By Antonia Blumberg – The Huffington Post
Family members of September 11 victims are taking a stand against Islamophobia with a new bus ad campaign designed to promote religious tolerance and interfaith unity.
“Islamophobia is not pretty,” the ad reads. “Let’s build bridges, not walls. Hate hurts, hope heals.”
Sponsored by September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the ad’s launch coincides with a symposium on gun violence and hate crimes taking place on September 6 in New York City. The symposium will encourage dialogue between panelists and audience members with the intention of discussing solutions to religious intolerance.
“We wanted to make a clear statement that our 9/11 family members do not want to promote fear and hatred in our names,” Peaceful Tomorrows Project Director Terry Greene, whose brother died aboard United Flight 93, told HuffPost. “We believe that unity and interfaith tolerance are the path forward to a more peaceful tomorrow.”
A poll conducted by the Arab American Institute from 2010 to 2014 looked at American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims and found that unfavorable feelings toward these groups have increased in recent years. Forty-five percent of Americans polled said they viewed Muslims unfavorably — though only 47 percent said they personally knew someone who was Muslim.
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