As one would expect, this campaign is focused on external appearances, and not toward challenging allegedly “extremist” views among fellow Muslims. And it’s predictably deceptive. Glowing generalities like the one on the car pictured above require readers to project their own cultural understanding of ideas like “women’s rights” onto the propaganda presented to them.
Muhammad favored “women’s rights,” did he? But what was the extent of what he thought the rights of women were? Qur’an 4:34 allows men to hit their wives. Qur’an 2:23 says “our women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will.” Qur’an 2:282 says a woman’s testimony is worth half a man’s. And Sahih Bukhari 4.54.460 says “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.”
“U.K. ad campaign launched to improve image of Muslims,” by Scott Maniquet for the National Post, June 7 (thanks to Nicolei):
Let’s face it, some religions do a good job getting their feel good message across, while for whatever reason, some others have a much harder time.
But probably no religion is in more need of a good public relations overhaul than Islam.
This became apparent in Britain when a recent poll found that 58% associated Islam with extremism and 50% associated it with terrorism. The poll also found that only 13% of respondents believed that Islam – called the “religion of peace’ by its adherents – was based on peace.
And we all just pulled that idea out of our hats one day — no particular reason at all.
In response, the Exploring Islam Foundation has launched a U.K. ad campaign to bolster public perception of the religion.
The Inspired by Muhammad campaign features photos of Muslim professionals next to catchy phrases like:
“I believe in social justice. So did Muhammad.”
Again, that depends on your idea of justice. Subjugation of unbelievers? Cutting the hands off of thieves and stoning adulterers? Executing apostates?
“I believe in women’s rights. So did Muhammad.”
“I believe in protecting the environment. So did Muhammad.”
A spokesman for Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank which seeks to promote a “British Islam. . . free from the bitter politics of the Arab and Muslim world, told London’s Independent:
“This campaign is important because it can help non-Muslims to better understand the faith that inspires and guides their Muslim friends, neighbours and colleagues.
“This initiative also helps British Muslims reclaim the Prophet Mohamed as a time-honoured guide for peace, compassion and social justice from those who seek to twist his teachings.”
Right, vague generalities will let all the air out of “chapter and verse.”
With 80% of Canadians agreeing with Quebec’s proposed niqab ban, perhaps we will be seeing a similar campaign here in the future.