If you’ve walked around the neighborhood recently you may have noticed green posters in several shop windows saying, “Refugees Are Welcome Here.”
The posters are part of a campaign by the organization Jews Against Islamophobia, which is a collaboration between Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No that has been organizing around fighting Islamophobia.“We think it is especially important to show our solidarity with the Muslim community at this moment, when there is rampant surveillance and profiling of Muslims, and Muslims are being stereotyped and stigmatized in the media and by prominent politicians,” says Emily Hoffman, one of the canvassers who helped put up the posters.“We are hoping they will contribute to a neighborhood culture that is welcoming to all refugees, but particularly Muslim refugees, since they are met with so much fear and discrimination. These refugees are not terrorists; they are fleeing ISIS, which has destroyed their homeland.”Emily says Jewish Voice for Peace members also put posters up on the Upper West Side and in Crown Heights, as well as across the county. She says the response by the community was generally positive as the canvassers put up posters. However, some businesses told them they were worried the posters would be too political and some of the posters have since been taken down.“We hope that the several remaining posters and our conversations with both the businesses that put up the posters and those who did not or who took them down later will spark important conversations about how to create a neighborhood that is welcoming to and stands in solidarity with refugees and all people persecuted because of their ethnicity or religion,” says Emily.