CAIRO – Countering Islamophobic ads linking Islam to terrorism and jihad with savagery, a US Muslim activist has launched a campaign to post verses of the Noble Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) around the American capital.
“This project is not about me and I don't want my name associated with this project,” the Muslim activist wrote on his blog “The Quran Project 2013- DC”.“This is about the idea of proud Muslims trying to eliminate stigmas against Islam and to fight islamophobia in a positive and peaceful way.”
The blogger has started a campaign to post verses of the Noble Qur’an on colorful handwritten papers around cafes, gas stations and across streets of Washington D.C.
The campaign comes in response to a series of ads championed by Islamophobic blogger Pamela Geller linking Islam with terrorism and jihad with savagery.
“As many of you know that the depiction of Islam has been very negative in the US especially with the recent ads that have been circulating around major cities and subway stations,” the blogger wrote.
“In order to protest such acts in a positive manner I have decided that I will post verses of the Qur’an around different locations in Washington DC.”
The Muslim blogger also plans to expand the campaign to include quotes from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“It will start small and I hope to expand this project to hadith, poetry etc. as it progresses,” he said.
“I will try to update on a daily basis with pictures of where I put my colorful cards and what verses I select.”
The campaign is not the first by US Muslims to promote the true image of Islam.
In December, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) launched a campaign titled “MyJihad” to share the proper meaning of Jihad as believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims.
In October, CAIR championed a campaign to counter the anti-Jihad ads with signs reading a passage from Noble Qur’an saying: “Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.”
Offering his e-mail for any questions, the blogger received many messages from American Muslims praising his campaign.
“May Allah bless you. This is a very wise and peaceful approach,” a Muslim user said in a post to the blogger’s mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One that would yield far more positive outcome than messages of hate. Jazakoumo Allah Khayran.”
Another user said “This is a brilliant idea!! God bless you.”
In another message to the blogger, one wrote to make suggestions about better application of the campaign.
“One possible suggestion would be to use a better, more modern translation like the Oxford Press translation done by Mohammed Abdel Haleem. May Allah reward you for your work on this project,” he wrote.
Another commentator had a couple of suggestions.
“Choose short verses as they are more likely to be read than lengthy ones,” he wrote.
“Use larger print to increase visibility. Also, some of the ones that are taped onto windows could be viewed as a form of vandalism because of the unsightly residue tape leaves behind.”
Others were willing to join in and participate in the year-long campaign.
“Salam! I live in Houston. If I put up Ayah's in Houston and submit a picture, would you put it up even though the title of your blog is Quran Project 2013 - DC?,” one asked.
The idea has even inspired many Muslims outside the United States.
“I am really inspired by the way you have decided to stand up for Islam,” Achraf, a Dutch Muslim, wrote.
“It is awesome to see this happening!!! I really wish you the best of luck and I hope your colorful cards will inshaAllah demolish the anti-Islamic ads ^^. Much Love from the Netherlands!”
US Muslims, estimated at between six to eight million, have been sensing a growing hostility following a hearing presented by Republican representative Peter King on what he described as “radicalization” of US Muslims.
A recent report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the University of California and Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender found that Islamophobia in the US is on the rise.A US survey had also revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
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