This is a release sent to MuslimMatters. Please cross-post this on your blog or email lists to raise awareness. This is an important project with a lot of publicity, and it is important that we show our support and respond to the unfounded criticisms against it. Scroll down below to see the actual ads at the center of the controversy.
Update 2: Due to reported issues with YouTube and other video sites, the ICNA video advertising the project has been uploaded to the MM Podcast. Please subscribe via iTunes or via your feedreader, if you haven’t already.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
There is perhaps no name better known in the American Muslim arena other than that of Imam Siraj. Almost every Muslim in this country is familiar with the fatherly face of the Imam standing before the crowd, captivating it with flowing wisdom. Unfortunately this very figure whose entire life of selfless work for the community has served as a glowing light for the Muslims has been associated with the all too familiar smears of terrorism and violence. What initially began as the inclusion of his name on the 1993 list of un-indicted co-conspirators to the World Trade Center bombing, along with over a hundred others, has only persisted to continuously taint the Imam’s honorable reputation. The fact that there was no evidence whatsoever linking him to the bombing, which is why he remains ‘un-indicted’, is not so innocently overlooked by those that seek to defame him.
In the latest episode of slander and insult, attempts are being made to prevent the most commendable of endeavors – that of informing others of our religion. What would otherwise be seen as a completely harmless effort is now being portrayed in the most negative of lights. Not surprisingly a campaign of its own has grown from the seeds of post-911 hysteria to bring the work to an end.
As you may have heard, the Islamic Circle of North America through its 877-WHY-ISLAM project has planned to sponsor 1000 ads in NYC subways during Ramadan. These ads serve to clear away common Islamic misconceptions and encourage them to learn about Islam from a direct and more reliable source. Imam Siraj has been of the most enthusiastic supporters of this project with the hope to benefit the larger community. Never would he imagine that his simple involvement in this project would be used to stir up such an uproar. Dramatic headlines such as “Jihad Train” and “Train-ing Day for Jihadists” of the NYPost, as well as others by Fox News have dominated the media limelight. YouTube bloggers such as mosquewatch have posted videos urging listeners to tear down the ads when they see them.
While leaders such as Imam Siraj and those involved with the ICNA continue to put their reputation on the line for projects such as these, it is imperative that we support them in the efforts that they undertake, as that is their greatest wish at the moment – to use this opportunity to gather as much support from the community as possible, not just verbally but also financially. After reading this, please make an extra effort to donate to these causes immediately and ask your friends to do the same. It is the least we can do with hopes that Allah includes us in His own list – the list of those who strive in His cause, and what a just and righteous cause it is!
Donate to the project today:
Project Promo Video:
Press Coverage so Far
- Islam Subway ads cause stir in New York
- Promoting Islam To Appear In Subways Soon
- Promotional Islam Subway Ads Stir Controversy
- Radical Imam Promotes Pro-Islamic Ad Campaign to Run on New York Subways
- Mmm…(In)tolerance! The Post’s “Jihad Train”
- Pro-Muslim Subway Ads Linked to Controversial Imam
- MTA’S ISLAM AD FUROR
- TRAIN-ING DAY FOR JIHADISTS