Thousands of people will be descending on Times Square for New Year's Eve, and one group hopes it will be an opportunity to spread a message of peace. The Muslims for Peace Campaign, sponsored by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, is a nationwide campaign. It was launched following the failed Times Square bomb plot in May.
Doctor Ahmad Chaudhry, a member of the campaign, said his group wants people to know that Muslims are against terrorism and violence, and that now is the perfect time to clear up misconceptions about Islam.
"We're going to bring this message back, to Times Square, because there are hundreds of thousands of people from all across the United States as well as the world," he said. "What better place to spread the true message of Islam?"
Members of the group will be handing out fliers in Time Square from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on New Year's Eve. They'll be wearing black t-shirts inscribed with the word "peace," and the emblem of dove. On the back of the shirts is the word "terrorism," struck through with a large red slash.
Chaudhry hopes his group's efforts will pay off in the new year, and promote what he said is the true message of Islam. "We hope that in the coming year, that we can really be the face of peace rather than the face of fear, and that Islam can be known as a religion that promotes peace," he said.
Throughout the year, Chaudhry said, his group will continue spreading that message nationwide. Last month, the Muslims for Peace Campaign unveiled an electronic billboard on 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th avenues. The 15-second graphic reads "Muslims for Love, Loyalty, and Peace," and features pictures of a dove, the American flag, and a peace sign. It will be on display through January 17.