By Jennifer Glickel
Simmons called up photographer and longtime friend Glen E. Friedman on Tuesday asking him to install a series of signs in the windows of the Def Jam co-founder’s Liberty Street apartment, located directly across from the World Trade Center site, according to Friedman’s blog.
What resulted was the word "coexist" spelled out using religious symbols including an Islamic crescent for "C" and a Christian cross for "T."
"I hope some yogi sees om. I hope that some Christian sees the cross. I hope that some Jewish person sees Star of David. I want people to see their images," Simmons told the Daily News. "That's the idea to coexist and to learn to love each other."
Friedman’s original idea was a bit bolder than what Simmons had in mind.
"My personal idea was to just label the entire building with the huge 7 foot letters spelling out M-O-S-Q-U-E," Friedman wrote on his blog. "But unfortunately Russ…thought it was a bit too harsh, or ‘punk’, and feeding into the frenzy of ‘negativity’."
Simmons, who told the paper he would keep the message up through Sept. 11, is a supporter of building a mosque and cultural center a few blocks from Ground Zero.
"I'm appalled that there's even a dialogue about it...Roughly two billion Muslims in the world did not attack us," he told the News.
"America is using the mosque and Ground Zero as a mask for its own Islamophia."
This is not the first time the two have teamed up to make a statement, in 2004 they used Simmons' windows to protest the war.