News

Ad campaign launched in London to improve the image of Islam

IN A bid to create a warm, cuddly, tolerant brand of Islam in the UK, and also counter negative views of Muslims in Britain, the Exploring Islam Foundation has launched a series of Inspired by Muhammad ads in London.

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.

According to Islamonline, a YouGov poll of 2,152 adults conducted for the foundation last month found that 58 percent associated the Religion of Peace with extremism and 50 percent associated the religion with terrorism.

Only 13 percent thought Islam was based on peace and six percent associated it with justice.

Asked if Muslims had a positive impact on British society, four in 10 disagreed.

The poll also found that 69 percent thought Islam encouraged the repression of women.

Said the foundation’s campaigns director Remona Aly.

We are very concerned about the way our faith is perceived by the public. We want to foster a greater understanding of what British Muslims are about and our contribution to British society. We are proud of being British and being Muslim.

A spokesman for Quilliam said:

We welcome the Inspired By Muhammad campaign as a valuable and timely step to help improve relations and foster deeper understanding between British citizens.

A British bobby captures 'the beauty of Islam' at a rally of angry Muslims in London

A recent survey in the US revealed that Islam has a pretty poor image there too.

According to a new report from the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies:

More than 50 percent of Americans said they had unfavourable opinions of Islam, while 29 percent of those reported a strong degree of prejudice towards Muslims.

Gallup questioned 1,002 interview subjects about different aspects of Islam and Muslims over a month-long period last year and married the results with those found in the Gallup World Religion survey, which surveyed Americans’ opinions on Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam and their followers.

Of the faiths, Islam and Muslims elicited the most negative perceptions.

Senior analyst Dalia Mogahed, who is the Executive Director for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, noted that though more than half of respondents said they knew someone who was Muslim, that didn’t deter from having negative attitudes towards Islam.

Much of this antipathy, she insisted, stemmed for negative reporting of Islamic issues in the media

She asserted that all the negativity exposed by the survey was disheartening because there had been so much hard work done by Muslim-Americans and Muslims worldwide to inform the non-Muslim public about the beauty of Islam.

Hat tip: Broadsword

Update: A far more credible version of the ad has been created here:


60 responses to “Ad campaign launched in London to improve the image of Islam”

  1. Broadsword says:

    Introducing the Prophet Mohammed Space Hopper:
    http://img694.imageshack.us/i/mospacehopper1.jpg/

  2. idlavi says:

    Pathetic trash from Muslims trying to downplay their hatred of women.
    Do they think we Europeans are so gullible, they treat their animals better that their women, the are pedophiles, Muhammed, what was he but a parasite, killing anyone who did not think his way, the koran written by men for men and ONLY for men:
    This poster is as is the koran pure lies, God help us in Britain, let’s get rid of them all, we are Christian:

  3. NeoWolfe says:

    It seems like all of you may have missed the point. Islam had drifted off into poverty and obscurity after the Moors (Morrocans) and the Ottoman empire. Until, that is, that Henry Kissinger taught the oil producing Arab nations to form a conglomerate union capable of controlling petroleum prices. He did this under orders from Richard Nixon who really wanted to sell Iran weapons to fight Saddam Hussein, but Congress said they had to pay cash.

    Well, Islam is back on the map with a lot of cash to back it up. And there is no “beauty” of islam, just new spin to make an empty argument. Suppression of women and rule of the religious elite. But, never let the message be lost on any of us, that it is religion as a whole that is fucking up our world, not just islam.

    NeoWolfe

  4. […] New Islamic ads – dishonesty at its finest The Exploring Islam Foundation has introduced a series of “Inspired by Muhammad” ads on buses in London: […]

  5. Wilson R. MacLeod says:

    As an ex-Muslim who is full of regret after wasting sixteen years of my life within the House of Horrors and Community of Clowns known as Islam, I’ll just say that in regards to the “social justice” and “women’s rights” mentioned on the posters, most Muslims would point to the fact that Muhammad did make some improvements in these areas over and above what existed at the time (which really isn’t saying much!). However, the point that they seem to miss is that the “social justice” and “women’s rights” standards that are enshrined in the Islamic Shari’ah are extremely lacking by today’s standards. They might have improved 7th century Arabia a bit, but as Stonyground mentioned above, “the notion that Mohammed believed in modern post-enlightenment values is preposterous.” Just to name a few, under Islamic law freedom of speech is severely restricted (in spite of the vacuous claims by liberal Muslims), other religions are discriminated against, there are legal restrictions on women’s freedom, and the life of a non-Muslim isn’t considered as valuable as that of a Muslim. So the Shari’ah, in spite of their propaganda, deserves a big “FAIL!” in the mind of anyone who has actually looked at the actual sources rather than the spin that modern Muslims try to put on them.

