Seattle, WA, August 24, 2008 – The Seattle Chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and its 877-WHY-ISLAM project are sponsoring ads that will appear on the city’s metro transit buses around the month of Ramadan this year. During this month Muslims from around the world fast from dawn till dusk; this usually leads to a high level of interest in Islam. Ads are scheduled to appear on the exterior of six metro buses and the interior of 25 buses. About a thousand of these advertisements will also appear in New York City subway cars during the month of Ramadan. Due to the presence of much negativity and Islamophobia, the general public has the daunting task of sifting through uninformed and biased sources before they can find reliable outlets. The mission of this project is to encourage people to search for unbiased information on Islam and to promote understanding and dialogue between people of different faiths. We are providing an opportunity to anyone who has questions to have them answered by informed Muslims.
The ad design features a question (e.g. Islam?) in a visual format. Interested bystanders on the streets or passengers inside the buses can then visit www.whyislam.org or call 1-877-WHY-ISLAM to receive answers to any of their questions. The ad(s) can also be viewed in high resolution at http://www.youdeservetoknow.org.
Naeem Baig, Secretary General of ICNA said, “If someone has strong sentiments about Islam then they must have questions about the faith as well, and it’s all the more reason for them to obtain more information.”
Islam, the religion of approximately 7 million Americans, promotes peace, prayer and humility, as well as social, communal and family values. However, despite the many similarities and values shared with other faiths such as Christianity and Judaism, Islam remains the most misunderstood religion in America. Ignorance is recognized as a major source for the hatred and violence that exists in today’s world. By eliminating ignorance, we can help create a more peaceful and tolerant environment where we can understand and appreciate the variety of faith. During Ramadan, when over 1 billion Muslims fast worldwide, many questions arise about Islam and the subway ads are a way to direct people to obtaining basic and accurate information.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is one of the largest, non-profit, independent, grass roots organizations of Muslim Americans which focuses on education, outreach, social services and youth. It is dedicated to the dissemination of correct information on Islam and Muslims through its WhyIslam project which can be found at http://www.WhyIslam.org.