delemus, said\s the freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment trumps any religion’s limitations on such expression, “If we back away from our freedom as citizens a little bit at a time, the next thing you know, we don’t have any freedoms left,” DeLemus explained to CBS affiliate WGME.