Question: Did you know that Muhammad believed in “social justice” and “women’s rights?” No, really, I’m serious here. As unlikely as it sounds, the Exploring Islam Foundation has taken to the British streets to proclaim that Muhammad was a progressive forward thinking kind prophet.
From Politics Daily:
People have long wondered: What Would Jesus Do? Now some seem to be asking: What Would Muhammad Do?
On Monday, an advertising campaign aimed at combating negative perceptions of Islam was launched across London. The “Inspired by Muhammad” campaign consists of posters featuring a variety of British Muslim professionals. One shows a female lawyer — wearing a veil — next to the text, “I believe in women’s rights. So did Muhammad.” Another shows a charity worker beside the headline: “I believe in social justice. So did Muhammad.” The idea is to emphasize the ways Muslims balance religious tradition with contemporary human rights and social responsibility.
So, the Exploring Islam Foundation wishes to “combat negative perceptions of Islam.” Do they actually think that posters and snazzy marketing will actually change people’s minds, especially when it comes to the ways “Muslims balance religious tradition with contemporary human rights and social responsibility?”
Lets take a look at some recent stories of how Muslim’s are handling today’s human rights issues, shall we?
- Right on cue, there’s a story out today from Saudi Arabia where a man kissing a woman at a mall was sentenced to 4 months in prison and 90 lashes. The lucky woman in the “incident” will get to be tried separately…..
- In Glendale, Arizona, a Muslim father used his vehicle to run down and kill his 20-year-old daughter in an “honor killing” because he thought she was becoming “too westernized.”
- In New York last year, the Muslim founder of a television station dedicated to combating Muslim stereotypes, was arrested on the suspicion of beheading his own wife.
These incidents are not isolated and they are not occurring in third world countries. These crimes are occurring in the “modern world” and in the name of Islam.
In the same country that the Exploring Islam Foundation is running this campaign (Great Britain) a 2008 survey showed that a third of Muslim university students thought that killing in the name of Islam was justifiable. While 54% of Muslim students thought religious killings were never justifiable, that number pales in comparison to the 94% of non-muslim students who thought killing in the name of religion was never justified.
It seems to me that if the Exploring Islam Foundation wants to counter the negative perceptions of Islam, they should dump the marketing campaign and start looking at those who share their religion and think violent crimes are acceptable in their religion’s name. Until that issue is addressed, no number of flashy billboards or slogans will change their image.