The Common Good

Anti-Muslim Ad Campaign Spreads to D.C., Christians Counter

Date: October 10, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

10 OCTOBER 2012

CONTACTS: Carrie Adams: cadams@sojo.net

 

ANTI-MUSLIM AD CAMPAIGN SPREADS TO D.C., CHRISTIANS COUNTER

Sojourners Brings “Love Your Muslim Neighbors” Ads to D.C. Metro

Added to NYC Subway Ads, Billboards in Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Ohio

 

Washington, D.C., October 10, 2012 – 

               
                Washington, D.C. is the latest city to see Sojourners’ “Love Your Muslim Neighbors” campaign. The campaign counters the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s hateful anti-Muslim ads, which read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” which were first displayed in New York City, but have now spread to the District’s Metro system.
               
                Washington Metro Area Transit Authority delayed displaying the offensive ads, but was ordered last week by District Judge Rosemary Collyer to produce them. Sojourners has launched a fundraising campaign to bring their "Love Your Muslim Neighbors" ad campaign to the D.C. Metro system. After an overwhelmingly positive response, Sojourners announced today that they will buy two ads, which should be up on or around Monday, October 15, one in the Georgia Avenue/Petworth station, and one in the U Street station.

                On the placement of the ads, Timothy King, Chief Communications Officer of Sojourners added, “We have a Christian obligation to counteract this hatred wherever it is, but these ads have come right to our doorstep. Sojourners has been in this neighborhood since the mid-70’s, so it’s especially important for us to be a witness in this community, and this city.”

               Everyone – regardless of race, religion, or creed – deserves to feel welcomed and safe when riding public transit in America. With tensions across the world at an all-time high, the Christian community is doing what it can to promote non-violence in their own backyard, and this addition of subway ads to an ongoing billboard campaign only reinforces the Christian call to peace.


                Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners said of the campaign, "When Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ he didn’t add stipulations. He didn't offer an extra addendum or an added qualifier. It meant love your neighbor; even if they don’t look like you, sound like you, or believe like you do. We as Christians need to treat others how we want to be treated—with love and respect.”             


                Sojourners also purchased billboards with the same message in Perrysburg, Ohio after an Islamic center was attacked in early October. Other billboards were purchased in Joplin, Mo., home to a mosque that burned to the ground earlier last month after suffering two previous acts of violence. The billboard read simply, “Love Your Muslim Neighbors.” It stands five blocks from the mosque on the corner of W 7th Street & S Schifferdecker Street; an identical newspaper ad ran in The Joplin Globe. Another billboard with that same message was added to Murfeesboro, Tenn., on 1015 S. Church Street, after a Sojourners donor recounted several years of ongoing controversy surrounding a neighborhood mosque. The third billboard was erected three blocks from the gurdwara that was the recent target of a shooting that left six worshippers dead. The billboard reads, “Love Your Sikh Neighbors,” and sits on the corner of College Avenue and 13th Street in Oak Creek (to see a picture of the billboards and the ad, click HERE).

 

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Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit www.sojo.net, and www.GodsPolitics.com.


Jim Wallis is the president and CEO of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States focused on the biblical call to social justice. Wallis is also author of the New York Times bestsellers God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It and The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, Reviving Faith & Politics. His latest book is Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.