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‘Horrible’ Mohammed billboard angers Muslims in Indiana

‘Horrible’ Mohammed billboard angers Muslims in Indiana

A billboard that appeared in Indiana at the start of Ramadan has been condemned by local Muslims who say it disparages their prophet Mohammed and is intended to incite religious hatred.

According to this report, the “Perfect Man” sign can be seen from an Indiana highway on the east side of Indianapolis.

Said Rima Shahid, Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana:

It is a horrible billboard. I’m outraged by it, but saddened at the same time …  and I would like to know who is behind it. It seems very cowardly to me. If you have some kind of stance, you should want to stand up next to your statement. I didn’t think there was any room for hate in our city. This billboard tells me otherwise.

This kind of rhetoric just furthers division in our state and makes a neighbor question a neighbor, just like I am today.

Shahid said the billboard, which she saw on southbound Interstate 465, was brought to her attention last Friday by an anonymous tipster.

Screenshot from an AOL video report

At the bottom of the billboard in yellow sits the words “Educate Truthophobes.” A search of Truthophobes online leads to multiple anti-Muslim groups, specifically an Australian group with similar messaging.

US Represenative Andre Carson said he believes the billboard is untrue and that the billboard’s author takes Islamic text and history out of context:

Just like al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Klan do to religious texts to justify their bigotry.

Faryal Khatri, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis-based Islamic Society of North America, said not only is the billboard not true, it is hurtful to her as a practicing Muslim.

Carson said he is disappointed that people have decided to use their free speech protections as a platform:

To spread hateful, vile things that are divisive to people. I think there’s a way to debate and be socratic without being disrespectful or undermining people and causing a sense of isolation.

Carson called on people in the faith community to “come together and say this is unacceptable,” especially in light of an upcoming “March Against Sharia,” that is scheduled to occur in 28 American cities — including Chicago, Indianapolis, New York and San Bernardino, California this week.

The event is organised by a group called ACT for America, a self-described grassroots national security organisation, which states:

Sharia is incompatible with our Constitution and with American values. We stand against female genital mutilations and child marriages.

A representative from ACT was not available for comment.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

34 responses to “‘Horrible’ Mohammed billboard angers Muslims in Indiana”

  1. Paul says:

    If you have a religion that holds itself out in the public domain, getting tax exemptions, having a special status, having ‘community leaders’ (whatever that moronic tag means), and states it’s ‘faith ‘ and texts are the truth or the way or whatever, no one absolutely no one has the right to protect it and every one has the right to criticise it mock it and hold it in contempt and ridicule. Islam cannot insulate itself from their points by claiming hurt and offence. The religion is in the public and cannot be allowed to be insulated because someone gets offended.
    Actually, from my readings all that on the board is true. There can be nothing hateful in truth.

  2. sailor1031 says:

    What is not true in these billboard statements? It is all true. If the truth of your religious ideal is so “hurtful” to you then perhaps you need to change your religion or abandon religion entirely. As for Rep. Carson let him read the Koran and study the hadiths before he opens his mouth and makes a fool of himself.

  3. CoastalMaineBird says:

    How do they know it refers to Uncle Mo?

    His name is not on it.

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    ” I think there’s a way to debate and be socratic without being disrespectful or undermining people and causing a sense of isolation.”

    We are in agreement. Let’s start with the respectful, Socratic, neighborly and very Islamic Quran (2:191-193). Then we can go on to which of the claims on that billboard are not made by Muslims as true claims. Finally we can review what happens to critics of Islam who give speeches, write books, make films or draw pictures.

    If there’s still time after that, maybe a bit about stonings and throwing people from rooftops.

  5. Paul says:

    CMB
    A very good point!
    Excellent.

    Did he marry a six year old ?
    Did he wait till she was 9 or 10 to have sex with her?
    Apparently this is so.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha

  6. Laura Roberts says:

    @CoastalMaineBird: exactly what I was thinking! Best belly laugh of the day (so far)…

  7. tonye says:

    Taken from the above statement by Shahid ‘It seems very cowardly to me.’

    No, cowardly is when you attack defenceless teenagers at a night out in Manchester.

  8. Gui says:

    “How do they know it refers to Uncle Mo?”

