A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday allowed a controversial advertisement by the American Freedom Defense Initiative to be displayed on New York City's buses, rejecting the argument by the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that it may incite violence and terrorism.

The disputed ad reportedly shows a man with a scarf across his face, alongside the words: “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah." Below this, the tagline reads: "That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?” The ad, which includes a disclaimer that the MTA does not endorse it, is attributed to “Hamas MTV,” the New York Times reported.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl said that the advertisement, which has already been running in Chicago and San Francisco, was protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that allows free speech. He reportedly said that the ad could not incite imminent violence and cited the example of Chicago and San Francisco, to substantiate his point.

Koeltl said, according to Reuters, that the MTA and Chairman Thomas Prendergast "underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements. It strains credulity to believe that New Yorkers would be incited to violence by ads that did not incite residents of Chicago and San Francisco." 

However, the judge said that the ruling will be implemented after 30 days, giving MTA time to decide if it wants to appeal the case.

"We are disappointed in the ruling and are reviewing our options," Adam Lisberg, a spokesman for MTA said, according to Reuters.

Pamela Geller, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, hailed the ruling and said, according to New York Daily News: “Islamic supremacists and craven government bureaucrats are put on notice — sharia restrictions on free speech are unconstitutional and will not stand in these United States.” She also added that she will now buy more slots on the buses to put up similar ads.

Monica Klein, a spokeswoman for the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, said, according to New York Daily News: “These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city,” adding: “While those behind these ads only display their irresponsible intolerance, the rest of us who may be forced to view them can take comfort in the knowledge that we share a better, loftier and nobler view of humanity.”

The disputed ad reportedly shows a man with a scarf across his face, alongside the words: “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah." Below this, the tagline reads: "That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?” The ad, which includes a disclaimer that the MTA does not endorse it, was attributed to “Hamas MTV,” the New York Times reported.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl said that the advertisement, which has already been running in Chicago and San Francisco, is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that allows free speech. He reportedly said that the ad could not incite imminent violence and cited the example of Chicago and San Francisco, to substantiate his point.

Koeltl said, according to Reuters, that the MTA and Chairman Thomas Prendergast "underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements. It strains credulity to believe that New Yorkers would be incited to violence by ads that did not incite residents of Chicago and San Francisco." 

However, the judge said that the ruling will be implemented after 30 days, giving MTA time to decide if it wants to appeal the case.

"We are disappointed in the ruling and are reviewing our options," Adam Lisberg, a spokesman for MTA said, according to Reuters.

Pamela Geller, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, hailed the ruling, and said, according to New York Daily News: “Islamic supremacists and craven government bureaucrats are put on notice — sharia restrictions on free speech are unconstitutional and will not stand in these United States.” She also added that she will now buy more slots on the buses to put up similar ads.

Monica Klein, a spokeswoman for the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, said, according to New York Daily News: “These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city,” adding: “While those behind these ads only display their irresponsible intolerance, the rest of us who may be forced to view them can take comfort in the knowledge that we share a better, loftier and nobler view of humanity.”