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Head Of Local Interfaith Center: Anti-Islamic SEPTA Ads Do Not Represent Our Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Rev. Nicole Diroff, associate executive director of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, spoke with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT midday host Dom Giordano about the ads going on SEPTA buses that many people feel are anti-Islamic and the rally that they had to garner support for their removal.

"Yesterday in Love Park, Civic and religious leaders gathered to say that these ads that up on SEPTA buses do not represent our Philadelphia, do not represent the Philadelphia that they're a part of, and inviting people to be part of a "Dare to Understand" Campaign in response—to have an elevated positive response spreading different images throughout this region. People of diversity standing together in cooperation and collaboration."

While the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia does believe in the freedom of speech, Diroff says that they disagree with the message that it sends.

"So, I think that we are finding that our Muslim partners and friends do not find these ads accurate, and for me personally, the emotional response that they give to me is one of pain and hurt, and so we are responding with an emotional response of love and hope. As a Christian minister myself, I am acutely aware of the ways in which many of our scriptures can be taken and interpreted in many many different ways. They can be used to back lots of different positions. So, we're trying to respond with something that's elevated beyond the content of the ad."

Rev. Diroff has received an exceptional amount of financial response to go along with the outpouring of emotions by already raising more than $27,000 for more ads to support the billboard placed on I-76.

Though she hopes that the ads will not spark any violent responses, a fear remains that it will happen.

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