    Seems the hat served them well.

  9. Laura Roberts says:

    I’ve been thinking we need much, much more of this, but using actual quotations from the Bible and the Quran. An entire passage on a billboard might be a bit tedious to read, but would lay these hate-filled texts bare and leave little room for apologists to complain about taking things “out of context”.

  10. L.Long says:

    Like trevor…how do they know this is Mo???
    I know how, because that applies to only one fictional character!! As soon as I started reading, LOL & I knew the muslins will be getting pissy!!

  11. andym says:

    Could have been prefixed with “Said to have..” because there is no contemporary evidence for the existence of Mohammed. There are only sources from a century and more later which are claimed to be true because they cross-reference each other. Remind you of the history of anyone else?

  12. barriejohn says:

    “Out of context” is the ultimate cop out by both Christians and Muslims. You can present them with a word for word quotation from their “holy book” and it NEVER means what it says because it has to be “taken in context”, i.e. they will tell you what it “really” means.

  13. John the Drunkard says:

    Well yes, Mo contracted marriage to Aisha when she was six. but nobly refrained from sex with her until she was nine. Which is why, in places like Iran, there are campaigns to make the legal age for marriage NINE.

    Note that I do not refer to an ‘age of consent.’ After all the only ‘consent’ required is between the owners of the female unit in question. Her opinion is too unimportant to factor in at all.

  14. Harry says:

    I am offended every day by the way Muslims actually behave, by what they do, by their shrieks and screams about how they are offended, by their arrogance, by their prejudices, by their intolerance, by their barbarous acts, by their divisive behaviour, by their pig headed stupid inability to reach compromise and concensus with those of us who don’t adhere to their rancorous barbaric dogma.

  15. RussellW says:

    Speaking of ‘out of context’. The billboard probably wouldn’t be controversial in a majority Muslim country, would it?

    sailor 1031,
    Agreed.
    Perhaps Muslims in the civilised world are becoming just a little uncomfortable when the truth about their ‘prophet’ is revealed. Can we assume that they’re assimilating liberal democratic values? Very slowly.

  16. Fred A Rawls says:

    Harry is my new hero.

  17. Harry says:

    Religions are out context. Out of context with reality.

  18. Michael Glass says:

    The relevant questions in a case like this are:
    1 Is the allegation true?
    2 Is the allegation fair? (Not one of the ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ questions.)
    3 What is the documentation like?

    Let’s apply the same allegation to Jesus.

    Jesus destroyed livestock.

    Is this statement true?
    The story is present in three of the Gospels, Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39 and with some different details in Matthew *:28-34.

    Is it fair? Well, the livestock were a herd of pigs, and we are told that Jesus allowed a whole lot of demons to enter into the pigs, and they rushed down a steep hill and were drowned in the sea. In the story in Matthew, the swineherds reported what happened and the local people begged Jesus to leave the area.The other two gospels give a somewhat different spin to the story. Despite this, it seems obvious that the statement is true – or at least, Gospel truth.

    Here’s another one.

    Jesus was conceived out of wedlock.

    Is this statement true?

    This statement is based on Matthew 1:18-20 which makes it clear that Jesus was conceived when Mary and Joseph were engaged but before they had come together.

    Is it fair? The gospel goes on to say that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The statement might be true as far as it goes, but Christians would probably cry foul if you did not mention the later claim of the gospel.

    Now when it comes to Mohammed, I think the same standard should apply. By all means explain the context of beheading 600 Jews in one day, marrying a 6 year old girl (and consummating the marriage when she was 9) and all the rest. However, the primary test is whether or not the statement is true.

  19. Paul says:

    Michael Glass
    It’s really a moot point.
    Primarily because there is little or dubious or absolutely no independent contemporary evidence for either Mo or jesus.
    The main ‘evidence’ rests in peoples’ beliefs and in their heads and that is not evidence, so truth becomes irrelevant.

  20. Maggie says:

    Rima Shahid, Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, is the one saying it is Uncle Mo. The billboard doesn’t mention a name. That Shadid recognises “The Perfect Man” to be Uncle Mo means he acknowledges what it says is true.

    Rima Shahid really didn’t think his “offendedness” though.

