The Billboard Battles: Islam vs. Everyone Else

Members of Windsor’s Lebanese community, Ghina Maawie, left, Aida Mrove, Ayat Choukier and H. Dabaja show their support for the message of the billboard, which is on display at Wyandotte Street and Marion Avenue. The sign has led to a political divide between some.
Photograph by : Ian Willms, The Windsor Star

But some people are starting to fight back…

And now this…

‘Sharia law is hate’

Billboards announce: ‘Sharia law is hate’ Group hopes to spark debate over accepting Islamic rules in U.S.
Posted: August 08, 200811:34 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn© 2008 WorldNetDaily

An organization in Florida plans to educate what it perceives as an increasingly culture-tolerant public about the horrific dictates of Islamic law by purchasing billboard space with a simple, but confrontational message: “Sharia law is hate.”
The Central Florida chapter of the United American Committee, a nonprofit group that seeks to educate Americans on the threat of Islamic extremism, is raising money to purchase a six-month contract to display the billboard, which the group hopes will awaken the public to discussing the full extent of Islamic law.
“The UAC’s goal in this project is to raise awareness because most people have no idea what Sharia law is,” Alan Kornman, director of UAC’s Central Florida branch, told WND. “We are confident people will see the billboard and learn on their own what Sharia law is and come to their own conclusions. At the very least, we hope our billboard will spark public debate on this overlooked issue.”
The billboards will also include a link to UAC resources where people can learn more about Islam’s Sharia law, a set of religious codes – both moral and legal; Sharia law recognizes no separation of church and state – that bind both Muslims and Islamic nations. Read the rest here

Of course, not everyone sees things the same way.
Here’s one columnists opinion…

The Chicago Tribune
The Seeker
Manya Brachear
Originally posted: December 13, 2007

Why Islam?
In the past month, I’ve received more than a dozen calls about a billboard erected near O’Hare Airport asking “Why Islam?”

Why drivers have chosen to call me instead of the toll-free number on the sign frankly baffles me.
I decided to let Sabeel Ahmed, a spokesman for the group sponsoring the billboards, address some of the callers’ concerns.

Callers wanted to know why such a billboard was necessary. What did it accomplish? And who was funding such an expensive advertising endeavor? And who calls that number? (I started to wonder myself when my phone kept ringing.)

Most callers to the hotline seek translations of the Quran in English or Spanish or literature about the faith, said Ahmed, a spokesman for the Islamic Circle of North America. A smaller percentage asks specific questions about events in the Middle East. Some are Muslims grateful for the positive publicity. Some have made donations to help fund the campaign.

Some who have dialed 1-877-WHY-ISLAM have converted to the faith, Ahmed said. For them, the Chicago chapter of ICNA has started classes in Chicago and Villa Park.
Then, Ahmd said, there are the angry callers who just want to tell Muslims they’re wrong.

“Usually I listen to what they’re saying because they’re already emotional to begin with,” Ahmed said. “We want them to express their views.”
James Gustafson of Chicago was one of those drivers who called me instead of the number. He was indeed angry.

“They’re rubbing it in our face,” he said. “I don’t buy what they’re saying. These people are not standing up like they should against these radical Islamic terrorists.”

Ahmed has heard those sentiments.
“After they slow down, we go about explaining to them in the context. Suicide is forbidden by Islam and killing innocent people is forbidden,” he said. “We recite them words from the Quran that say that. Muslims should not be judged by the actions of a few people, just like Christians and Jews should not be judged by actions of a few.”

A quick glance at comments posted to The Seeker in recent months shows that a number of people harshly judge Islam, and occasionally other faiths.
Instead of asking “Why Islam?” I’d like to ask “Why so much hostility?”

Why so much hostility, The Seeker asks?
Well now, let me see…

There must be some reason for it…

Cross posted from Radarsite