Md. faith groups to protest anti-Muslim Metro bus ads

June 9, 2014

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) – Members of Montgomery County faith groups plan to protest anti-Islamic Metro bus ads Monday in Rockville.
The Montgomery County Faith Community Working Group (FCWG) – which includes members of the local Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist and Zoroastrian faith communities – issued a statement saying they are “deeply saddened by the placement of anti-Muslim ads on buses owned and operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).”

The ads include photos of Adolf Hitler meeting with an anti-Jewish Islamic leader during World War II, and call for an end to American aid to Islamic countries.

The ads, placed by a group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative, started appearing in May on 20 Metro buses in the D.C. Metro area.

The group previously ran ads on Metro buses in 2012 which were similar in nature, equating Muslims to “savages” and calling for support to Israel.

Metro originally declined to run the ads, so the American Freedom Defense Initiative sued for the right to place the ads. A federal judge ruled that Metro must run the ads, citing freedom of speech.

Monday’s protest will begin at 10:30 a.m. near the Rockville Metro station, at 1 Church Street near the intersection of Route 355.

Halal Foods Advertized on Major French Television Networks

For the first time, halal food is being advertised on France’s most-watched private television channels, attesting to the growing purchase power of Muslim shoppers in the country. “Even though people have to fast during the day, Muslims tend to eat more — and better — when they can eat during Ramadan, which is why it is traditionally a period of peak consumer activity,” said Abbas Bendali, director of Solis Conseil, an ethnic marketing consultancy in Paris.

The Panzani-owned, Lyon-based food brand Zakia Halal is running a $430,000 mass-market promotion of halal food. It features a young Muslim couple shopping at a supermarket to promote halal microwaveable meals including lasagna, ravioli, paella, beef, bourguignon and shepherd’s pie.

Bendali added that “It appears the rest of France is starting to regard things like halal food as part of the new mix.”