    Another problem, especially in the case of the head scarf (hijab), is that some Islamic requirements are often portrayed as a matter of choice for Muslim women in the West. The posters show this rather explicitly since they show one woman with and one without hijab. The dishonestly behind this is the fact that in a country ruled by the Shari’ah, which every Muslim is required to believe is the best law for all times and places, it would NOT be a matter of personal choice. As everyone knows, in places where Shari’ah is implemented, whether Iran, Saudi Arabia or Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, all women are forced to cover themselves.

    Muslims will argue incessantly in order to defend their “Holy” prophet and they do so within a framework and worldview that declares him the best ever example for all of mankind and, by default, considers everything that he did to be exemplary. Yes, Muslims doggedly adhere to a “Divine Command” view of ethics in which Allah declares certain acts good and certain acts evil…just because he says so. But in my view, this is Islam’s undoing and where it ultimately fails. That’s because Muslims don’t just need to show that, for example, a 52 year old man marrying a nine year old girl was simply legal within a particular legal system (which was based on the cultural practices of the time), but since it claims to be a system that’s universal and not only good, but THE BEST, for all of mankind, they need to explain how a 52 year old man marrying a nine year old girl was THE BEST course of action. Likewise with many other acts of Muhammad. This alone is enough to show that Islam fails even on its own terms and is thus demonstrably false.

    For the sake of balance, based on what I know about Islam I’d love to see the following “Inspired by Muhammad” posters. They’re all backed up by authentic Islamic sources, but I didn’t have the time to track them all down:

    —————————————-
    “I believe in ‘Dr. Doolittle’ stories in which people and animals talk to each other.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 27:16-19
    —————————————-
    “Greek mythological heroes got to fly around on winged beasts.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 17:1 – Sahih Bukhari 5:58:227
    —————————————-
    “I look forward to the homoerotic reward of being waited on by immortal boy-servants in Paradise.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 52:24, 56:17, 76:19
    —————————————-
    “I believe that women are unreliable witnesses.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 2:282
    —————————————-
    “I believe a person can live for 950 years.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 29:14
    —————————————-
    “I believe that meteorites were created to be missiles for driving away devils.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 67:5
    —————————————-
    “I think asking too many questions will cause a believer to lose their faith.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 5:101
    —————————————-
    “I believe in having multiple wives.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 4:3
    —————————————-
    “I believe in forcing sex on slave-girls.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 33:50
    —————————————-
    “I believe in practicing religious discrimination.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 4:144 – Qur’an 5:51 – Sahih Muslim 26:5389 – Sahih Muslim 26:5390
    ————————–
    “I always try to wake up before sunrise since I fear Satan might pee in my ear.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Sahih Bukhari 4:54:492
    ————————–
    “I pee like a girl.

    So did Muhammad.”
    ————————–
    “I believe in stealing my stepson’s wife.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 33:37-38
    ————————–
    “I like having multiple sex partners in one night.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Sahih Bukhari 7:62:142
    ————————–
    “I believe in bribing people.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Sahih Bukhari 4:55:558 – Sahih Bukhari 4:53:374
    ————————–
    “I misunderstand Jewish and Christian beliefs.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 5:72 – Qur’an 5:73 – Qur’an 5:116 – Qur’an 9:30
    ——————————————————————
    “I believe a Muslim should not be killed for killing a non-Muslim.

    So did Muhammad.”
    ——————————————————————
    “I believe in killing those who insult Islam.

    So did Muhammad.”
    ——————————————————————-
    I believe military attacks in which women and children are killed by “collateral damage” are okay.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Sahih Bukhari 4:52:256
    ——————————————————————-
    “I believe that God has a face, a hand, fingers, a shin, an eye, and that he moves around while simultaneously sitting on a throne.

    So did Muhammad.”
    ——————————————————————-
    “When I capture the women of my enemies and turn them into sexual slave-girls, if there’s a really nice looking one in the group, I take her for myself.

    So did Muhammad.”
    ——————————————————————-
    “I motivate my religious followers by offering them worldly and materialistic ‘war booty’ as a reward for acts of violence they commit.

    So did Muhammad.”
    ——————————————————————-

  6. Brian Macker says:

    Accomplishment stealing is actually a standard practice of Islam.

