Metro said Thursday that it will not allow new issue-oriented advertising in the transit system after a controversial pro-Israel group sought to place ads featuring a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, a drawing that was linked to deadly violence in Texas this month.

The ban will extend through at least the end of the year.

The decision by Metro's governing board came as a surprise, given that the topic was not on its Thursday meeting agenda. In the terrorism age, the board's sudden unanimous vote reflects growing concern among the nation's biggest transit systems over anti-Muslim-themed ads paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, or AFDI.

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