Detroit News lauds billboards touting Islam without mentioning sponsoring group’s ties to Muslim Brotherhood
Mark Hicks says that GainPeace is “associated with the Islamic Circle of North America.” He doesn’t see fit to mention that the Islamic Circle of North America was listed as a Muslim Brotherhood organization in a captured internal Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” which explains that the Brotherhood’s agenda in the U.S. is subversive: the Muslim Brothers “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Nor does Hicks bother to note that a former ICNA leader has been convicted of jihad war crimes in Bangadesh. He says nothing about how ICNA has promoted donations to jihad. He is likewise mum about its ties to the Pakistani Islamic supremacist group Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as about its anti-American, anti-Israel speakers who have promoted violent jihad.
Indeed, there is not a single word in this article that is remotely critical of ICNA or its billboard proselytizing. Contrast that to Hicks’ article about my appearance at a conference in Michigan last August, where I debated two Muslim spokesmen, Shadid Lewis and Mustafa Akyol. Hicks led off his story about that event with one compact paragraph that invokes the Norwegian mass murder Anders Breivik, whose murders the mainstream media was avid to blame falsely on me; the smears of the ADL and SPLC against my name and reputation; and the British ban, which was the product of a similar smear campaign. Hicks doesn’t say “smear campaign,” of course, and doesn’t balance any of this with even one word about why I might not be responsible for Brievik’s murders, or why the ADL and SPLC might not be entirely trustworthy sources, or why the British ban might reflect more on the British government’s cowardice and desire to appease Islamic supremacists than on my work. He then goes on to quote Dawud Walid of Hamas-linked CAIR. He never asked me for a quote — of course.
And now he publishes this ICNA press release. This is what passes for journalism these days. Please drop Hicks a note at email@example.com and ask him, politely, calmly, and courteously, why he didn’t report about ICNA’s Muslim Brotherhood ties and jihadist connections, and why he chose to report everything negative about a foe of jihad terror without any balancing or even explanatory information.
Note also: have you ever seen Pamela Geller’s AFDI ad campaigns, defending Israel, women threatened with honor killings, and the freedom of conscience, and telling the truth about jihad and Islamic apartheid, etc., get this kind of fawning coverage from anyone in the mainstream media?
“Group hopes I-96 billboard helps educate others about Islam,” by Mark Hicks for The Detroit News, February 2:
Perched along Interstate 96 near Milford Road for the past month, a large red billboard asks travelers in the thousands of vehicles that pass it daily: “What is Islam? Who are the Muslims?”
The sign in Oakland County also lists a phone number and website for GainPeace, a Chicago nonprofit associated with the Islamic Circle of North America.
The curious who follow through have the chance to earn a free copy of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, and learn more about the religion, which is the aim of the group’s campaign.
“We want to do away with the misconceptions people have about the fundamentals of Islam,” said Sabeel Ahmed, national director of GainPeace.
The initiative, launched in cities nationwide and in Canada, started several years ago yet gained momentum in the wake of the controversy in 2012 surrounding the film “Innocence of Muslims.” The video shared online was considered anti-Islamic and sparked international outrage.
Inaccurate depictions and beliefs about Muslims have persisted since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Ahmed said. Countering that with education, he said, is essential not only for improving perceptions but fulfilling one of the Muslim faith’s goal of educating others.
The campaign continues as the [Hamas-linked] Council on American-Islamic Relations–Michigan has in recent years logged more complaints from Muslims of workplace discrimination, harassment by officials at the U.S.-Canada border and bullying at school, said Dawud Walid, the group’s executive director.
Intolerance rises after extremist acts some connect with mainstream Muslims, he said, and is supported when public figures share misguided views about the religion.
“We believe as a civil rights organization that much of the discrimination that Muslims face is based upon ignorance of our faith and who we are as human beings,” Walid said. “So the more education, the less likelihood that people who learn about Muslims will bully or harass them.”
GainPeace put up billboards last year in the Flint area as well as ran ads in newspapers and on a cable TV show featuring Islamic scholars, Ahmed said. Literature has also been distributed.
While some response was negative, others welcomed the efforts and there are plans for another billboard, said Mohammed Saleem, vice president of the Flint Islamic Center. “We are trying to educate our community, our neighborhoods,” he said.