The Interfaith Center of New York
For Immediate Release
New York Interfaith Coalition Will Gather To Denounce Hate Ads On Subways
(NEW YORK CITY, NY 9/24/12) – On Tuesday morning (September 25) at 9:00 am, a coalition of New York community and faith based organizations will gather on the steps of City Hall to denounce anti-Muslim hate advertisements posted on New York City subway platforms (image below). The ads are harmfully provocative and inherently divisive.
In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg on September 10, 2012 the coalition urged the Mayor to make a public statement regarding the ads, asking him to “stand up to the politics of fear and show the millions of New Yorkers and millions of visitors to this great City that we do not endorse hate speech.”
The coalition also sent a letter to MTA Executive Officer Joseph Lohta asking him to introduce measures to mitigate the impact of the hate ads and to discourage hate groups from using MTA advertisements in the future.
Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director of The Interfaith Center of New York, observed: “Having worked in partnership with Muslim and other faith leaders across New York City for over a decade, we deplore these ads. While legal, the ignorance, prejudice, and disrespect the ads display betray the American ideal of E Pluribus Unum ‘ Out of Many, One’ and dishonor the efforts of New Yorkers who, after 9/11, overcame their religious differences and worked together to rebuild our great city.”
“As people from many faith traditions – Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu and Humanist – we stand against hate and bigotry in all forms,” said Valarie Kaur, Director of Groundswell at Auburn Seminary. “These ads fuel anti-Muslim sentiment that aims to divide us, but we will always come together, louder and stronger, for respect and dignity.”
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CONTACT: Annie Rawlings, Director of Outreach and Program Administration, The Interfaith Center of New York: 212-870-3518, 347-418-5730, email@example.com.
ADDITIONAL QUOTES, PRESS CONTACTS, and SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS LISTED BELOW
“The period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a time, for many Jews, of reflection and introspection. We must recommit ourselves during this time to speaking and acting against these despicable ads and against all forms of Islamophobia and bigotry.”
– Marjorie Dove Kent, Executive Director, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
“We recognize the right to freedom of speech, however we also recognize our responsibility as New Yorkers and Americans to denounce bigotry.”
– Muneer Awad, Executive Director, CAIR-NY 347-296-7966, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Stephen C. Holton, Chair, Episcopal Muslim Relations Committee of the Diocese of New York (845) 239-5983 email@example.com
OTHER SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS (list in development)
9/11 Community For Common Ground Initiative
American Society for Muslim Advancement
Arab American Association of New York
Council of Peoples Organization (COPO)
Episcopal Muslim Relations Committee, Diocese of New York
Islamic Society of North America
Jews Against Islamophobia
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Jewish Voice for Peace — Westchester
Muslim Consultative Network
Muslim Day Parade
Muslim Foundation of America
Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance
National Disaster Interfaiths Network
New York Disaster Interfaith Services
Rabbis for Human Rights – North America
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
The Sikh Coalition
United Methodist Women
Women In Islam, Inc.
A PDF version of this press release is available here.