The head of the New York –based Interfaith Center spoke out about hundreds of ads recently posted in the New York City subway system linking Islam to terrorism, saying that while the ads were legal, they were not moral.
The Rev. Chloe Breyer, an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of New York and executive director the center, said the ads are "demonizing" a religion.
"They may be legal but they're not moral," Rev. Breyer told the New York Daily News. "Demonizing the religion of others does not show New Yorkers at our best."
The ads in question are being paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. They show an image of the World Trade Center Twin Towers in flames with a quote from the Koran which states "Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of unbelievers."
The ad indicates that New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority does not endorse the ad.
The AFDI, which has previously paid for pro-Israel advertising on MTA buses, sued the Authority last year for violating its constitutional right to freedom of speech. A Manhattan federal judge ruled in favor of the organization.
The group's ads last year equated Muslim radicals with savages. The new ads will run for a month, the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, political activist Ahmed Rehab, who heads the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is expanding a campaign which aims to change public perception of the word "jihad," which he says has been distorted by extremists.
The ads which first appeared in Chicago and have expanded to San Francisco define "Jihad" as a personal struggle in many areas of life. The word has previously been associated with militancy and terrorism.