  21. lonborghini says:

    “Sharia is incompatible with our Constitution and with American values. We stand against female genital mutilations and child marriages.”

    Again, where is the outrage regarding male genital mutilation? WTF?

  22. RussellW says:

    longorghini,

    Valid point. No one consulted me and I’m sure that I protested loudly. Didn’t make any difference.

  23. Wanstronian says:

    I don’t think theists can complain about their texts being taken out of context when they constantly run out the “it’s only a theory” response to evolution.

  24. […] strip was prompted by this story in The Freethinker last week. Here’s the billboard and a response by the director of the Muslim Alliance of […]

  25. Glen Becker says:

    lonborghini,

    Removal of foreskin is not the same as the removal of the clitoris. Circumcised men can still easily enjoy sex. Very callous to equate the two. Time for you to re-read Ayaan’s book again.

  26. barriejohn says:

    Glen Becker: I think the issue that many have with circumcision is the abuse of male infants, who undergo an unnecessary medical procedure with permanent results, in which they obviously have no say whatsoever. The fact that they might be able to enjoy sex despite this is really immaterial.

  27. Glen Becker says:

    barriejohn, I agree with you about the medical procedure being unnecessary, strictly speaking. Of course, there are purported benefits to it, of which a male infant can not comprehend. However, I stand by what I said because the detrimental effects of a male being circumcised are negligible and not even on the same plane as female circumcision, to which the previous writer was trying to allude. They are not equivalent, regardless if the procedure is necessary or not.

    One can think of ear piercing in the same light. Many parents will have their infant girls ears pierced, but I hear no outcry against this unnecessary mutilation of the girls bodies. Why is this, do you suppose? It permanently changes the ears, and has no purpose other than an esthetic one. Isn’t this abuse, as you call it, of female infants? I suggest that it has the same impact on the girls ability to hear and doesn’t impact their lives in any meaningful way, but they certainly didn’t condone the procedure before it was performed on them. It may not be right as far as the child having a say, but it is a non-issue.

  28. That Dutch guy says:

    @ Glen Becker
    As a not circumsized male I can tell you that there ARE detrimental effects. The foreskin contains most of the nerves and is much more sensitive than the glans. Furthermore, the circumsized penis seems to develop an extra layer on the glans, reducing sensitivity even more. I can tell you I would not want to be cut, my foreskin provides me with too much pleasure!

  29. John Kelly says:

    Circumcision was used to promote cleanliness in the glans. Babies (male) were circumcised in US Government hospitals.

  30. Glen Becker says:

    Dutchie, your theory doesn’t consider that the body may compensate and increase sensitivity in the glans. As a circumcised male, I can tell you that I have no problem with sensitivity. In fact, I wouldn’t want more sensitivity, nor would my female partner. Staying power is much improved.

    John Kelly is correct about hygiene.Yes, there are many males who manage to keep their uncircumcised parts clean, but overall, circumcision aids in cleanliness and is clinically proven to lower the chances of some diseases.

    This is all off the subject, however. Male circumcision does not affect the sex life in any significant or negative way for most males, while female circumcision (which is actually genital mutilation because it takes away the pleasure of having sex) most certainly does affect the woman’s sex life irreversibly for the rest of her life.

  31. Glen Becker says:

    Pffft yourself. For every link you can provide to show circumcision benefits are negligible, I can provide four to show it is beneficial. Saying I talk a lot of nonsense is generally not the way to debate others.

    https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/circumcision-benefits-outweigh-risks-says-cdc/

    http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/circumcision

    http://www.mariestopes.org.za/advantages-of-circumcisions-7-reasons-to-get-circumcised/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3684945/

  32. barriejohn says:

    It was my fucking opinion! And we’ve debated this ad nauseam before, the only conclusion being that those in favour of this primitive and unnecessary procedure will never face the evidence that it has no medical benefits.

  33. Instant repeater says:

    Just another opinion about circumcision here, I’m not trying to create division.However, after the child abuse scandals in the Catholic Church around the world, do we think it’s so important to allow religious clergy of any religion to have access to the private parts of any child? And all because it’s ordained in a holy book that’s millennia old. Secular modern societies have strict child protection laws, are religions exempt from such important safeguarding legislation?