Magic Madrassa Bus or Dawa Trolley?
The Bay Area Chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America will launch a bus ad campaign in San Francisco on today to encourage people to break stereotypes about Muslims.
People can expect to see the hot line (877) WHY-ISLAM and the Web site www.whyislam.org on the sides of more than 140 buses because the ICNA wants to make a point.
“This is our complaint: We want to give the right picture of Islam. It is not about terrorism. It is about peace,” ICNA representative Mariam Chan said.
Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. eastern time, anyone can call the hot line with questions about Islam. The Web site also offers free brochures. Chan said a common misconception is that Muslims are terrorists.
“If one Muslim person is not right, don’t blame Islam from the few number of presentations,” Chan said. “So many Christians have problems. You would not say it’s allowed in Christianity.”
Here’s the problem, Ms. Chan: Devout followers of any religion try to emulate the founder of that faith and observe the teachings he was said to originate or transmit. There is no comparison in this regard between Jesus and Muhammad, or the four canonical Gospels and the Qur’an and ahadith — no, not even the sahih, or “sound” ahadith. Islamic apologists attempt to paper over this gap by trying on one hand to make Muhammad appear more Christ-like (with respect to the Gospels’ portrayal), all while arguing that Jesus was really more like Muhammad than those pesky Gospels let on.
The campaign is a national educational outreach program. The ICNA has also paid for billboards and other bus ads throughout the country to encourage a more authentic point of view on the faith.
The kick-off will take place near Justin Herman Plaza at 77 Steuart Street in San Francisco at 11 a.m.