The Common Good

Toledo Mosque Suffers Arson, Sojourners Expands Billboard Campaign

Date: October 4, 2012


October 4, 2012


Carrie Adams:

 Billboard Calls Christians to Love Their Neighbors of Different Faiths, Stand in Solidarity with Muslim Neighbors

Washington D.C., October 4, 2012 --

            The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo is the most recent site of violence and vandalism against religious minorities in America, specifically Muslims. As a result of arson attack on Sunday, Sept. 30, Sojourners is calling on Christians to stand up against the hatred. Continuing a billboard and ad campaign with reaches from Wisconsin to New York City, Sojourners is erecting a billboard near the destroyed Perrysburg mosque that reads “Love Your Muslim Neighbors.” The billboard will stand just south of the intersection of interstate route 475 and route 75, near the mosque (25877 Scheider Rd. Perrysburg, Ohio, 43551). 

           Dr. Mahjabeen Islam, President of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo reacted to the campaign by saying, “There’s a word in the Qu’ran - Masliha - which implies that God’s work and will is present in every situation. While the attack on our house of worship was alarming, we are also grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received from the entire faith community.” She continued, “This billboard from Christians across the country is another example that leaves me hopeful about our community’s future.”

           Rev. Beau Underwood of Sojourners said of the campaign, “Christians are called by the Gospel to respond anytime our neighbors – Christian, Muslim, Jew, whomever - are attacked because of their faith. Many Christians are rightfully concerned about protecting religious freedom globally, but the integrity of our witness requires standing up for the rights of religious minorities in our own backyard, too.” He added, “This simple, faithful response is motivated by the demands of our Christian beliefs.”

           Sojourners has previously run billboards and newspaper ads in Joplin, Mo., home to a mosque that burned to the ground in August after suffering two previous fires, as well as near the gurudwara in Oak Creek, Wis. that was the target of a shooting that left six worshippers dead. This month, Sojourners will run their "Love Your Muslim Neighbor" ad campaign in the NYC subway system to counter anti-Muslim ads. Another billboard with that same message was added to Murfreesboro, Tenn., after a Sojourners donor recounted several years of ongoing controversy surrounding a neighborhood mosque.


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