Perhaps as someone who is sick and tired of having half naked women, shirtless men, meaningless products and all manner of ridiculous adverts bombard me daily I’m really REALLY excited about this campaign. It’s called Inspired by Muhammad, and it’s a series of Ads with an accompanying website that seek to dispel misconceptions about Islam in the UK. Not only that, but it makes Islam more accessible, and presents it in small easily understood bites.
It’s about time that we Muslims fought back against our misrepresentation in the media. How ironic that we’re using the media (via the web, billboards, and posters) to fight back against our perpetual one-dimensional portrayal as oppressed, ignorant, terrorist heathens. With all the bright cheerful colors contrasted against images of actual Brits, it’s hard not to take a second look. And once you do, you’ll get to read things like “One who sleeps while their neighbor is hungry is not one of us.” or “I believe in protecting the environment. So did Muhammad.”
If you’re an average person who really wants to understand Muslims better, your curiosity will be peaked. And perhaps you’ll try and find out more. And even if you don’t try to find out more, perhaps you’ll find “Muslims” a lot less scary when you realize that they care about social justice, women’s rights (in which Islam actually is the pioneer!) animal rights and so on. So while there’s a part of me that thinks it’s extremely unfair that I’m judged first and have to actually go to the trouble to explain myself, I’m thrilled that since that has become the way of the world, that someone has stood up and explained so I don’t have to. I feel a little giddy almost.
It’s like an “In your face!” to everyone who’s ever used the media whether in a book, or movie to show that we Muslims are just a bunch of burqa wearing, hashish smoking, over reacting ne’er do gooders. I can almost imagine their discomfort as someone who after discovering the ads does some research and finally realizing the truth says to them: “Did you know that while Christianity and the rest of the western world were debating whether or not women had souls, that Islam had given them freedom to inherit, to own property, and yes to choose who they married?”
Sorry, I got carried away a little. But the fact is, I’m really REALLY excited! So to the people who conceived and launched this plan I say thank you!! And may Allah bless you infinitely and may He continue to guide us all.
To check out the campaign website visit www.inspiredbymuhammad.com.