russell simmons
by Ali Berman
Categories: Causes, People
Tags: .
Photo: Helga Esteb /

Russell Simmons is sharing his anger about an Islamophobic ad that has been plastered up in the NYC subway.

Put together by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the ad states, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

Furious that an ad like this that calls an entire group of people “savages” isn’t causing more of an uproar, Simmons wrote on twitter, “There are horrific islamophobic posters in nyc subway calling Muslims “savages” .. where is the public outrage.” He continued with the following chain of tweets: “If these posters referred to blacks or jews in this way Abe Foxmen Rev sharpton and their followers would not be silent ..” “The muslim community is defenseless against ths h8 speech. ths shld not B their battle We(non muslims)need 2 stand up on their behalf.” “Rabbi Marc Schneier and I denounce this hate speech in the strongest way and ask Americans to “reflect.”

Islamophobia is sadly ignored, tolerated, or worse, encouraged by too many people in the USA. While free speech is something to be cherished, Simmons is right. No so blatantly racist ad featuring any other group of people would be tolerated in NYC.

This isn’t Simmons’ first time standing up to Islamophobia. He previously lashed out at Lowes for pulling their ads from the TV show “All American Muslim.”

See the AP’s video of the ad here.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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