Faith Groups Buy Space to Counter Pro-Israel Ads

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A broad coalition of religious groups is buying up ad space in the DC Metro system to counter advertisements that critics say portray Muslims as savages.

The organization Shoulder to Shoulder, represented by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, placed billboards in three Metro stations in response to a "Support Israel. Defeat Jihad" campaign that went up on Metro walls last week.

The anti-jihad posters contained the line, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man."

The pro-Israel group American Freedom Defense Initiative started the campaign, funded by a New York-based blogger, Pamela Geller. The group has purchased space at several major subway systems.

The new lime-green ads rebut Geller's ad with, "Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed."

One of Shoulder to Shoulder's member organizations, United Methodist Women, helped raise funds, designed the poster, and purchased the ad space.

A campaign director for the group, Christina Warner, said Shoulder to Shoulder bought the Metro ads to "provide local clergy with an opportunity to speak out in an organized way."

Other critics, including 200 religious groups, have asked the Washington DC Metro Authority to donate the money it's made from the ads.

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