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Love your Muslim neighbours-Pro-Muslim ads along with anti-Muslimís in NY subway
The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights turns the language of the earlier ad, placed by a pro-Israel group, on its head
Saturday October 06 2012 01:45:06 AM BDT
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.(The New Nation )
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 (S), 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 Metropolitan Transit authority changed its advertising rules to ban ads that could "imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace."
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, ""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."
The New Nation