Following bombings in New York and New Jersey by Ahmad Khan Rahami, New York City has launched a social media ad campaign to combat anti-Muslim rhetoric, reminding residents that not all followers of the faith condone terrorism.
Produced by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the campaign is intended to counteract negative depictions of Islam, by featuring an array of photos of Muslims from around the city.
“I am Muslim. I am NYC,” the campaign’s slogan states. They will also be using the hashtag #IamMuslimNYC.
As terrorism has been on the rise in Europe and the United States, so has Islamophobia.
“New York City is one of the most diverse and welcoming cities in the world,” the campaign announcement reads. “With more than 8.4 million residents, people of every faith, race, and ethnicity live and work side by side. Millions of people adhering to some religion or faith call New York City home, including thousands of Muslims with diverse backgrounds. They, like New Yorkers of every faith, contribute to the unique and rich cultural diversity for which New York City is universally known. They deserve to live and work free from discrimination and harassment.”
On September 17, 31 people were injured in a bombing that law enforcement is calling a terrorist attack. Ahmad Khan Rahami, born in Afghanistan, and formerly living in New Jersey, was arrested for the attack.
“Now more than ever, it is important for every New Yorker to stand united as one city and reject hate and violence,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement regarding the campaign, Raw Story reports.
“In New York, everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, agnostic and atheist — it doesn’t matter,” he states in the announcement. “We are all New Yorkers and we all deserve to live safely and free from hatred or discrimination.” A Georgetown University study released in May found that there had been 180 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence, including 12 murders, since March 2015. That is a sharp uptick from approximately 20-30 recorded annually since the September 11 attacks.