Clergy representing several denominations joined elected officials and members of the Muslim community on Good Friday to denounce anti-Muslim ads SEPTA is being forced to allow on its buses.
Members of three prominent religions joined in solidarity at a former synagogue and the now mosque Masjidullah Inc. against the provocative ads placed on two-thirds of SEPTA buses, displaying a photograph of Adolf Hitler with a former Arab leader, and include a tagline: "Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran."
“Something that was meant to be divisive, God bless us to make it something to that would help us teach each other,” Imam Muhammad Abdul-Aleen of Masjidullah Inc. said during the meeting.
The pro-Israeli group, American Freedom Defense Initiative, is behind the ads, which have previously been run in other cities.
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“I will not sacrifice my freedom of speech so as not to offend savages,” said Pamela Geller, the group’s president. “It’s a ridiculous premise.”
SEPTA went to court in an attempt to keep from posting the ads, but a federal judge ruled last month that the transit company had to accept the ads.
“How could that possibly happen?” Kamillah Rashid of the White House Liaison said. “Every other person in Philadelphia is Muslim.”
Despite the court ruling, SEPTA officials said they made several policy changes in order to prevent a second run of these provocative ads.