—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (July 22, 2008) – The New York Chapter of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and it’s 877-WHY-ISLAM project are sponsoring 1,000 ads to appear in 1,000 New York City subway cars during Ramadan. Ramadan is a month when Islam receives more attention because Muslims will be fasting at the workplace. The mission of the project is to encourage people to search for unbiased information on Islam and to promote understanding and dialogue between people of different faiths.
The ad design displays questions that people may have about Islam in a visual format. Keywords associated with common stereotypes about Islam, including politicized buzz words (i.e. Head Scarf) are displayed on the ad as questions. Interested passengers can then visit www.whyislam.org or call 1-877-WHY-ISLAM to receive answers to any of their questions.A variation of 3 advertisements will appear in 1,000 of the MTA’s 6,200 subway cars. The ads can be viewed at http://www.youdeservetoknow.org in high resolution.
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. We are providing an opportunity to anyone who has questions to have them answered by informed Muslims.
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 its all the more reason for them to obtain more information.”
Islam, the religion of approximately 7 million Americans, promotes peace, prayer, 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 each others’ faith. During Ramadan, when over 1 billion Muslims fast worldwide, many questions may arise about Islam and the subway ads are a way to direct people to obtaining basic information.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.