“Islam Bloody Islam” billboard in St. Augustine stays, protected by First Amendment

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A St. Johns County official says that controversial billboard in St. Augustine Beach denouncing Islam will stay, because it’s protected under the First Amendment.

An online petition demanding the removal of the billboard in St. Augustine Beach is gaining signatures worldwide. In fact, of the 24,000 plus signatures, only a few thousand are from here in Florida.

The billboard reads “Islam Bloody Islam: Doomed by Its Doctrine.”

Petition creator Becky Williams says she started the drive because “We should always stand up for those in our community who are shown hatred and intolerance. We should be outraged that a billboard with this message could in any way represent our community as a whole. It is of the utmost importance that we stand against messages and movements that isolate, judge and threaten an entire sect of people who share our same hometown.”

However, Michael Ryan, director of communications for St. Johns County, says the billboard, while bearing a controversial message that has caused offense, is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to free speech.

Meanwhile, the billboard owner has declined on-camera interviews.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]


30 comments

  • Billy Board

    April 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Where was Becky and her petition when the Islamic Circle of North America put up a billboard FALSELY claiming that Islam is the message of Jesus, offending THOUSANDS of Christians?!

    • Alan from Australia

      April 20, 2016 at 7:14 am

      Leave it there and there should be more of it and that’s for you miss Becky tell your kids the truth about that animal race how they rape women to kill children rate little girls tell them the truth

  • Shak

    April 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Take it down

  • Amal Awad

    April 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Promoting more hate solves nothing. Who is the idiot behind this?

    • Screeminmeeme

      April 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

      When you love someone, you tell them the truth, even if it offends. The TRUTH is that Islam is a diabolical ideology perfectly suited to sadistic men who are searching for a ”spiritual” rationale to exercise their twisted proclivities. Islam’s objective for 1300 yrs has been world domination. Anyone who denies this has never read the Quran/hadith/Sira.

  • Farhad

    April 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    ITS SOO DISRESPECTFUL.

  • Kay Walker

    April 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I agree that this Billboard is bigoted, inflammatory does not reflect the values of most Americans and legally might be a hate crime. It should be removed.

    • Screeminmeeme

      April 15, 2016 at 10:12 am

      So you don’t care about TRUTH? For 14 centuries Islam has been a scourge on mankind and millions of its savagely slaughtered victims prove it.

  • susan depace shaikh

    April 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    This sign is repugnant. We’re better than this!!!

  • Samira fetouh

    April 11, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Islam is peace

    • Screeminmeeme

      April 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

      When Islam speaks of ”peace”, it is referring to the time when the entire world lies under the boot of shariah and law and there isn’t one infidel left. That’s a fact.

  • Latif Matt

    April 11, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    So called “free speech” must have limits. This billboard is unacceptable.

    • Screeminmeeme

      April 15, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Spoken like a true advocate of political correctness and hate-speech laws. TRUTH is the enemy of Islam which is why so much effort is expended by Muslim apologists in spreading disinformation and propaganda.

  • Shams Khan

    April 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Take down this hate mongering billboard……

    • Screeminmeeme

      April 15, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Obviously you think people should be kept from knowing the truth about Islam. Its 14 century bloody history reflects its depraved teachings found in the Quran/haddith/Sira

  • FS

    April 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    St. Augustine is a beautiful place with beautiful people, this is not reflective of the character of such a great place. Please take down this billboard!

  • Shehla Zia

    April 12, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Please spread love not hate

    • Screeminmeeme

      April 15, 2016 at 10:20 am

      What you really mean is spread lies and suppress the TRUTH about Islam. There are many Americans who have seriously studied Islam and know exactly what its teaches. It’s a totalitarian ideology camouflaged in the garb and rhetoric of religion, and characterized by hegemony, misogyny, pederasty, and genocide. Those are the facts.

  • Meena

    April 12, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Put it down.

  • Jesse James Messick

    April 12, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    What is all the fuss about? Islam has historically been a political and religious culture of violence and intolerance. This may be at worst a negative sign pointing out that fact. But hate and intolerance certainly isn’t what we should be labeling truth. Get a grip people! And if America and truth is that offensive to you then there are plenty of Islamic nations that will welcome your thinking. Opps perhaps not until you give up your bibles, and dress attire and many other things that will get you killed in Islamic nations. Yes go ahead and yell foul and intolerance about truth. Silly people. SMH

    • FFJ

      April 13, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      The only REAL Americans are the native Indians and every one of us migrated from another country. Asking American Muslims to go live in Islamic countries is like asking Christians to go to Israel!!!! Silly Jesse James Messick!!! Lets be respectful of ALL religions and learn to coexist as human beings.

  • Fazeelat

    April 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Islam is religion of piece

  • mahwish f

    April 13, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Please remove this billboard..

  • Glenn Magee

    April 14, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    The billboard has nothing negative to say about Muslims, only the doctrine of Islam. In this regard it is 100% accurate.

    • Raymod

      April 16, 2016 at 12:17 am

      Its really not about being hateful or racist. Just with all the islamic terrorist wanting nothing but death to America. Its suicide to let any muslims n my country at this present day.No racism at all, but the refugees my frienf is a trojam horse for isis.
      Look at Europe? ?

      • Raymod

        April 16, 2016 at 12:20 am

        My friend the refugees r a trojan horse for isis i ment to say

  • Ed

    April 16, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I copied these direct quotes from Becky William ‘s petition.

    “No one should be forced to see this offensive message”. Keep your eyes on the highway. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of accidents.

    “We should always stand up for those in our community who are shown hatred and intolerance.” Do you not realize that Muslims show “hatred and intolerance” to non-Muslims?

    “This billboard is not representative of how the people in St. Augustine feel about our Muslim neighbors.” Where are your statistics to prove what the opinions of the locals are?

    “It is of the utmost importance that we join together in standing against messages and movements that isolate, judge, and threaten an entire community of people who share our same hometown.” If you’ve ever turned on your TV anytime in the past 15 years(since about 09-11-01), then you should know that Muslims are the one of the biggest threats to civilization. Muslims “isolate, judge, and threaten” all of the people who are outside Islam. Woman, just where is your loyalty at? Do you know why our US Marines are called Leathernecks? Probably not, just research it and find out.

  • Ed

    April 16, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I copied these direct quotes from Becky William’s petition.

    “No one should be forced to see this offensive message”. Keep your eyes on the highway. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of accidents.

    “We should always stand up for those in our community who are shown hatred and intolerance.” Do you not realize that Muslims show “hatred and intolerance” to non-Muslims?

    “This billboard is not representative of how the people in St. Augustine feel about our Muslim neighbors.” Where are your statistics to prove what the opinions of the locals are?

    “It is of the utmost importance that we join together in standing against messages and movements that isolate, judge, and threaten an entire community of people who share our same hometown.” If you’ve ever turned on your TV anytime in the past 15 years (since about 09-11-01), then you should know that Muslims are the one of the biggest threats to civilization. Muslims “isolate, judge, and threaten” all of the people who are outside Islam. Woman, just where is your loyalty at? Do you know why our US Marines are called Leathernecks? Probably not, so just research it and find out.

  • Carl

    April 17, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Sign the counter-PETITION to KEEP UP THE BILLBOARD!

    DEMAND the PROTECTION of our 1st Amendment RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH and to state FACTUAL information and TRUTH! KEEP THE BILLBOARD UP!

    SHARE THE F out of this and let’s show those damn Muslims what America is all about! You will NOT change our way of life here in the United States! Forever will our right to FREE SPEECH EXIST! Leave if you don’t like it!

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/217/635/508/#sign

Comments are closed.


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