    Muslims are actually told that the Qur’an was written at the beginning of time, and that may ancient Jewish heros, and non-Jewish ones were Muslim. For example, both Moses and Alexander the Great. Both lived well before Islam was even fabricated.

    They are also believe that many of the great accomplishments of non-Muslims in societies that were conquered by the Muslims, are in fact Muslim. They even have you believing it. Arabic numerals come to mind.

    They’ll have you believe that Islam is against slavery. Which is nonsense. The anti-slavery movement is a Western tradition. Islam in fact condones and promotes slavery. Recently a respected Saudi religious figure (of course Muslim they don’t even allow church buildings or bibles there) advocated that slavery be reestablished in the country. [Note: Anti-slavery law was originally imposed on them by Western countries sick of having white slaves captured and shipped off to the middle east even as late as the 18th century.]

    Muslims claim that Mohammad was anti-slavery because he would free his own slaves if they converted to Islam. However he didn’t ban owning Muslim slaves by Muslims. Nor did he abolish slavery of non-Muslims. The west banned slavery for both whites and all other races.

    Islam codifies rules that make women less than second class citizens get in many countries.

    Islam also makes claims to having invented science when in fact most of it consists of pre-Islamic knowledge, and advances by Christians, Jews, and free thinkers living under Muslim hegemony. Many a great library was burned down by Muslim invaders. They weren’t exactly tolerant of the beliefs of others.

  7. Brian Macker says:

    Wilson R. MacLeod,

    I think some of those claimed improvements are hogwash, and used mostly as propaganda against Idolaters. The Islamic history just doesn’t jibe with the claims. For example, Muhammad’s first wife was an Idolator and yet she owned her own business and was tolerated in her society. She hired Mohammad. So how does that jibe with the claim that Islam originated this practice (when in fact it works against it with its rule against opposite sex non-relative mixing)?

    Think about it some more, and I think many of the improvements that Mohammad claimed to have made will evaporate.

    When I was in Sunday school they taught me that prior to Christianity people would sacrifice their babies to Baal, or something. I found it really hard to believe and the way it was phrased was as if everyone did it. Muslims make the claim that the Idolators were killing their female babies. From Wiki: Some authors believe that there is little evidence that infanticide was prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia or early Muslim history, except for the case of the Tamim tribe, who practiced it during severe famine.[46]

    Might be true, but I betcha the same can be found in some Muslim cultures also at some time. Clearly Muslims kill females as teenagers in honor killings. This to me seems far worse. Generally babies are killed as a form of birth control, and for culturally economic reasons like famine. It’s ugly but sometimes a hard truth. Honor killings are only about perpetuating an ideology and therefore totally unjustified.

  8. Brian Macker says:

    Wilson,

    BTW, loved your list.

    … but isn’t this true:

    “I think asking too many questions will cause a believer to lose their faith.

    So did Muhammad.”

    Qur’an 5:101

  9. Dave says:

    Have you considered making a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (copy to Transport for London) on the grounds that the statement “I believe in women’s rights. So did Muhammad” is manifestly untrue and misleading, as evidenced in many places in Muhammad’s own teaching in the Quran?

    Of the many Islamic gynophobic commandments, the two most noxious are Quran chapter 4 verse 34, which encourages men to beat wives from
    whom they merely “fear disobedience”. Ch 2 v 23 tells men: “Your women are your fields, so plough them as you please”.

    Ch 4 v 11 says: “A male shall inherit twice as much as a female”. Dealing with disputes, Ch 2:282 downgrades women as witnesses, saying: “Call in two male witnesses from among you; but, if two men cannot be found, then one man and two women”. (The commentator Bukhari cites an extra-Quranic statement from Muhammad saying that this is “because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind”.

    Ch 4 v 24 makes married slave girls the sexual property of their male masters. (The commentator Maududi interprets “slave girls” as including female prisoners of war). Ch 65 v 4 sanctions sex with prepubescent girls.

    All are neatly underpinned by ch 2 v 228: “Men have a status above women”.

    This Quranic teaching about women makes clear the total unacceptability of Sharia courts in the UK – above all in the settling of domestic disputes for which they are often proposed. Under Sharia, women are institutionally and explicitly disadvantaged; to the extent that those preferring the protection of a secular court risk being physically abused by their husbands, so undermining the supposedly voluntary nature of such non-secular alternatives.

  10. Adam Tjaavk says:

    Wilson – are you aware of Crispian Jago’s work and his

    Science, Reason and Critical Thinking
    http://crispian-jago.blogspot.com/

    What a collaboration that would be!

    _____