Scores of Christians, Jews, and Muslims today joined Philadelphia elected officials for a rally in Love Park designed to protest the incendiary bus ads, which link Adolf Hitler to Islam.
“We have to speak out against hate,” said Bilal Qayyum, who converted to Islam more than 45 years ago. “It does nothing to help the city if we separate people by religion and races. We have to come together.”
Qayyum says he and many other Muslims who attended the rally were personally offended by the ads. But Imam Mikal Shabazz, who also attended, encouraged Muslims to stand in peace in spite of the offensive statements in the advertisements.
“It’s the antithesis of Islam to go berserk and cause destruction, violence, and vandalism against Septa — don’t do that,” he said, noting that despite disagreements between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East, there is a history of cooperation between the two groups.