Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders stood united when they launched “Love Thy Neighbor” campaign in Colorado, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
“Love Thy Neighbor” campaign is to group people of the three Abrahamic religions to counter anti-Muslim ads that have been placed on Colorado’s RTD (Regional Transportation District) buses and to respond to recent national tragedies, Denver Post said.
In July, a mass shooting in a movie theater in Colorado killed 12 people and injured 59. Also, in mid-December at least 27 people, including 18 children, were killed when at least one shooter opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Our country is in the midst of a lot of divisions," Temple Emanuel Senior Rabbi Joe Black told the paper, adding that “hatred is only going to further violence and the breakdown of society.”
The campaign will place ads, purchased for $5,000, on 10 buses to promote “love” instead of “hatred” by the end of this week. The ads will remain on each bus for a month.
“Love Thy Neighbor” message is “a shared concept in the three religions,” Colorado Muslim Society Imam Karim Abuzaid said.
“We felt really hurt,” Imam Abuzaid said in reference to the anti-Muslims ads placed on RTD buses in Colorado.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative started placing ads showing negative messages on Muslims on buses for four weeks in Denver, New York and Boston.
One of the ads read: “9,757 Deadly Islamic Attacks Since 9/11/01. It’s Not Islamophobia. It’s Islamorealism.”
Despite the Anti-Defamation League denouncing American Freedom Defense Initiative’s campaign as “offensive and inflammatory,” RTD legal staffers found no basis to remove the ads.
Other transit agencies that challenged bus ads in court have lost, according to the daily.