Methodist Group Fights Back Against Anti-Muslim Ads

New ads went up yesterday in New York City’s subway system to counter controversial anti-Muslim ads paid for by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) that referred to Muslims as “savages.” United Methodist Women announced their ad campaign Sept. 25 press conference of the Interfaith Center of New York.

The counter-ads — which read “Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed” on a simple green background — will be running in subway stations throughout Manhattan at all ten of the locations where AFDI ads are currently running. United Methodist Women’s Facebook page has posted photos:

Previously, others had plastered “Hate Speech” and “Racist” stickers on AFDI’s ads.

United Methodist Women’s General Secretary Harriet J. Olson said at the group’s ad campaign unveiling:

“United Methodist Women recognizes that women have always been the most significant victims of violence,” Ms. Olson said, acknowledging hate speech as a form of violence. Because of that, she said, “We have a particular incentive to work toward peace.”

Ms. Olson said United Methodists support and respect the use of faith toward peaceful goals.

“Religions of the world should invest in the work for peace,” she said. “Peace comes because we work for it. Women know that the best.”

The counter-ads will run for as long as Pamela Geller’s ads do. AFDI also ran its campaign in San Fransisco and may be coming to Washington, D.C. in the near future. United Methodist Women is already preparing to run counter-ads in the nation’s capital, possibly in partnership with local social justice campaign, Sojourners.


United Methodist Women is also running a social media campaign through Facebook and Twitter, inviting those interested to spread awareness of their message by attaching a “Twibbon” to their avatar and use the hashtag #mysubwayad.