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Pro-Muslim Subway Ads to Hang Near Anti-Jihad Ads

5 October 2012 New York Times 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Counter Ad: Rabbis for Human Rights, North America

Counter Ad: Rabbis for Human Rights, North America

Pro-Muslim Subway Ads to Hang Near Anti-Jihad Ads

By ASHWAQ MASOODI, New York Times

Updated, 6:47 p.m. | Striking back against an anti-jihad advertisement in the subways widely perceived as anti-Muslim, two religious groups – one Jewish, one Christian – are taking out subway ads of their own to urge tolerance.

Rabbis for Human Rights – North America and the group Sojourners, led by the Christian author and social-justice advocate Jim Wallis, are unveiling their campaigns on Monday. Their ads will be placed near the anti-jihad ads in the same Manhattan subway stations, leaders of both groups said and transit officials confirmed. The groups said their campaigns were coincidental.

The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights turns the language of the earlier ad, placed by a pro-Israel group, on its head. The original ad says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights says, “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.”

“We wanted to make it clear that it is in response to the anti-Islam ad,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, whose members include rabbis from all streams of Judaism.

The Sojourners ad simply says, “Love your Muslim neighbors.”

Another Christian group, United Methodist Women, an affiliate of the United Methodist Church, has placed similar ads in the same 10 Manhattan stations where the anti-jihad appears. The ads, which went up on Wednesday, say, “Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed.”

One of the Methodist group’s ads, in Times Square station, is posted right next to one of the anti-jihad ads.

The anti-jihad ads, placed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative in 10 Manhattan stations, went up only after the group successfully sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which wanted to ban them. They were posted late last month – in the wake, as it happened, of violent protests that had erupted in many parts of the Muslim world over an American-produced video ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad, and one of them was immediately defaced. They have been defaced at least 15 times since then, said Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the authority.

Last week, the authority changed its advertising rules to ban ads that could “imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

Mr. Donovan said the new ads “are accepted and conform with our guidelines,” adding, “The M.T.A. doesn’t endorse any of the ads we carry.”

The executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new ads.

 A new subway ad by United Methodist Women is also a response to the anti-jihad ad.

Rabbi Jacobs said: “Geller thinks she is speaking for the entire Jewish community. We are a group of 1,800 rabbis and we want everyone to know that we have to work in partnership with the Muslim community and do not believe in dehumanizing them.”

Sojourners’ campaigns manager, the Rev. Beau Underwood, said, “An essential tenet of Christianity is to love our neighbors.” He added: “In the face of religious extremism, the best response is to treat others like we would want to be treated. Our ad campaign has a simple message that is at the heart of our faith.”

Sojourners, together with some local interfaith communities, recently put up “Love your Muslim neighbors” billboards in Joplin, Mo., where a mosque was burned in August.

Sojourners solicitation for donations says: “Hateful anti-Muslim ads only result in violence, hatred, and more fear. Everyone — regardless of race, religion, or creed — deserves to feel welcome & safe when riding public transit in the United States.”

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9 Comments »

  1. How were the ads anti muslim?

  2. I would prefer this ad to say stop religious persecution worldwide.

    Sure, recommend love to the muslims, haha. They are so tribal they can’t see anyone else as human.

    Jane, doesn’t the UK have an annual march in honor of a group that was burned centuries ago? In the town of Lowndes or some such name.

    I think it would be nice to turn that into a world class march against murdering and persecuting people for their religious beliefs.

  3. “Jane, doesn’t the UK have an annual march in honor of a group that was burned centuries ago? In the town of Lowndes or some such name”

    There are all sorts of marches for historical reasons all over the UK.

  4. I think he’s referring to Guy Fawkes…who was killed mostly because he tried to blow up Parliament, not because he was Catholic (though Catholics did suffer some persecution at the time).

    It definitely seems a good like a good ad, and should be emulated by others.

    You do know the majority of Muslims are urban, and don’t actually have particularly strong tribal affiliation anymore, right…? or are we still going with the practice of creating straw Muslims out of combinations of the worst fringe groups.

  5. “I think he’s referring to Guy Fawkes”

    Guy Fawkes night is celebrated all over the UK – it is usually just referred to as Bonfire Night. There are no marches I am aware of.

  6. siyaj k’ak,

    “You do know the majority of Muslims are urban, and don’t actually have particularly strong tribal affiliation anymore, right…?” really? so how is there a tribal region in pakistan? why the divisions within iraq between the kurds, sunni and shia. did sadaam marry his cousin. why where so many of the higher ups in his regime named al-turkit, howeveer you spell the village he came from. the division between the pashtuns and the northern alliance in afghanistan. the house of saud is pushing wahabbism. why the tuareg in mali. you don’t think there is a tribal breakdown between the somalis? no tribal alliances within boko haram? you don’t think there is a tribal linage within the ahmadis, the baha’i. no tribalism in the southern philipines? indonesia? malayshia? who don’t imagine that the muslims in india are probably from the same tribes? look at syria right now. what is hasad, al-awalki?

    to the larger tribalism within islam, when the attacks on each other all the time. sunni’s vs shia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_schools_and_branches

  7. V for Vendetta. not a bad movie. wasn’t the tv commentator arrested for having a koran. portman was good. but she usually is, except star wars, but i think that was the director’s fault.

  8. Am trying to find the march I saw in honor of a martyred group, it was a large parade with banners. Sad to see there are several groups that were burned.

  9. You mean urban muslims don’t want to kill all the Jews, destroy Israel and wrap all women in cloth? You mean urban muslims will tolerate amadis, etc. and not harbor a desire for the Perfect Islamic State as say Dalia Mogahed, a nice clean educated person does?

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